YouTube to make changes to the way subscriber counts are displayed

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We live in a time when social media doesn’t just change the way we communicate, but also affects the way people do business. In particular the emergence of influencers and people who are utilising the various forms of social media to create content that appeals to their fans and allows them to market a wide variety of different merchandise.

In YouTube, the success of a person or company’s brand is largely determined by their subscriber count and can greatly impact the type of revenue they are able to achieve as a result. A recent blog post from the company though has revealed plans to change the way subscriber numbers are displayed on the site.

Instead of YouTuber’s now displaying exact subscriber counts (for example, 10,500,000), people will see a flat 10 million. This may not seem like a major change for people who aren’t invested in the messy lives of YouTube creators, but for a culture reliant on active subscriber counts as a way of proving who’s winning or losing, real-time subscriber counts are crucial. The idea behind this change is to prevent people from simply responding to trends of who is gaining or losing subscribers so that these forms of manipulation can no longer affect YouTube creators unfairly.

It might come across as an unusual move, but with the likes of real-time stats tracking from companies like Social Blade leading to entire channels devoted to trying to sway people between different creators in often malicious ways, it’s creating an environment of hostility which YouTube wants to avoid. Whether it will have any actual impact will remain to be seen.

It is apparently something that is not just a YouTube problem as other platforms like Instagram and Twitter are reportedly also considering different ways that reduce manipulation. Where there is money to be made though, people will find a way and I wouldn’t be surprised if even more diverse ways of manipulating people’s attention will make their way to the different platforms.

Last Updated: May 22, 2019

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