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Early heads up: abbreviated public subscriber counts across YouTube 1 Recommended Answer 838 Replies 24167 Upvotes
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Currently, all creators with over 1,000 subscribers see their subscriber counts 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 we 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. Third parties that use YouTube’s API Services will also access the same public facing counts you see on YouTube. Creators will still be able to see their exact number of subscribers in YouTube Studio.

So what exactly will this look like? For channels with fewer than 1,000 subscribers, the exact (non-abbreviated) subscriber count will still be shown. Once your channel passes the 1000 subscriber milestone, we will begin to abbreviate your public subscriber numbers on a sliding scale. 



Here are a few examples:
  • If a channel has 4,227 subscribers, the public subscriber count will read “4.2k” until the channel reaches 4,300.

  • If a channel has 133,017 subscribers, the public subscriber count will read “133K” until the channel reaches 134,000.

  • If a channel has 51,389,232, the public subscriber count will read “51M” until the channel reaches 52,000,000.

We know subscriber counts are extremely important for creators and fans alike, so we wanted to give everyone a heads up a few months in advance of this change! We’ll share more specifics with creators as we get closer to the August 2019 date.

If you have any other questions not covered by this post, please drop them in the comments below.
– Jordan (TeamYouTube)
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There should be a setting where you choose between these, not forcing us to see a specific version
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Who asked for this? I haven't heard anyone clamoring for consistency on this, and this seems to be a net negative for viewers, because they might have less trust that "4.2K" is real than "4,227".
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Will this be an optional setting?
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Congratulations YouTube Team help
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Hi !
Have you thought that maybe, you could bring more consistency by displaying the full number of subscriber everywhere on the site ? The same goal would be achieved, but a lot less people would be angry for sure ! It would probably be harder to design around, but i feel like a lot of people would prefer precision rather than smoother design.
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thank you
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I don't want this. No one wants this. People who keep their sub counts public want to show the full number. Why are you wasting your time and resources on an awful change when countless channels like mine are suffering from unfair demonetization with no way to appeal it?
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why are people upvoting this...
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Literally no one asked for this.
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Seems great to have more consistency, but wouldn't it be more clear to show the entire number? Just a thought if changes are still being considered.
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No one wants the abbreviated counts. Consistency is good, but you should consistently be showing the full number, not an abbreviation. That's what people want.
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That's great and all, but changing the API to only display these vague numbers? really? Many places, such as SocialBlade, physical counters, and the numerous subscriber count livestreams on YouTube all use the YouTube Data API to get exact numbers. Will it still be possible to get exact numbers via the API at all or will that ability be removed entirely? Because removing the ability to get exact numbers through the Data API entirely would break all of those things that I listed.
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Thanks youtube team
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I love this platform, but I am TIRED of seeing new updates that take a step back in innovation. This update seems very useless and out of nowhere. Time could be better spent fixing problems that users have reported across the site, not abbreviating sub counts, which can lead to lost potential business opportunities, and countless other things that will decrease the way we are able to look at our analytics and growth. It will also make it more difficult for creators AND users alike, in the fact that by August, the only 2 ways we will be able to see our ACTUAL subscriber count is either through the new BETA creator studio, or third party websites, which will ALSO be affected by a rounded API.
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This isn't a great move in my opinion and here's a few scenarios / reasons why:

1. Your example at the moment deducts 300,000+ subscribers from a larger channel's sub count, that's an awful lot of people + progress unaccounted for. Not only might the viewers feel as though they've contributed but but potential business partners could go elsewhere if they believe their quota can't be met (alternatively it could low ball initial offers from them and undermine brand deal opportunities) - sure, you could argue that they'll get in touch then you can send accurate information but what if they never call at all due to this change?

2. I appreciate some channels capitalize on live subscriber counts for "who will reach x first" but that's such a minority of users. Even if you change the channel page numbers, PLEASE leave the API untouched as many of us use third party sites to track trends, growth and patterns of other creators and ourselves to figure out where to steer our own content and what people are actually viewing, it's such valuable information.

3. On that same note, live subscriber counts are actually more commonly used as celebratory tools. How many streamers or content creators do you see with live counts as they approach a subscriber goal. If you were say, 22 subscribers away from a milestone, being able to show that to viewers could be that last little push and influence to press the red button.

My guess is that this is in response to many recent dramas and trying to minimize the visible losses when a creator is amidst it or maybe even to mask occasional subscriber purges when inactive/spam accounts are cleared out. There's also the possibility that it's trying to relieve pressure on creators and better their mental health by sub counts being more vague.

Question: Has there been any consideration to adding an accurate subscriber count to the About page of each channel (alongside lifetime views + join date), that could be a nice compromise?

I totally get wanting to have more consistency across your platforms but delving in and restricting the API too, that just seems a bit aggressive. If either my suggestion or the API can remain the same that'd be great.

