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YouTube to Stop Showing Full Subscriber Counts

YouTube to Stop Showing Full Subscriber Counts

YouTube will no longer publicly display full subscriber counts for channels with 1,000+ subscribers.

Starting in August 2019, YouTube will begin showing abbreviated subscriber counts anywhere that a channel’s numbers are displayed.

This change will also affect third parties using YouTube’s API Services.

Creators will still be able to access their exact subscriber counts in YouTube Studio.

What will this look like?

Exact subscriber counts will be shown for channels with less than 1,000 subscribers.

For channels with more than 1,000 subscribers, YouTube will abbreviate public subscriber numbers on a sliding scale.

Here’s what that means:

  • 4,227 subscribers will be displayed as “4.2k” until the channel reaches 4,300.
  • 133,017 subscribers will be displayed as “133K” until the channel reaches 134,000.
  • 51,389,232 subscribers will be displayed as “51M” until the channel reaches 52,000,000.
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YouTube notes that more specific details will be shared directly with creators before August.

The company didn’t mention why this change is being made, but anyone following recent events on YouTube could likely make an accurate guess.

Without getting too far into the details, I’ll say the YouTube community has developed an alarming obsession with other channels’ subscriber counts.

So much so that when two YouTubers are fueding, users will set up live feeds showing the other users’ subscribers counts going up or down.

Perhaps even more alarming is that these feeds draw thousands of simultaneous viewers.

By not making full subscriber counts available to the public, YouTube is likely trying to put an end to this obsession before it becomes even more problematic.

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Abbreviated subscriber counts will make the aforementioned live channels all but redundant come August.


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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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