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YouTube to Yank Fake or Closed Accounts From Subscriber Counts [updated]

Videos are a major part of the TechnoBuffalo experience, so you know when big YouTube news hits, we pay close attention. And word has it, this next item could be a biggie.

According to the YouTubeCreator blog, there’s going to be some new attention paid to the accuracy of subscriber counts tomorrow. Starting January 12, the site will reportedly be yanking inactive and closed accounts from total subscriber counts. This isn’t a “one and done” situation, but a policy that will update those counts on an ongoing basis, as accounts go dormant. YouTube’s also going to be keeping an eye out for fake accounts created by PR people, a mass occurrence of which could artificially inflate numbers. Presently, this tactic skirts the line of the site’s TOS, but YouTube is putting measures in place to sniff out these Fakey McFakersteins and smoke them out.

Now, none of this should affect the delivery of videos to subscribers, even if the account is dormant or tagged as fake — it would simply prevent those accounts from showing up in the metrics. That’s an extremely wise decision. All it would take are a few mistakes blocking video delivery to some errant subscribers, and there’d be a huge backlash. After all, vid traffic numbers are direct factors for many channels’ sponsorship opportunities and other profitability scenarios.

No doubt, some content creators might cheer, as it gives genuinely popular channels a chance to stand head and shoulders above the rest. But if that’s true, then it stands to reason that others could be very nervous about the move, as they witness a sudden drop in their analytics.

Are you a YouTube content creator? Which side of the fence are you on? Let us know in the comments if you’re happy about the potential for more accurate reporting, or if this change makes you nervous.

Oh, and — shameless plug — don’t forget to subscribe to TechnoBuffalo’s channel! (But no fake accounts please.)

[via YouTubeCreator blog]

 

UPDATE: Looks like they’re delaying part of the changes to address some glitches found in the system, and to make sure everyone understands what this new policy will address. The part about yanking fake accounts, however, is going on as planned — though, based on your comments, it seems that this isn’t exactly bug-free either. Let us know if/how the changes have affected your subscriptions in the comments below.

Here’s the update/announcement, taken directly from the source blog:

We will be holding off on the single day adjustment (the January 12th date is being postponed) until we can address some discrepancies we found in synchronizing the public counts with YouTube Analytics. Everyone involved in this project is determined to ensure that this change is clearly understood by users, so we will postpone the single day adjustment until we can ensure that both the public count and YouTube Analytics data are consistent and unambiguous. We will let everyone know once we have a firm date in mind. 

However, the enhanced techniques for despamming new subscriptions will be implemented as scheduled (tomorrow), as there are no such complications. We will continue to keep everyone up to date on how this develops.


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Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...


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