I'd love to hear a response on this, cheers - Martyn
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thank you for ruining the YouTube experience for its actual users even more by favouring corporations instead.
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This is good. It will get rid of cancel culture, and hopefully those stupid live subscriber vids.
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Nobody asked for this and nobody wants this. The does no good at all. I dont care if you change to the abbreviations on the website. Just leave the API alone so live sub count websites can work
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"We know subscriber counts are extremely important for creators and fans alike," Then why are you changing it?
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Umm, what is the point of changing the API? If anything, live subscriber counts should be built into YouTube
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I think this is a bad idea. I vote no!
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Please don't. Seeing real sub counts is more important than consistency. Also, nobody asked for this. Ask your community about what they want changed instead of pulling garbage like this. Heck, make a survey or something.
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This is another bad decision in a string of bad decisions. It shows how out of touch YouTube and their product team really are.
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How the subscriber count shows is very minor compared to us content creators who cant get monetized because YouTube wont update our requirements being met. It's frustrating for us who want to stay consistent.
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Who asked for this? You're essentially hiding actual subscriber counts from everyone. Sites like Social Blade will no longer be able to track in real time, giving fans no way to celebrate milestones with their favorite creators. Why not compromise and keep the accurate API data available but simply the number everywhere else? It'll also make tracking for other purposes like growth much more difficult. Seems like a decision driven by a desire to hide and mislead more than anything else...
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@MartynLittlewood makes some very sound and sensible reasons for NOT doing this. I'm not a fantastic "geek" like some so API info eludes me but I do know from experience that it's a very important thing when trying to do anything via Wi-Fi (I'd always get "unknown API" notifi's whenever I'd loose my signal) so by changing to an abbreviated sub count might look cleaner if it changes the API as well won't that cause issues for (I'm not sure...)! trying to follow a link or save/dwnld a video?! I'm in agreement with most of the comments that "if it ain't broke don't fix it" is a good rule of thumb to follow. If you're worried about the Apps channels looking clean & more consistent how about you get rid of the "story" cards that pop-up in random places on my "recommendation" feed? I know who I'm subscribed to & if there's anything extra or special they want us to know about they'll post an announcement to follow for all the details besides you can't really "DO" anything on the cards except scroll past or back to what interests you & you still windup following a link to their channel for the additional content, unless you think there's hoards of people who just HAVE TO add a bunch of hearts or smiley faces to someone's card...loose them before changing anything that can actually effect someone's account or their subscribers. As I've read why not post a "poll" before making any changes to the Apps content or appearance and let the actual #'s of those who pay possibly closer attention to exactly what you're App is doing or making your "channel owners" change before being allowed to upload a video. For a short period; due to a change of your policies, I was missing a LOT of great videos because they needed additional editing before being allowed to be uploaded (something to do with specific content + maybe some copyright things) I'm not sure exactly what but I am sure that some channels either had to create a new one just for certain postings or they deleted the channel all together and went to a different platform where they weren't so restricted just because the YouTube "powers that be" wanted things their way (& no there wasn't any legal issue with at least one channel that I know of but, they did a poll to help by letting their subscribers weigh in on total deletion of new channel for certain content, just saying...if you're so worried about people who use your App actually liking it (?!?) maybe you should ask them if the change would be beneficial or just wasted technology because someone HAD to have something to contribute at the last meeting). Just throwing out a few things I've witnessed & since I use YouTube for pretty much ALL my "viewing pleasure" I'm pretty sure there's not much I've missed regarding changes in your App(& I'm also pretty sure others will agree with maybe a little bit of what I've said. TTFN KLP out
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I would rather keep the whole string of numbers, not the abbreviated version. For example, for a person who has 1,800 subscribers, it should not be read as 1K because that would give the false impression to the viewers that the person has 1,000 subscribers when realistically, he or she is pushing 2,000.
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The fact that this angers anyone is absurd. It literally changes nothing. Please stop making a mountain out of a mole hill. Complaining just to complain just to complain is ridiculous. If youtube didn't give you a heads up most of those upset about this wouldn't even notice it. So please take several seats.
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Complaints here are valid, full numbers gives users more clarity on how well their channel how other channels are doing.
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So what is the point of this decision? What benefit does it provide?
 Seems like a change just for change's sake
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Maybe now creators will concentrate on content and not so much on numbers. The whole 1K -  4K thing created a distracting frenzy among the small Youtuber community.
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you guys need to fix my notifications system so my subscribers know when I upload.
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So instead of fixing the broken aspects of the system, such as monetization policies, broken af copyright claims where you can multiple strike the same thing, you make yet another pointless fucking change.

Fuck that, fuck you YouTube.
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Be careful, Google. BE VERY CAREFUL. The last three years, you've slowly been making worse and worse decisions that negatively impact the creators and users you've 'upheld' for so long in favor of big business. You're quickly walking a plank to your own digital death.

I'm certain if you keep making dumb decisions like this that push people away as opposed to drawing them in, you'll soon find yourself down a site and billions in profit as creators flock to some new site offering the same or better alternatives to your degenerating platform.

