Ice bucket challenge passes the 1bn YouTube views mark

9 Sep 2014

Whether you’re sick of them or love them, the ice bucket challenge has broken all records of its kind on video-sharing site YouTube, with more than 1bn views recorded on the site.

Raising US$110m as of 7 September for the ALS Foundation, the spread of the simple act of dumping a bucket of ice water over one’s head has seen some of the most famous faces in the world take part, which has arguably helped spread the social media trend.

On YouTube’s blog, the site’s trends team says the ice bucket challenge’s YouTube milestone now makes it the biggest video meme in the history of the internet.

The previous record was held by the Harlem Shake, but in comparison the ice bucket challenge has had twice as many videos uploaded with three times as many views as the brief dance craze.

The team has also been able to chart the challenge’s progression from one largely based in the US to one now firmly placed internationally and continuing to appear in people’s social media feeds since it first began trending this summer.

On 8 August, 90pc of all ice bucket videos originated from the US, but just over two weeks later on 29 August, this had shifted massively towards international viewers, accounting for 75pc of views on that day.

Ireland alone has seen more than 500,000 donations to the charitable cause, raising more than €200,000 as of the end of August.

Ice bucket challenge image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic