Loot Boxes shocker: Discord’s April Fools’ prank breaks YouTube record!

7 mins read

When it comes to breaking YouTube records, MrBeast is probably the first name that comes to mind. After all, he is the creator with the most subscribers on the platform. MrBeast also once held the record for the most watched video in a 24-hour period. In August 2023, he uploaded a video that received 60 million views in one day.

MrBeast’s 24-hour view record was quickly broken last December with the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI trailer. With 74 million views, the GTA 6 trailer took the record from MrBeast.

But it will not be easy to take the record away from the new holder.

On Monday, April 1st, the popular messaging and voice chat platform Discord announced its “Loot Boxes” feature. Although the feature attracted a lot of attention, Discord was not serious about it, it was just an April Fool’s joke to its users. Discord’s “Loot Boxes” feature has already been removed from the platform.

But somehow, Discord’s April Fools’ prank 18-second Loot Boxes video got more than 1 billion views in 24 hours.

Yes, that’s right, one billion views.

The video received so many views that in its 16th hour it was stuck at 628 million views. YouTube was struggling to keep up with the number of views. Until it was updated at the 24 hour mark and the 1.4 billion figure appeared.

Discord thus raised the 24-hour viewership record to nearly 1.3 billion.

And how did this happen?

And how did Discord reach this incredible number?

The company was very coy about the issue on social media, posting an “oops” message on X. Discord also responded wittily to some users who commented on the post.

Mashable reached out to Discord and YouTube for comment, but has not yet heard back.

Marvin Witt, a software developer, shared a convincing explanation for what happened. In short, Discord may have intentionally or accidentally created a “working YouTube watching robot”.

Here’s what happened next

When Discord releases a feature, it usually announces it as a pop-up in the bottom right corner of the desktop and web app.

The company did the same for the April Fools’ Day prank “Loot Box” feature. Witt shared a screenshot of the announcement. We, as Mashable, saw the pop-up announcement box on Monday.

According to Witt, the video was also included in this announcement in an iframe frame.

The pop-up window said “Loot Boxes have arrived! – The Loot Boxes have arrived”.

However, YouTube videos are not playable unless you mouse over the pop-up message. When you hover, the video “pops” out of the pop-up message, like bread out of a toaster.

Discord’s 18-second YouTube video probably played over and over again in the background of users’ apps for hours. This even happened not only when users were messaging their friends, but also when the computer was idle.

This raises only one question: Did Discord do this on purpose?

Witt’s evidence confirms that what happened was an “accident”.

Witt shared a Discord post on his X account. The post is from a “high-level” Discord developer.

“How did this video get so many views?” the developer asks in his message.

On the same day, some users noticed that the Discord app changed the code to fix this and switched from the YouTube video to the video file. Of course, since most of the views are coming from users who keep Discord open but are not actively using the app, the YouTube video will continue to receive views until they update their apps or the message no longer appears because April 1 has passed.

Discord’s “Loot Box” video is likely to generate a lot of controversy in the YouTuber community. There’s already controversy over whether the record “counts” or not. And even if it is recognized as a record, the question mark will remain.

Regardless, Discord was planning to fool everyone with an April Fool’s prank, and that’s exactly what it did. Even if it was done unconsciously.



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