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It’s all good fun today on April Fool’s Day as Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up is linked from all of YouTube’s featured videos. Just fun, right?

Heck no. There’s a lot more to this.

We’ve heard a lot of metrics about YouTube and other social sites, about how many users there are. But what would happen if one video were promoted by YouTube to the near exclusion of everything else?

That’s today’s Rickroll. It’s not just an April Fool’s Day prank – it’s also a clear demonstration of how many users YouTube could aggregate to a single video if they so chose, and you can bet big media and marketers will be paying very close attention, particularly if the number of views heads into the tens of millions in just 24 hours.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: the Rick Astley video has embedding disabled. Why? It can’t be just a licensing thing. What if YouTube wanted an accurate measurement of plays just on YouTube.com? You’d have to disable embedding.

What, do you think this link is going to go anywhere else besides that video?

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