YouTube is altering how public subscriber counts look on a channel.
Currently, creators with over 1000 subs see their total number displayed in multiple ways. YouTube's mobile app will often showcase an accurate count where it's desktop site will show an abbreviated count.
From August, YouTube will begin rounding down sub counts to the nearest decimal place. While creators will still be able to their exact number of subs in YouTube Studio, YT users and third parties using YouTube's API services will see an abbreviated total.
For example, if a channel has 4,227 subscribers, YouTube will round that down to 4.2k until the channel hits 4,300. If a channel has 133,017 subs, the public number will show as 133k until a creator reaches 134,000.
YouTube creators have responded to the change, expressing what the difference in numbers could do. YouTuber Martyn Littlewood tweeted at YouTube to highlight how rounding down could affect audiences and potential brand deals.
Please don't. These outward facing numbers have significance not just to us and our audiences but even brands looking to work with creators.— Martyn Littlewood (@InTheLittleWood) May 21, 2019
If you look like you have 400k less like in your demonstration, that's a hefty difference in an offer you might receive (that's 1 example)
Creators Weesht and Blair White expressed similar sentiments. Weehst asked YouTube why it would want to hide the rate at which a channel is growing, and White suggested that the platform could be focusing on improving other features.
Why would you hide the rate at which a channel is growing from a creator's audience?— weesht (@weesterner) May 22, 2019
Is there one person on the design team that just has OCD for big numbers? Do they need the crust cut from sandwiches before they eat it?
I'm sure I speak for many when I say no one wants this
Or you could just focus on delivering videos to subscribers! Just a thought! ❤️— Blaire White (@MsBlaireWhite) May 21, 2019