Each Year's Most Popular YouTube Video


On an otherwise regular Monday in February 2005, video file sharing website YouTube was launched. At the time, founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim just wanted to find an easier way to share videos between them and their friends, but YouTube has turned into arguably the most popular video sharing site on the Internet. In honor of its 10th birthday (yes, YouTube was launched on Valentine’s Day!), here are the most popular YouTube videos released each year since.

1. “Touch of Gold” by Nike // 2005

Some of YouTube’s original hits have been taken down and re-uploaded over time, making it hard to exactly figure which ones from which year are the most popular. But this video—originally uploaded in 2005—is a good bet: The Nike commercial, centered on popular soccer star Ronaldinho, was the very first YouTube video to pass one million views.

2. “Evolution of Dance” by Judson Laipply // 2006

A perennial favorite on the viral video circuit, stand up comedian Judson Laipply’s “Evolution of Dance” first hit the video sharing site in 2006, where it quickly became the site’s most popular video. Racking up over 70 million views in just eight months, it was a long-time contender for top dog, and even though it no longer appears on even the top thirty list, it’s a long-time favorite. Laipply released a follow-up in 2009, and he promises a third video is still in the making.

3. “Charlie bit my finger—again!” by Harry and Charlie Davies-Carr // 2007

The only non-music video to break the all-time top ten, the 56-second long video about inter-sibling finger-biting was, at one time, the number one video on the site. Originally posted on May 22, 2007, the video didn’t take the top spot until over two years later, when it pushed “Evolution of Dance” out of the way (perhaps with great grace and style?) in October of 2009. The video is—somehow—still the number five video on the site, and the channel that hosts it has nearly 300,000 subscribers.

4. “An Experiment” // 2008

If aliens came to Earth and wanted to understand viral videos, this is the clip to show them. A 24 second video of what appears to be the Coke and Mentos experiment got over 274 million views and is in the top 150 videos of all time. For comparison, Katy Perry (who we'll be seeing a lot more of in a bit) released "Hot and Cold" in 2008, which has managed a feeble 222 million views.

5. “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga // 2009

This video—Gaga’s highest entry into the annals of YouTube popularity—was uploaded in November 2009, eventually pulling in over 614 million viewers (it’s currently seventeenth overall). It is also the only video on the site’s 30 most popular videos that is set at a Russian bathhouse and involves its protagonist killing someone, so points to Gaga for always going her own way.

6. “Baby” by Justin Bieber // 2010

Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber was already well on his way to meteoric superstardom by the time the music video for “Baby” hit the Internet on February 19, 2010. With his debut album “My World 2.0” just a month away from release, the so-called “Beliebers” were already starting to assemble—they just needed something to really get behind. They found it in the bowling alley-set music video, a sweet ode to young teen love, with extra hair-tossing to spare. The video stayed number one on the site for over two years, until yet another pop video—“Gangnam Style”—usurped it, eventually earning nearly double its views.

7. “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO // 2011

The club banger earworm of the decade, trussed up with a surprisingly inventive music video. “Party Rock Anthem” the song may be about the good times, but “Party Rock Anthem” the music video somewhat oddly pulls from the horror film 28 Days Later for its inspiration. Party until you … die? Then keep partying? That’s actually the thrust of the entire video, as LMFAO members Redfoo and Sky Blu party so hard that they actually fall into a coma, only to wake up to a world that can only “shuffle” to their own hit single all day, every day. The video was released on March 8, 2011, and though it has yet to break a billion views (it hovers just under the 819 million mark), it’s still the number four most-viewed video on the site.

8. “Gangnam Style” by Psy // 2012

Uploaded in the middle of an otherwise ordinary summer, South Korean pop star Psy’s 2012 music video for his smash hit “Gangnam Style” didn’t set out to change the YouTube landscape, but that’s exactly what the dance-heavy video ended up doing. Not only did “Gangnam Style” become the most popular YouTube video of 2012, it became the most popular YouTube video of all-time. By November 2012, “Gangnam Style” secured the top spot by ousting the previous number one video (Justin Bieber’s “Baby”). By December, it became the first YouTube video to cross the billion-view mark. Two years later, in December of 2014, the video “broke” YouTube’s view counter, which had previously used a 32-bit integer to measure video views. Once “Gangnam Style” crossed 2,147,483,647 views, YouTube was forced to change their view counter to use a 64-bit integer to keep track of its video views.

