Whilst the button will remain, the YouTube “dislikes” count will be hidden on videos. What does this spell for creators moving forward?
Earlier this year, YouTube announced it would be experimenting with making the “dislikes” function private to the creator of the video. Well, now it’s actually happening. A couple of weeks ago, YouTube announced that it would indeed be making the YouTube dislikes count hidden, but keeping the actual button in place. This change is about “protecting all creators, and making sure they have a chance to succeed and feel safe in doing so.”
Why Is This Happening?
There have been mixed reactions to this recent announcement. Many creators are asking the question, “how can you tell what’s good if you don’t know what’s bad?” Without being able to witness a negative reaction to content, it can be difficult to know what audiences enjoy or what may need improvement.
YouTube’s decision to hide the “dislikes” count comes as a reaction to misuse of the button. Sadly, as with Twitch hate raids, a number of people have begun using the feature in an abusive way. Channels and videos have been targeted, and content has been inundated with dislikes. Rather than a true reflection of the content, it’s a way to attack individuals that people don’t like, or channels that stand for things they don’t agree with.
Since the dislikes count is now a source of stress and embarrassment for creators, a rethink has been needed.
How Will This Affect Creators?
Those opposing the move to hide the YouTube dislikes count have suggested certain types of content could suffer. For example, crafts tutorials rely heavily on the dislikes button to know whether their video was helpful.
However, creators will still be able to view the dislikes count in the Engagement tab on YouTube Studio. Therefore, judgements can still be made on whether content is being received well or not, without any abusive interactions glaring a creator in the face.
There were concerns that removing the dislikes count would negatively impact views. After some analysis, YouTube found that removing the count resulted in little to no change in how many views a video received.
What About Viewers?
Taking a quick glance at the number of likes and dislikes of a video can help us, as viewers, to make snap decisions. The online world is fast paced, and we tend not to stick around for long when figuring out if content is right for us.
This is especially true when we are seeking out informative and educational videos. In our rush to discover how to put up a shelf or tie a bow tie, the likes and dislikes of a video can quickly signpost whether that piece of content will be helpful to us.
Whilst the YouTube dislikes count won’t be there to indicate this any more, we can still look at the number of likes. Some quick number crunching based off the overall number of views against how many likes a video has, still suggests whether that content has been deemed any good.
The absence of the YouTube dislikes count could potentially protect creators from embarrassment. If targeted in an abusive raid-like situation, this won’t be a stain on their content for all to see. However, the ability to still view the count in the backend means the stress and anxiety induced by such occurrences is still open to being experienced by creators.
On the flip side, it enables them to track the progress of their videos and continue creating content in an informed way.
With YouTube constantly making updates and changes to the platform, this could just be the beginning in a long line of experiments and developments.