The announcement made by Google last May 2019 about YouTube subscriber counts being rounded off to the nearest whole number, took effect Monday, September 02, 2019. The video giant intends to gradually phase out the reporting system of giving the exact-number-of-subscriber count on individual Youtube channels. However, the change will apply only to those with more than 1,000 in actual number of subscribers.
According to Google, the rationale behind the change is to promote better consistency across media places where subscriber counts are on display; accessed by way of either desktop or smartphone app. Although not a few contend that the change is mainly focused to deter comparisons made based on subscriber counts, the Google-owned video giant asserts that it is more about wanting the creators to focus largely on narrative content as a means of reaching fans; rather than just publishing something aimed at yielding hour-to-hour fluctuations in subscriber counts.
As it is, subscriber counts are regarded as veritable bases in gauging collective approval for Youtube video creators. A concept that tends to distort evaluations based on genuine user engagement and interest in viewing the video content.
Mechanics of the Round-Off Method in Reporting Subscriber Counts
Accounts affected by the modification in reporting subscriber counts, will not include those whose number of followers is less than 1,000. This denotes that if the subscriber count for a YouTube channel is 998, the number stays at 998. Rounded-off counts in thousands will start only when the number hits 1,000 or higher.
YouTube’s change has implications for third-party measurement companies like Social Blade and Tubular Labs. YouTube gives assurance that third parties using proprietary application programming interface (API) as a service, will not have access to the actual numbers because they will also be seeing, only the public-facing, rounded-off subscriber counts.