YouTube wants to shift its culture by changing how it displays real-time subscriber count and this is going to affect sites that depend on these stats such as Social Blade that display YouTubers gain and loss of subscribers and probably kill off live count channels that thrive on showing live subscriber counts of popular YouTubers. YouTube will start showing a truncated figure such as 8M instead of the usual 8767564.
Upon closer look, it might affect our data display, but only time will tell.
— Social Blade (@SocialBlade) May 21, 2019
YouTube said it is doing this to bring consistency across its platform as some channels already have this implemented and the Google-owned giant video sharing platform wants to make it uniform.
We want to create more consistency everywhere we publicly display subscriber counts! Creators will still be able to see their exact number of subscribers in YouTube Studio.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) May 21, 2019
Creators will still see their full subscriber count in YouTube Studio.
This announcement will hugely impact live count channels that rely on screenshots from Social Blade analytics and these channels will have to look for other content for their viewers. These channels use rifts between YouTubers as a way to get views.
We can assume that the Youtube creator community cultural use of subscriber counts played into the platforms’ decision to abbreviate subscriber counts.
This new change will exclude channels with less than 100 subscribers
Big congrats to @jamescharles who is now the Biggest Beauty channel on YouTube! #DramaAlert pic.twitter.com/QlB3B9A21D
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) May 21, 2019
Oher social media platforms are also experimenting on hiding follower counts such as Instagram and Twitter and Reddit. Instagram is considering launching a feature that will disable likes. Reddit moderators have the option to hide comment scores and vote numbers to decrease snowball voting. Twitter is also looking to remove its retweet feature.
The new subscriber display count feature will go live in August.