YouTube is introducing a major change to the way the subscriber counts shall be displayed. Soon, only the rounded figures such as “10 Million” as opposed to the precise number such as 10,200,000 or 10,100,000 million shall be displayed. This change will effectively prevent analytics sites such as Social Blade from displaying the number of followers gained or lost by a certain creator.
It may be understood that the recent online feuds such as the infamous Tati Westbrook vs. James Charles saga might be the contributing factor behind this change.
“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,” read the blog from YouTube's product team.
This change may not matter much to the people who do not concern themselves with the messy and twisted world of YouTube battles and feuds. However, it will certainly impact a whole set of audience, sites such as Social Blade and the many YouTube channels purely dedicated to creating content and drama around who has more followers to decide who's winning and who's losing.
There were several instances in the recent past where people have extensively shared the screenshots of the real-time follower drops and gains of famous YouTubers from Social Blade and posted provoking comments discussing the same. As a matter of fact, there are channels exclusively dedicated to live-stream the real-time stats from Social Blade to create rifts between creators and profit from the drama. With this update, such channels might effectively stop functioning anymore.
Recently, James Charles and Tati Westbrook's open online feud gained worldwide coverage for all the wrong reasons. There were several instances of online bullying and so on over creators' losing and gaining subscribers.
According to a video published by Westbrook, Charles and she went to the extent of sitting down at Google's Spaces to discuss their ongoing situation.
We still not sure about what exactly influenced YouTube towards taking such a decision where it has entirely handicapped third-party analytical sites from using the platform's API to display real-time subscriber data. Social Blade said they had reached out to YouTube and is yet to receive a response from the company adding; “So a HUGE thank you to all who supported us over the years. Social Blade started as a hobby & still to this day remains 100% independent & true to our original goal, to help you understand the inner workings of social media & see where you stand.”