Let me say it once more in case you didn't get my point: BE VERY CAREFUL.
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I would much rather see a Consistent REAL subscriber number and the subscriber list available in Beta.  My numbers go up and down every day, but the "Recent Subscribers" names never change in Beta.   Every screen I look at has a slightly different number.  I know I'm small, but that's when it matters even more to have a real number.  The difference between 1986, 1980 and 2k is huge to me right now.  I don't really trust ANY of the subscriber numbers at this point.  Which one is right?!?!?
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Quick question: what is wrong with you? Do you not have eyes to read the waves of comments being hurled at you?
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For all those angry at this think about two things 1) What are really going to loose from this (Don't say those live drama subscriber counts you watch) and 2) The reason they are doing this is to stop the unessesary competition for subscribers so creators can focus on creating some actually decent content. Just think about that before blabbing about why oh why are they doing this.
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i am not so sure about this thing .... but it should have optional setting in youtube creator studio.
Please consider my words as creator.
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Question: is this the dumbest idea that YouTube has had, or the second dumbest? You wonder why internet creators are treated like crap like the more mainstream sources of media, well stupid and uncaring decisions like this are why. This is ridiculous. Very disappointed.
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Seriously, YouTube must be run by socially-inept monkeys that hope this is the one version of the timeline that the monkeys produce the works of shakespeare from a million typewriters.
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I have wasted 5 minutes trying to figure out how to say "I don't like it" without coming across as snarky. I don't like it. But I didn't like it when Google+ was forced on me either. But in the end it does not matter.
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I just read the update and all the replies. You know what guys, we all should trust YouTube. They all know what they are doing. They all work hard for the platform, for the user experience and also for their creators. Just trust. Smile. :)
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Sorry, but im not agree about this
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This is a terrible idea. This will ruin community engagement with creators. This is a bad thing to FORCE onto creators. At least make it optional.
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I don't want this change...
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thank you
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This is stupid. Please don’t do this. I like having my exact number shown. I think it looks much more impressive.
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Why? It's like you guys go into a board room and say "how can we piss them off now"
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Is this because of the James Charles scandal....if so im disappointed in YT. There is no value gained to abbreviate the subscriber count for any of us creators. I like seeing how many I have on a live view and this seems like that functionality will be lost. Also subscribers like seeing a channel grow and this takes that from the subscribers as well. A lose lose in my personal opinion.
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Looking through the comments here, the comments on the creator channel video and comments on news articles and blog posts about this change, the general opinion about this move is 9 to 1 against. It would be overly kind to say your characterization of this as being an "improvement" is disingenuous at best. No-one wants this. Do you care what your creators and viewers want? Please give us some insight on the why & who at youtube decided to create this solution to a problem that doesn't exist... and to create a new problem with your solution that didn't exist before this decision.
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Why do you hate your content creators so much?  All I ever see from YouTube is moves to lessen their experience, their revenue and their success.  Do you think you've grown too big for people to seek a better alternative, and therefore can rule with an iron fist?  Shame for not looking out for your content creators paramount above all else.
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This is bad, very bad. I guess individual people don't matter to Youtube anymore. They're all just one big rounded number.
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I agree with this: "There should be a setting where you choose between these, not forcing us to see a specific version".
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I don't see the point of this: people cannot read long numbers anymore?
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Really, YouTube?  This change is better because... why?
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ほんま意味わからん、こんなことして誰が得するの?
plz stop this step back “update”,at least give us a chance to vote this,thank u.
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More easy for some company to buy subs
What a 'great'idea!
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Ok I'm sorry but I fail to see when this ever has been a problem... Make this OPTIONAL! For many YouTubers even in the thousands, each sub matters, so if you can't even see and share new people joining because of an abriviated number. Then you're basically making these new subs matter less! Don't make YouTube more corporate, because that's what this is. A beginning to making YouTube more corporate!
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I think it's good -- like Instagram does!
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Please Youtube keep the existing system or this setting optional. A full number is much more impressive than abbreviated number and it actually helps get more subscribers which is very important for creators like me who have monetization disabled forever, as seeing subs growing faster and a heavier number brings a lot of satisfaction. Thank you!
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Please Youtube keep the existing system or this setting should be optional. Moreover channels like mine are suffering from unfair demonetization that really depress us from uploading consistently because all we always is that our Channel still not approve monetization and this is really depressing
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"To create more consistency everywhere that we publicly display subscriber counts"

Sorry. I don't buy this rationale.

This change helps nobody, at all, and for those who follow subscriber counts like, say, the people making the videos, it actively hurts them. Therefore, why are you doing it? If you have a good reason no matter how unpalatable, make it public. That you have to change the display is very different to this being a random decision.
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this is just awful, fire youtube ceo
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Dang it what now
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That's very bad idea, mr Google. But I think I understand what's happening here. They are trying to destroy channels analytics services based on their data (like Instagram made).
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Is this to do with the Pewdiepie/T series situation?
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Please dont do this! :) nobody wants this :) we would all appreciate if you stopped :) please!
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another useless change, that no one wanted.. why you do this google? why not start with the serious and hard questions that makes people quit on they'r dream?? damn it.