In brief: First announced in May, the change will see YouTube switch to abbreviated subscriber counts for public-facing accounts with over 1,000 subscribers. For example, if a channel has 111,018 subscribers, users will now see the subscriber count reported as 111K until the channel reaches 112,000 subscribers.
YouTube is making good on its promise to change how it displays public subscriber counts across its platform.
Third parties that use YouTube's API Services will also see the abbreviated subscriber counts.
Creators will still be able to view exact subscriber counts in YouTube Studio and YouTube Analytics, we’re told.
YouTube in May said it was making the change for consistency sake but in a recent update, the company added that it addresses creator concerns about stress and well-being around tracking public subscriber counts in real time. “We hope this helps all creators focus on telling their story, and experience less pressure about the numbers,” YouTube said.
That explanation would be a bit more plausible if actual subscriber counts were also being masked from creators but considering they can still see the figures in their control panel, that really doesn’t hold much weight.
In fact, it could end up being a detriment to channels. As Android Police highlights, abbreviated subscriber counts could make becoming a follower of a big channel less personal because you won't see the subscriber count change when you hit the subscribe button.
The changes are set to start rolling out gradually over the course of September.
Masthead credit: YouTube by PixieMe