A short video from Discord became super popular on April Fool’s Day, amassing more than 1.4 billion views in just one day. This surprised everyone, including Discord, as it was just part of their yearly joke, titled “Discord Loot Boxes are here,” but it broke YouTube’s record for most views in 24 hours. However, there’s more to this story than what appears on the surface.

The 17-second video teased about loot boxes coming to Discord and quickly became a big hit, breaking records set by famous YouTubers and trailers. The huge number of views made people wonder why it went so viral.

Experts claim Discord accidentally viewbotted its video. Software developer Marvin Witt explained that Discord had the announcement trailer on loop in the background of the in-app toast notification for the video. So, this resulted in the video racking up a massive amount of views, even though users weren’t actually clicking on the video and watching it.

“Discord managed to create a working YouTube view bot in 2024 by playing their loot box announcement trailer on loop in the background of the in-app toast [notification],” Marvin explained.

It was clear this wasn’t on purpose when a Discord developer seemed surprised at how fast the views were going up.

Discord’s reaction

In response to the incident, Discord posted a brief statement on X/Twitter. YouTube has yet to commented on the topic.

What’s next?

Because of the massive number of views the video got, people are wondering how this will affect YouTube’s ad money and deals with sponsors. Since this was an unusual situation, it’s not clear how YouTube will handle the extra views and what it means for ads.

As the platform continues to evolve and experiment with new features, this unexpected turn of events highlights the unpredictable nature of digital engagement and the potential challenges it can pose for platforms and advertisers alike.