YouTube is changing how subscriber counts are displayed, possibly shifting its culture

YouTube is introducing a major change in the way that subscriber counts are shown in real time, which could prevent analytics sites such as Social Blade from actively showing if creators are winning or, more importantly, , losing subscribers.

Instead of seeing the exact count of YouTuber subscribers (for example, 10,500,000), people will see 10 million dollars. This may not seem like an important change for people who are not involved in the confusing lives of YouTube creators, but for a culture that relies on active subscriber counts is a way to show who wins or loses when a drama occurs. , real-time subscribers count. are crucial

A blog post from the YouTube product team recognizes that "the number of subscribers is extremely important for creators," and adds that the change is being instituted to "create more consistency everywhere." Some channels already have this display function, but the YouTube product team wants to make it more uniform.

A YouTube spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the sites that depend on YouTube API Services "will be updated in the same increments as the other surfaces." That includes sites like Social Blade, which announced on Twitter that YouTube changes "could affect our data visualization." Social Blade refused to comment more on the changes when asked by The Verge .


youtube is changing how subscriber counts are displayed possibly shifting its culture

Live counting channels on YouTube.
Image: YouTube

The announcement comes at a time when Social Blade screenshots of real-time followers are spreading to mock some of YouTube's most prolific creators, including Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg , James Charles, Tati Westbrook, Jeffree Star and, more recently, Fortnite player Turner "Tfue" Tenney. The full channels are dedicated to the real-time statistics of Social Blade that are broadcast live, often using divisions between creators and dramatic tendencies to attract viewers. Soon, those channels will stop working effectively as planned.

The decision to hide the number of subscribers comes at a time when the whole world pays attention to the numbers of followers of the creators. The fight between James Charles and Tati Westbrook, which led to worldwide coverage, focused mainly on how many subscribers lost the first and the second. Charles and Westbrook even sat at Google's Spaces, according to one of Westbrook's videos, to talk about the situation. The intense focus on the real-time subscriber numbers of other creators within the community has led to forms of online harassment, even to be used to mock creators who lose subscribers.

It is unclear how much the cultural use of subscriber accounts in the creative community took advantage of YouTube's decision to hide exact numbers and effectively disable third-party websites that use the platform's API to run counters on time real. A YouTube spokesman declined to comment.

Other platforms are thinking of testing similar product changes. Reportedly, Instagram is considering a feature that would disable showing how many I like a photo received in an effort to "reduce the pressure on Instagram". At Reddit, moderators have the option to hide comment scores and vote numbers in an effort to "try to reduce the initial ball / snowball ballot, where if a comment receives some initial votes, often continues going negative, or vice versa. " Even Twitter is experimenting with the reduction of participation functions such as retweets.

YouTube's new subscriber count display feature will take effect in August.

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