The New YouTube Subscribe Button is Awesome

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November 9, 2023
New YouTube subscribe button: A YouTube video thumbnail with text on screen that reads "You received +20,000 subscribers"

YouTube has viewer’s and creator’s best interests at heart and YouTube’s new subscribe button behavior is the latest example.

The new YouTube Subscribe button is awesome. It’s fun. It’s inviting. It speaks to both viewers and content creators alike. 

Just as YouTube should.

If you take nothing else away from this post, take this: as a creator, you have to ask viewers to subscribe to your channel in your videos.

Simply asking viewers to subscribe has made all the difference for our channel: one subscriber for every 30 views on our videos when we ask vs. one subscriber for every 60 views when we don’t.

What is the New YouTube Subscribe Button?

The new YouTube Subscribe button is a study in positive reinforcement; it’s like a celebratory emoji 🎉that sparkles (playfully) when a viewer decides to “hit that subscribe button.” 

But there’s more to it than that.

There’s some contextual AI behind the scenes; whenever a creator says some variation on the tried-and-true “please like and subscribe,” the appropriate buttons will light up. 

When a viewer responds and hits the like or subscribe buttons, they’re rewarded with a nifty little animation. 

Pavlovian? Sure. Neat-o? Absolutely!

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Why the New YouTube Subscribe Button Matters

Like YouTube itself, it’s all about engagement. As creators, we’re used to saying some variation on “please like and subscribe (it really does help).” Because likes and subs really do help.

The new YouTube subscribe button demonstrates that YouTube understands.

As YouTube content creators who sometimes feel like we’re at the whim of the YouTube algorithm, this kind of attention to detail matters. 

What Creators Need to Know About the New YouTube Subscribe Button

Image accompanying new youtube subscribe button blog post. Ironically, shows the old subscribe button: a red background, a white play button, and the word "subscribe" written in white

Verbal is Vital

The feature is activated by verbal cues. You have to say the magic words; it won’t trigger based on on-screen text.

Slow Down

Animations will only appear a maximum of three times per video, and only when there are at least three minutes between each instance. You can’t spam it.

It’s About Connection

Creators should use the feature as YouTube intends: to build a connection with your audience.

New YouTube Subscribe Button: When to Ask for Subs

The new YouTube subscribe button is more than a neat visual gimmick. It’s a powerful tool in the hands of creators who understand its potential and use it effectively. As you craft your content, consider the right time to thoughtfully evoke this new YouTube subscribe button behavior and you’ll already be ahead of the game.

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The New YouTube Subscribe Button is Awesome: Video Transcript

I’m excited to tell you that YouTube has just made it a little bit easier to get subscribers – Alongside. Eight new updates are changes to the like and subscribe button. No, no, no, no. This time it’s good. Check – This out. – After you upload a video, YouTube scans it to understand what’s being said.

And now when creators say words like, like, or subscribe, YouTube will add a visual cue over the corresponding button as a way to prompt viewers to click. The animation looks like this, and as you can see, it’s synchronized with the words that are spoken in the video. Once your viewer clicks the button, they’ll be rewarded with what YouTube calls “playful sparkles.”

Playful sparkles. That’s cute.

It’s a pretty well-known marketing principle that interactive and dynamic elements such as animations can enhance user experience and engagement. 

Animations can make the content more appealing and can attract viewers attention, encouraging them to interact with the content, such as liking and subscribing.

Ah, this is perfect because it’s already hard enough to get subscribers and to have this animation that’s going to guide viewers to taking that action. When we ask for it, it’s just gonna help us out a ton.

But this feature does have some restrictions. The animations won’t appear every time the words are said.

They are limited to three times per video, and there must be at least three minutes between each instance. This ensures that the feature is used effectively without overwhelming viewers. Okay, – I’m gonna talk about it… 

I know there’s so many creators who are pretty much saying, no, I’m not gonna do it. It feels like begging. I don’t wanna beg my subscribers to do anything. I just wanna warn you that that mindset lost our channel 150,000 subscribers. 

I’ll explain – Since 2022, I rarely asked viewers to like or subscribe. I just focused on providing value and hoped that they would, and that got us to 750,000 subscribers.

That’s not bad, – But a few months ago I began asking for subscribers right in the middle content — nothing crazy, really short, really simple — and the results are crazy.

Instead of gaining one subscriber for every 60 views that a video got, we started gaining one subscriber for every 30 views. That’s double as much. I did the math, and if we would’ve started doing this at the beginning of the year, we would’ve had 900,000 subscribers today.

And not to mention, we didn’t see any negative impact on our retention. – Hey, hey, that… that’s the results that we got. And at the end of the day, you make your own choice. But if it’s up to me, I say yes: start asking for subscribers in your content right now, because imagine the impact doubling your subscriber rate will have on your channel over the course of a year, two years, three years for the lifetime of your channel.

It’s crazy. It’s absolutely crazy. 

Study after study shows that animations used to highlight actions or key information can significantly increase user engagement. So now your verbal call to actions that were already effective will have an additional visual cue to support them, and you can expect to see an increase in engagement in subscribers because of it.

But this feature will only work if you say it. So there’s none of this just tossing it on screen or just hoping that it happens. We have to make it verbal. All right? 


Let me know in the comments: what do you think about this update? If your channel is under a thousand subscribers, I talk about this method, along with a few other methods, in this video right here.

Please like, please subscribe and I’ll see you in the next video. 

Keep creating.