YouTube is changing the way it counts subscribers.
The number of subscribers is one of the most important metrics on the video site, joining the number of views each video gets to indicate popularity, demand and influence. Indeed, in recent years, the number of followers for each vlogger and channel has become something of a trending topic, with the media furiously following the battle between PewDie and T-Series to become the channel with the highest number of subscribers.
With YouTube still trying to boost its own worldwide perception, after controversies surrounding inappropriate content, a way to minimise the media storm around every disagreement, spike or rivalry will no doubt be a relief. The site’s official reason, though, is to maintain consistency in the way it presents subscriber counts.
At present, counts are displayed differently in different places across YouTube desktop and mobile apps. In some cases, the subscriber count is abbreviated (e.g., 133k) and in other places they display the full count (e.g., 133,017).
“To create more consistency everywhere that we publicly display subscriber counts, starting in August 2019, we’ll begin showing the abbreviated subscriber number across all public YouTube surfaces,” a YouTube spokesperson explained in a blog post this week. Third parties that use YouTube’s API Services will also access the same public facing counts you see on YouTube.”
For channels with fewer than 1,000 subscribers, the exact (non-abbreviated) subscriber count will still be shown. Once a channel passes the 1,000 subscriber milestone, YouTube will begin to round public subscriber numbers on a sliding scale. If a channel has 4,227 subscribers, for example, the public subscriber count will read “4.2k” until the channel reaches 4,300.
Creators, however, will still be able to see their exact number of subscribers in YouTube Studio.