Please Unsubscribe
vlogbrothersPlease Unsubscribe

Follow by Email
Because they are the only place (aside from our channel pages) where audiences are guaranteed to see our videos, YouTubers are understandably very protective of Subscriptions. It's a very important product and it drives a lot of traffic. But that hasn't prevented YouTube from messing with sub boxes. Why? And is that OK? Let's explore! Here's a video about subscriptions through the lens of YouTube analytics I made: ---- Subscribe to our newsletter! And join the community at Help transcribe videos - John's twitter - John's tumblr - Hank's twitter - Hank's tumblr -


Matt Roszak : The biggest problem with YouTube's changes is a complete lack of communication on their part. They sneak in features and changes without any notice, leaving everyone confused and trying to figure out what's happening - often this also shuffles which channels are popular and which one's aren't. This leads to incredibly poor job security for anyone trying to make YouTube videos for a living, and it's also a nuisance to the casual user who has to adjust to new features that no one asked for.

WheezyWaiter : Subscriptions are a much bigger piece (the biggest piece) of my views. And my views noticeably change every time they change how to find subscriptions or how they work. This is probably a result of constantly making content that's just basically a direct conversation with my audience and not making it easy for any newcomer to know what's going on, and making completely weird and irrelevant content that will never find it's way to the trending page. Regardless, I LIKE MAKING content that's just basically a direct conversation with my audience and not making it easy for any newcomer to know what's going on, and making completely weird and irrelevant content that will never find it's way to the trending page, damnit!

Lindybeige : It is rare that I agree with someone as whole-heartedly as with this video. Seriously, YouTube, stop trying to turn into Skynet.

NintendoCapriSun : *sees self in subscription feed* Mind BLOWN! Can't imagine what I did to deserve that. And how the heck have I not been subbed to you all this time? Someone on Twitter alerted me to this and just... wow.

gyneve : "If it ain't broke, fix it til it is."

Today I Found Out : Great video Hank! :-)

Chloe Rose Art : Very well said Hank! A majority of my views definitely come outside of my subscribers from non subscribers on recommended instead, but I just wish this “experiment” would fix issues that already exist - not ones that don’t! I think it’s definitely a great idea having a “what you missed” section, but overall you’re right, people should have control in their hands.

AugustDreaming : I wish I could subscribe to certain playlists instead of the entire channel. Like how on Pinterest I can follow a board and not the whole profile of a person.

Paul Dee : If Youtube invented television, they would "update" it to a state where they delete the remote control, so that you have no control of what channel you're ever watching!! That's basically the 20th century equivalent of what they're doing. And no one would ever want to have a TV network in that setting, because the ratings they rely on to earn money would never be consistent or reliable! What kind of company tries to take user choice away from its users? That's like going in to chipotle and ordering something, but the chipotle staff just says "TOO BAD. You're getting a barbacoa bowl with hot salsa and sour cream. That's what we decided." Just like, a basic understanding of how to run a business would be nice for youtube to have. Youtube couldn't pass a 100-level class in business.

Naiadryade : I want my sub feed in chronological order, including everything I'm subbed to, but I also want to be able to group it into folders that I create and organize. That would be good, person-done personalization. There are third-party apps that do this, it can't be that hard for YT to implement in an optional way, right?!

A Nielson : I kind of hate seeing what youtube thinks I want to see instead of just seeing them in the order they come out Idk tho

SuperSamStuff : Well put. I think our relationship with the subscription button needs to change, but I'm not fully sure as to how just yet. Thanks Hank

Nathan Heaver : how many subscribers you pick up from this video?

CaptainSauce : Thanks for speaking out about this. With YouTube listening less and less to their users, I hope a video like this manages to somehow catch the attention of someone who can make a difference.

LOVE OF PLANTS 🌻 : “Are the unsubscribers gone yet ? “ - WheezyWaiter

onlz : I've subbed to about 60 channels, some upload daily (mainly the late night shows); most 2-3 times a week; some once a week; some(ahem CGP Grey) when the wind blows in the right direction. I mostly go my subscription feed, find the last watched video and work my way up in my preferred chronological order with small exclusion (as in: the title is interesting like this one). I'm currently watching videos uploaded 2 days ago. I don't wanna lose the older videos. I'm gonna watch them all. I just can't watch all videos on the day that they are uploaded. Why is this so hard to understand? I've deleted Facebook because it stopped showing me what my friends do and watch currently only Stories on Instagram. I love the chronological order because I have a clear start and end point with the same videos in the middle. I would love to be given the option for my feed to stay in this order.

