YouTube Admits to Autoplay Count Problem

Just a quick check in to let everyone know that we’re still trying to find out what’s up with YouTube apparently still not counting views of videos that are set up to autoplay on other web pages. This is a phenomenon we happened upon after top users complained their view counts had dropped drastically despite new videos being distributed widely around the web.

So far YouTube has let us know it’s looking into the missing view issue, but it hasn’t confirmed or denied any aspect of it. However, in a post in a YouTube forum this week, a YouTube employee named Jeff Fisher both acknowledged the issue and called it “a problem.” “We are looking into it,” he wrote.

That wording would seem to imply that YouTube did not knowingly crack down on autoplay abusers like Avril Lavigne fans, who had set up a page that autoplayed and auto-refreshed her Girlfriend video in an attempt to make it the most popular YouTube video of all time (it remains in second, but not by much, to Evolution of Dance, with both videos accelerating to 92 million-some total views as competition has intensified over the last month).

(Some background on “autoplay”: While YouTube videos automatically start playing on its own pages, when they are embedded on other web pages they are set by default to wait for a user to click the play button. However, it’s possible to tweak the embed code so a video plays automatically each time someone visits a page. People do this in order to make it easier for visitors to watch videos and/or to increase their play counts.)