A question we are often asked at ReelSEO is whether there is any benefit to hiding your YouTube subscriber count? This may seem an odd question to millions of creators who spend a huge amount of time producing compelling and engaging content in order to generate tens of thousands of subscribers. After working that hard, why wouldn’t you want viewers to know how popular your channel is?
In this post, we’ll take you through the steps to hiding your numbers to the outside world, and then give you the pros and cons of keeping your subscriber count public.
Step One: Access Your YouTube Settings
To find the settings for your YouTube channel, click on your channel icon in the top right hand corner. This will activate a drop-down menu where you can access two features – Your ‘Creator Studio’ and your ‘Settings’. Click on the gear wheel to the left of the ‘Creator Studio’ tab to open up this particular dashboard.
You will be directed to an ‘Overview’ page which does exactly as it says on the tin, giving you a top-level look at your YouTube channel account. On this page you can find confirmation of your YouTube User ID, add or remove managers, check your account status, and even delete your channel (eeek!).
Step Two: Additional Features
On the ‘Overview’ Page you’ll find a link to an ‘Additional Features’ section. Clicking on this link will take you straight to the ‘Channel’ section of your Video Manager. This section provides a ton of goodies for you to delve into, but for the purposes of this post we want to access the settings via the ‘Advanced’ tab.
Clicking on this link will open up another section to do with your main account settings. Scroll down until you see the ‘Subscriber Counts’ feature. The default setting is to display the number of people subscribed to your channel. Check the second box if you want to disable this feature. Then click ‘Save’.
The Benefits of Showing The World Your Subscriber Numbers
A Solid Subscriber Count is a Huge Signal About Your Channel
Yes it’s a numbers game but it’s also one the first data points that people look to when they want to access your channel. For creators and brands looking to collaborate, a solid subscriber base is a huge consideration factor. If you hide the numbers then you may well be ruling yourself out of the game.
It Shows Transparency and Encourages Others to Subscribe
Removing this metric screams out to the YouTube community that you are hiding something. That may be totally and completely unfair but when 99.9% of YouTubers choose to show their subscriber count, a channel that doesn’t will stick out like a sore thumb. To be successful on YouTube you have to be part of YouTube, it’s a community and hiding something like the number of subscribers you have is equivalent to shutting down the viewers ability to comment on your videos.
Reasons Why it May Be Beneficial to Hide Your Subscriber Count
You Want to Grow Your Subscribers Before Making it Public
You have a very low subscriber count that you would rather not make public until you’ve had a chance to grow it. A YouTube channel may very well choose to hide the number of subscribers it has until it has built up a bigger following. However, people love to sign up to something that’s proving very popular with others, and a low subscriber count may put some viewers off, unless you produce exactly the niche content they’ve been looking for. There’s a risk that viewers won’t subscribe if they don’t see how many others have – hey, it happens.
Honestly, that’s really the only reason why can think of, although we’re willing to listen to any others. Other than that, don’t fall into the trap of buying a ton of subscribers and assuming that hiding that from the world also means YouTube won’t be able to tell. (Spoiler: That’s not going to work). Of course, you might not care about the numbers so it isn’t an issue for you whether you show them or not, And that’s entirely up to you, it’s your YouTube channel after all.