Rohan Martin : Amusingly the first channel I unsubscribed from was Google :p It was the first video in the feed.

dillenbeck53531 : Imagine if I could group my subscriptions and then view those groups or "all" in a subscription feed in (reverse) chronological order - wouldn't that be a great way to manage the clutter. ...but guess what? Even when I subscribe to a channel, I don't want to watch EVERY video a channel puts out. Maybe I prefer to watch Boogie2988's ramblin' series, maybe I don't watch all my board game channels because I'm not interested in those games, and maybe I only want to wait on watching a series until the uploader has completed the entire set then binge watch it (like how we watch Stranger Things on Netflix now). I don't think subscriptions are a mess, and I think they can be improved by providing user experience. (One thing I noted is you showed a grid pattern - much easier to go through a subscription feed in list view instead... and, sadly, I keep an outdated browser for the firefox plugins that let me use the YouTube browser plugins that give me the experience I want - and my phone will not update YouTube until it breaks completely.) In the end, this has one purpose only - to increase revenue. YouTube, by letting anyone upload anything, makes a lot of dead videos that cost bandwidth. Even if no one watches those content, creators and subcontractors (people who are content creators who are monetized and thus get paid via ad revenue shares - you people are subcontractors... the non-paid people are the content creators) will still be uploading. That all cost bandwidth, and they want it to stop. How do you do it? Take away the last shred of user agency in selecting how to watch. Guess in the future I'll not be using YouTube much more. In the end, there is nothing that can replace them - and when YouTube goes, it will be the end of an era; and it will eventually go away. It just isn't financially viable in our high ROI capitalistic economy - its all about making a select corporate feudal stock holders a fortune, and YouTube doesn't do that. It will become an online cable TV service and die. At least I got to use it for a while and enjoy its educational content, its boardgaming content, and its entertainment content. RIP, as you'll soon be joining MySpace and AOL and Yahoo in the website graveyard (and when these sites die, they seem to come out of nowhere and go quickly, then everyone later says "oh, it was so obvious it was going to happen").

Niamh Lacey : This is the best clickbait I have ever seen

Lawrence Calablaster : I think this might have been the very first channel to which I subscribed.

Reilly : I remember when the subscription box was sorted by channel, rather than ordered like a social media feed, and you could actually delete videos from it rather than just "hide" them. It made keeping up with your subscriptions an easily accomplished checklist, whereas now I feel like we all just accept we're gonna miss a lot of videos from creators we genuinely want to see, just because if we don't watch it immeditely it'll probably be drowned out by newer content.

wingedshoes7 : I think I am the only human on the planet who watches every video from every creator they're subscribed to.

olandir : So... I'm not subscribed to this channel, never have been, and I don't think I've ever watched a video from it before (I don't think) but this showed up on my home page, so I watched it, and I gotta say, you make a valid point. I'm going to go clean up my subscriptions right now. There's lot of stuff just cluttering it up but I've been too lazy to do it, but you're completely right. I never use it anymore because it's just been so cluttered but that's my own fault. Time to take back control.

bolthole : why not catagorized subboxes then we can group our channels

Jess Wagstrom : I really missed the feature where you could create sublists in your subscriptions. It was really helpful for remembering why I subbed to people, because I'd put them on a list, and I watched more subscribed content that way.

Jeff Graham II : I definitely do spring cleaning on my sub feed, I cant stand having 100 channels I dont watch it not fair to me and its not fair to the creators who think im part of thier audiance.