9. “Roar” by Katy Perry // 2013

YouTube may not be a video-sharing site that exists solely to provide the masses with hot, fresh music videos, but it might as well be. After all, nine of the top ten viewed videos of all time are music vids for various pop songs (with Perry and Psy leading the pack with two each). The most-viewed video of 2013, Perry’s “Roar” is hovering around the 800 million view mark. The video’s popularity was aided by all sorts of teases before it even appeared on the site in September of 2013. Two weeks before release, a 21-second teaser was available online. The day before, Nokia pushed out a two-minute “behind the scenes” look at the jungle-themed video. Sound like a lot of work? Well, it panned out—“Roar” is now the biggest video to come out of 2013 and is just ahead of Psy’s "Gentleman."

10. “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry, featuring Juicy J // 2014

It’s a two-fer for Perry, who not only has the most popular YouTube video from 2013, but also the most popular YouTube video of 2014. First uploaded in February of 2014, the “Dark Horse” video is also third most popular video overall, passing “Party Rock Anthem” yesterday, and trailing “Baby” by 300 million.

Apple Wants to Patent a Keyboard You’re Allowed to Spill Coffee On

In the future, eating and drinking near your computer keyboard might not be such a dangerous game. On March 8, Apple filed a patent application for a keyboard designed to prevent liquids, crumbs, dust, and other “contaminants” from getting inside, Dezeen reports.

Apple has previously filed several patents—including one announced on March 15—surrounding the idea of a keyless keyboard that would work more like a trackpad or a touchscreen, using force-sensitive technology instead of mechanical keys. The new anti-crumb keyboard patent that Apple filed, however, doesn't get into the specifics of how the anti-contamination keyboard would work. It isn’t a patent for a specific product the company is going to debut anytime soon, necessarily, but a patent for a future product the company hopes to develop. So it’s hard to say how this extra-clean keyboard might work—possibly because Apple hasn’t fully figured that out yet. It’s just trying to lay down the legal groundwork for it.

Here’s how the patent describes the techniques the company might use in an anti-contaminant keyboard:

"These mechanisms may include membranes or gaskets that block contaminant ingress, structures such as brushes, wipers, or flaps that block gaps around key caps; funnels, skirts, bands, or other guard structures coupled to key caps that block contaminant ingress into and/or direct containments away from areas under the key caps; bellows that blast contaminants with forced gas out from around the key caps, into cavities in a substrate of the keyboard, and so on; and/or various active or passive mechanisms that drive containments away from the keyboard and/or prevent and/or alleviate containment ingress into and/or through the keyboard."

Thanks to a change in copyright law in 2011, the U.S. now gives ownership of an idea to the person who first files for a patent, not the person with the first working prototype. Apple is especially dogged about applying for patents, filing plenty of patents each year that never amount to much.

Still, they do reveal what the company is focusing on, like foldable phones (the subject of multiple patents in recent years) and even pizza boxes for its corporate cafeteria. Filing a lot of patents allows companies like Apple to claim the rights to intellectual property for technology the company is working on, even when there's no specific invention yet.

As The New York Times explained in 2012, “patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology,” rather than a specific approach. (This allows brands to sue competitors if they come out with something similar, as Apple has done with Samsung, HTC, and other companies over designs the company views as ripping off iPhone technology.)

That means it could be a while before we see a coffee-proof keyboard from Apple, if the company comes out with one at all. But we can dream.

[h/t Dezeen]

Putu Sayoga, Getty Images
Bali Is Suspending Mobile Web Service for Its Sacred Day of Silence
Putu Sayoga, Getty Images
Putu Sayoga, Getty Images

Nyepi, a Hindu holiday that celebrates the Saka new year, is a sacred tradition on the Indonesian island of Bali. It's a time for silence and mindful meditation, practices that might pose a challenge to a plugged-in generation of smartphone users. To ensure the day passes with as few distractions as possible, religious and civilian leaders in Bali have asked telecommunications companies to shut off their data for 24 hours, AP reports.

From 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 17 until 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 18, Bali residents will be unable to access online news, social media, or any other form of web content on their phones. “Let’s rest a day, free from the internet to feel the calm of the mind,” Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, head of the Indonesian Hinduism Society, said according to AP.

Shutting off mobile data for a full day may sound extreme, but it's just one way the island will respectfully observe the holiday. Throughout Nyepi, Balinese shops and the island's sole airport are closed, and television programs and radio broadcasts are paused. Officials first asked cell phone companies to suspend their data last year, but this is the first year they agreed to comply with the request. An exception will be made for hotels, hospitals, banks, and other vital public services.

Nyepi is followed by Ngembak Geni, a day that also encourages self-introspection. But unlike Nyepi, Ngembak Geni is a day when people are allowed to socialize, even if it is online.

[h/t AP]


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