YouTube has announced that they will be displaying abbreviated public subscriber counts across the platform, effective August 2019.
This change will create some consistency across subscriber counts in general, as the mobile and desktop apps have shown both formats in various displays. So, why did YouTube make these changes now? Will they have an impact on digital marketing? What will they mean for you?
What will these changes look like?
Beginning at 1,000 subscribers, the public subscriber count that appears on a channel’s home page and beneath videos will round down to the nearest thousand. For example, a channel with 7,492 subscribers will show “7.4k” until they hit 7,500. A channel with 14,304,323 subscribers will show “14M” until the channel reaches 15,000,000.
These changes will also show on third party apps Philippines Photo Editor that use YouTube’s API Services.
YouTube has stated that the primary justification for this change is to achieve consistency across all devices and formats.
Why did YouTube change their subscriber count display?
YouTube subscriber counts have been in the news in 2019, but not for encouraging reasons. Concerns have been rising of a toxic subculture of cyber-bullying that targets a channel’s subscriber count.
This issue hit fever pitch in April, when a feud between YouTube stars James Charles and Tati Westbrook was litigated through the rise and fall of their subscriber counts. Videos even sprang up on YouTube live-streaming the follower counts, as Charles’ count fell and Westbrook’s rose.