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Webdriver Torso is a YouTube automated account created by Google in March 7, 2013 that frequently posts videos showing simple slides accompanied by beeps, in order to test YouTube's performance. The channel brought public attention in 2014, when it became a source of speculation for viewers who discovered it and noted its unusual nature, as well as three atypical videos featuring jokes. It remained a popular mystery until YouTube acknowledged that the channel exists as an internal testing utility. The channel stopped posting videos at its same rate at exactly 624,732 videos.
Since September 23, 2013, the channel uploads videos with a time interval usually between 1 and 15 minutes, sometimes up to one hour, summing hundreds of thousands of videos as of 2016. With the exception of three, all videos follow the set of standards described below.
Most of the videos are 11 seconds long, although some are also around 1 minute, 5 minutes, or 25 minutes long. They are slideshows showing slides about 1 second long each. Each slide consists of a solid white background overlapped by two solid colour opaque rectangles, one red and the other blue. Both rectangles have a random size, shape, and position on the slide. When the two overlap, the red rectangle always appears over the blue one, and on rare occasions, the red rectangle completely covers up the blue one. Each slide has a random computer-generated wave tone. In the corner of each video, it says "aqua.flv - slide (number with four digits)". Early videos were called "aqua", then were changed to "tmp" followed by random characters.
The channel has three videos which violate the channel's standards, featuring instead internal references or jokes. One of them, titled "tmpRkRl85", appears a usual video until the red rectangle becomes a silhouette of Rick Astley dancing (referencing the Rickrolling phenomenon) in the second half of the video. The video "00014" is footage recorded in Paris that showed the Eiffel Tower being lit up. At the end of the video, the camera is put down, and the Webdriver Torso Facebook page is visible for a few frames. The last one, "0.455442373793" is only viewable in France, requires a payment of 1.99 euro to watch, and is only payable with a French credit card. It shows an episode of the American adult cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force dubbed in Spanish.
- "Webdriver Torso/About". YouTube. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- "tmpR0uIim". YouTube. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "Breaking News: Webdriver Torso 25 Minutes Video". YouTube. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "aqua". YouTube. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- on YouTube
- James Trew. "Google and the accidental mystery of Webdriver Torso". Engadget. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- on YouTube