YouTube confirmed the new abbreviated subs count with the aim of helping to alleviate creators’ concerns regarding their subscriber count.
Creators will be seeing some changes in their subscriber counts starting this year particularly in regards to the channels with over a thousand subscribers. YouTube wants to create more consistency in the way they publicly display subscriber count in desktop and mobile apps.
YouTube said that this change is for the well-being of their creators. YouTube is addressing creator concerns regarding the stress they have in tracking their public subscriber count in real-time. With this, YouTube is hoping that creators will now focus on their story, their experience, their content, and not on whether their numbers are going up or not.
This is similar to Instagram hiding their like counts to give creators more importance on the content rather than the number of likes to reduce the pressure of increasing their engagement with every post.
How does the new update work?
YouTube channels with less than a thousand won’t be affected by the change as their subscriber count will be displayed as-is. For example, a channel with 4, 338 subs will appear with a 4.3K subs count until the number reaches 4, 400. A channel with 133, 095 subscribers will appear as 133k until it reached 134, 000.
What does it mean for marketers?
Marketing Land has noted that this change can impact the public subscriber listings and may lead to loss of sponsorship opportunities.
“…even for the channels with hundreds of millions of followers, if they’re at 120,450,000, their 120M subscriber count will be short more than 400,000,” says YouTube.
Brands will not be able to see the accurate number of subscribers an influencer has and thus won’t be able to assess one’s popularity in the platform. Channels may lose sponsorship in favor of larger channels even when the disparity is only a hundred of subscribers.
This change is closely related to the platform’s API usage as well. This means that apps using YouTube subscriber count will no longer have access to the detailed listing thus affecting the analytic tools that display subscriber count over time.
Read more about the update on YouTube’s community board.