Yesterday morning we shared the story of the #SaveYouTube campaign and YouTuber Onision, who is saying that “YouTube is murdering off some of our favorite YouTubers.” He says that as YouTube has started to scrub inactive and closed YouTube accounts from the system, he and other big YouTubers are losing tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands, of subscribers and that many of those being unsubscribed are actually active users. Yesterday evening YouTube responded to the complaints saying simply, “This isn’t happening.”
The response went up on the YouTube Creator blog in a post called ‘A note about recent changes.’ The YouTube Team writes, “There’s always a lot going on here at YouTube, and we’re constantly making changes to improve the experience for the entire community… In the short term, however, the impact for some creators can be a bit of a shock.”
They specifically respond to issues of dropping subscriber counts and dropping views. On the subscriber count front they says the following:
“Starting this Saturday, your subscriber counts on your channel and in Analytics will be consistent, and Analytics will show you closed accounts that have been removed:
“We’ve also heard some viewers are concerned that they’ve been unsubscribed from channels. This isn’t happening. You can see all your channel subscriptions by selecting and saving ‘Everything’ from the dropdown:”
I’m interested to hear whether this fixes the problem for users that thought that they had been unsubscribed from some of their favorite channels. One commenter, JasonGarwood, writes, “Get rid of the ‘Highlights / Everything’ and have it as Everything permanently! No one wants to lose videos they’ve subscribed for. And while you’re at it why not bring back the ‘most subscribed’ list. I’m sick of having to go on another external site just to see who’s in the top spot etc.”
On the view count front, The YouTube Team writes:
“Back in March, we announced changes to the algorithm that serves up suggested and recommended videos, giving greater weight to a viewer’s time spent on a video, rather than to their click. We did this because flipping through channels to find something to watch is different than actually watching, and view counts that accurately reflect engagement are more useful. What does this mean for you? Well, if people are clicking on your videos, but not sticking around to watch, your videos won’t get shown as often in suggested and recommended videos and growth in new views may slow. The best way to prevent this is to create compelling videos that people stick around for.”
They add that, despite the complaints from YouTubers like Onision, they are seeing very encouraging data surrounding these changes. They write that, “net daily subscriptions are up 50% since January and watch time has been increasing in the past 2 months.”
We’ll be looking forward to see how Onision responds.
Update: Since this post was written, Onision has said via a Facebook update, “YouTube is actively working with me to fix the issues we’re experiencing on our channels… it’s incredibly refreshing thus far, lets hope they keep listening.” It should be interesting to see how this plays out.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.