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YouTube is going ahead with its plans to replace full subscriber accounts with abbreviated numbers, a change it first announced in May.
The news was announced on Twitter and on its support page on Friday afternoon, and the reasons given for the tweak are twofold.
Abbreviated public subscriber counts are gradually rolling out starting next week.
We heard a lot of feedback from the community following our announcement in May – we’ve updated our original post with more info here → https://t.co/YHRfW7JlDr
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) August 29, 2019
Firstly, YouTube wishes to “create consistancy” across its various apps and interfaces, it explained in a tweet replying to another user.
Secondly, “we’re hoping this will help address creator concerns about stress/wellbeing, specifically around tracking public sub counts in real time”, the company added.
Many visitors to the platform will note a purely superficial tweak. The company’s planning to use just three digits in its counter, rounding down whatever comes before it.
Pages will show abbreviated subscriber counts, while the platform’s Data API will also receive rounded-up data, rather than accurate, real-time numbers
It means that if a channel has 12 345 678 subscribers, it will be abbreviated to “12.3M”, 123 456 will be abbreviated to “123K”, 12 345 will be cut to 12.3K, and so on.
If your subscriber count is below 1000, you won’t be affected by the change.
Creators will also still be able to view their exact and real-time numbers in YouTube Studio and Google Analytics.
But while it may just be a visual tweak for users, businesses that track live statistics using YouTube’s Data API will also be fed rounded-down data.
This includes companies like SocialBlade, a service we use quite often here on Memeburn for realtime and historial statistics.
YouTube announced they are going live with abbreviated subscriber counts in September. While we're not happy they're going this route we'll be adapting the site to support this change to keep providing you data. https://t.co/qyBQP4pvQx
— Social Blade (@SocialBlade) August 29, 2019
“YouTube announced they are going live with abbreviated subscriber counts in September,” SocialBlade tweeted on Friday in response to the news.
“While we’re not happy they’re going this route we’ll be adapting the site to support this change to keep providing you data.”
Whether the change affects visitors’ YouTube experience remains to be seen, but the Google-owned video giant is not the first company to consider how it displays public user metrics.
Instagram in April began a trial to hide follower counts and like totals from users. It extended it to more countries in May.
YouTube added that the change will reflect on accounts across its platform from September.
“While we know not everyone will agree with this update, we hope it’s a positive step for the community, both those viewing and creating content,” concluded the YouTube support page update.
Feature image: Andy Walker/Memeburn