Kieley Evatt : I'm about to go clean up my sub list. Thanks for this Hank

Josh Mcvay : I think it would be great for the sub feature to have a tiered system. Tier one, stuff I wanna see evrhy day or as it comes out. Tier two, stuff I wanna watch every week or so but not have shoved in my face. And tier three, channels I know I'll want to check in on every now and then. I'm tired of having videos stuffed down my throat that are from channels I've subbed to but the videos were done like 5 years ago. I get it youtube. You think I'll like a Vlogbrothers video from 8 years ago where Hank is talking about giraffe sex because I watch Vlogbrothers all the time. I get that you want to suggest things that you think I'll click on so you get more ad revenue. It's your business model. But here's the thing... All it's going to take is for a platform to come along that takes care of its users and creators better and you lose all those clicks. Take a step back and ask not what the viewers can do for you, but what you can do for the viewers.

vince94 : It feels like YouTube is trying to morph into a "TV set that your parents always have running in the background" kind of thing, what with the autoplay, literal movie stars and celebrities dominating the trending tab even if they're not trending as much as other stuff, and less emphasis on community interaction in lieu of passive viewing. Not to mention the creepy kids' content that's manufactured to suck as much watch time out of toddlers as physically possible.

Mort : My sub feed is optimized af , I watch all videos uploaded from my fav creators every day.

Wildepix : Do you remember the good old days when folders existed for organizing your subscriptions? I had one for "Science", and one for "Music", and one for "Games"... but then one day, YouTube dumped all of my subscriptions into a big pile, and deleted my folders. "We've made some changes to improve" they said... What BS... what a mess. I'd love to have my folders back. I'd love to be able to organize my subscriptions. I'm fine with YT making suggestions for what they think I might want to watch, but the day they removed my ability to sort that, was the day I started watching less.

rosie4queen : I came here for the shirt..... I see why the pattern upsets John so much!!

true hope : Hank: I am going to goof here on this channel. Also Hank: proceeds to make an explanatory 4 minute long video about youtube algorithems ^.^


Mo Tama : I love the sub box But I don't use it anymore I stopped using it when I was unable to use YouTube for 3 days So when I cameback to YouTube The sub box was a mess I missed a lot of videos And there was like hundreds of videos that I missed And I just started using the home page and occasionally I take a look at the sub page

Ann's Words : I've been on youtube for nearly a decade and I just learned there's a subscription feed... I've always just used the home page. Update: It's so cool!

Brooke Holland : god i clicked this video from home and not even my subscruptions too. WHAT HAS YOUTUBE DONE TO ME

· 0xFFF1 : Can we please make a 3rd party website where you tell it who you're subbed to and it's just a no frills chronological sub feed that shows the videos as they're published and links you back to youtube in a new tab when you click on it?

Jim McNierney : The thing that annoys me most about this change is that any other platform where a feed has been changed to be not in chronological order, that change has been received EXTREMELY poorly. I don't see how YouTube can be surprised that this was ALSO received poorly.

PogieJoe : I'll be the first to admit that I used to be skeptical of YouTube's recommendations. But they've now ascended it to a point of genius. It's become one of the site's best features. However, I agree with Hank. Why can't we have just one place where we have a chance to build a following/audience? Us little video creators are always stomped into the dirt with these so-called useful updates.

McEG13 : Buy Video Deck for Youtube and set up custom columns with channels / genres. Been using it for 8 years, couldnt live without it.

Moss : I do the occasional spring cleaning in my sub box and it feels so good. I mean, my room is a mess, but at least my sub box is clean 😅

Rif malik : Imma outta here.. I don't sub to channels.. i type what i want to see.

Kerrin McLaughlin : hi i am a ~USER EXPERIENCE~ designer

MulRooster : Tis a bit interesting. I think this is, in part, why I've upped my traffic towards RT's own site rather than waiting for things to come out on YT. Part of it is impatience, but i think part of it is, they just overhauled their site in response to what people are asking - they've committed to making a place for their audience/community to hang out at - where people have control over what they do and don't watch. That said, i know not everyone has that luxury to 'just build a site' - took RT a team of dedicated engineers to do it. Anyway, thats my two cents worth.

Kelci O'Neill : This is THE SHIRT

Alexis Williams : Too bad! I'm staying subscriped! ✊ (In my defense, I'm only subscribed to 3 channels: VlogBros, Vsauce, and The Bible Project.)

aaron jacques : that one place is your EMAIL LIST

Falcrist : But... I WANT more content on that feed than I actually watch. I don't watch every video you put out. I don't watch every video Brady Haran puts out... but I still want to know when he has put out a video! YES this creates clutter, but that clutter is ok. I really hope I don't have to use a separate service to see what videos are being released by my favorite creators...