Beginning September 2, YouTube is exact counts for public-facing subscriber numbers on channels with 1,000 or more followers is being phased out. This update will rollout through-out September across YouTube and the public YouTube API Service.
The only way for creators to see their exact subscriber count is through YouTube and YouTube analytics.
YouTube had some examples of how this is going to impact public-facing subscriber counts. The company explained that channels with 12,345 subscribers would show a subscriber count of 12.3K, channels with 1,234,567 would show 1.23M, and channels with 123,456,789 subscribers would display a subscriber count of 123M.
“This addresses creator concerns about stress and well-being, specifically around tracking public subscriber counts in real-time,” wrote a YouTube team member on the site’s Community Forum Blog, “We hope this helps all creators focus on telling their story, and experience less pressure about the numbers.”
Having an abbreviated subscriber number for a YouTube could change things for creators and brands who are searching for influencer partnerships. The change could impact creators because brands might not be able to get an accurate sense of their popularity on the platform.
Brands will need to rely on channel owners for exact subscriber numbers.
As Martyn Littlewood notes in the forum thread, subtracting 300,000+ subscribers from a channel’s subscriber number leaves a lot of people — and progress for the channel — unaccounted for.
“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 [brands] will get in touch, then you can send accurate information, but what if they never call at all?” asks Littlewood in his comment.