If you make a YouTube video that gets more than 2.5 million views in its first 17 hours, you’re probably going to want to shout about it from the rooftops.
But what if the clip itself can do the shouting for you?
YouTuber Tom Scott’s latest video does exactly that. The title, “This video Has X Views,” continually updates itself to reflect its own view count.
“When I want my code to change a video title, I don’t ask it to open up a web browser,” explains Scott in the clip. “Instead, it sends a single request to YouTube: Here’s the video ID; here’s the stuff to change; here’s my credentials to prove that I’m allowed to do that. Bundle that all up, send it over. And YouTube sends back a single answer — hopefully it’s a response code of 200, which means OK, with confirmation of what the video’s data has changed to.”
After explaining how he programmed his video title to update, Scott goes on to explain why — and what follows is a fascinating history lesson of how coding has changed over the years, why it’s changed, and what that might mean for the future.