There are all kinds of individuals and entities that use the YouTube platform for various purposes. They range from someone sitting in their basement who’s posting about an incredibly specific niche topic to a multimillion-dollar company that creates a channel to try and lure in as many new customers as possible.
If you’ve ever used YouTube in the past, either as a content creator or someone who simply watches the occasional video, you probably know that you can interact with what you see in different ways. For instance, you might subscribe to a channel that appeals to you, and you can like or dislike any video that the channel produces.
We’ll talk about subscribers liking and disliking videos in the following article. It’s vital to understand what this interaction means if you are a content creator.
What A Like Or Dislike Means For The Viewer
As a content creator, with this particular social media platform, you have the option to grow a channel organically, or else you can hire a company to inflate your engagement totals if that makes more sense for you. For instance, one thing about YouTube that you might not realize is that you can buy dislikes and likes if you find that not as many people are interacting with your videos as you want.
Whether you elect to do this or not is entirely up to you, but the fact that companies exist which can boost your like and dislike counts indicates how critical this metric is. To break engagement down to its lowest common denominator, let’s look at the following scenario.
A Video with a Lot of Engagement
Let’s say you’re a YouTube viewer, and you’re looking at a channel that produces videos in your preferred niche, meaning they’re normally about topics that interest you. Before you subscribe to that channel, you’re probably going to look at a couple of the videos. You’re also likely to scrutinize the engagement numbers surrounding that video. As you do so, you’re liable to notice:
- The video’s description
- How many likes and dislikes it has
- How many subscribers there are to this channel already
Humans tend to follow a herd mentality. In this case, that means you’re probably a lot more likely to subscribe to this channel if you see that there are already many subs. It’s logical to assume that if many people have already subscribed, this is a popular channel, and you’ll be interested in the videos that appear there.
The likes and dislikes will probably come into play next. The higher the count for each of these pertaining to a particular video, the more likely you will be to want to watch it. If the video has almost no engagement, you are much more prone to ignoring it, thinking it’s boring, or there’s something objectionable about the content.
More Dislikes Are Not Necessarily Bad
What’s interesting about the “dislike” option on YouTube is that just because a video has a ton of dislikes, that does not necessarily mean the video is not popular. Rather than being a poorly produced video, it could mean that it contains some controversial opinions.
That is why some companies and individuals with YT channels decide to actually purchase some dislikes for their videos as well as likes. They’re choosing to run the risk that a controversial video might encourage as many views as one with overwhelmingly positive attention.
It is a risky strategy, but one thing is certain. The more engagement a video gets, whether organic or through purchased likes and dislikes, the more additional viewers you’re likely to accrue. That’s just the herd mentality that YT users seem to follow.
What A Like Or Dislike Means To The Content Creator
We’ve talked about what a high like or dislike count might mean to someone browsing on the YouTube platform, but we should also discuss what it means to whoever is creating the videos. Content creators look at engagement numbers as proof that their strategy is working. Assuming they’re not artificially increasing those numbers, they can tell that people like or dislike what they’re posting based on what button they click.
Therefore, it would be safe to state that if there’s a lot of engagement, people like to watch the videos a content creator is making and posting. If there are a ton of likes, that means the viewers enjoy the content and want to see more of it.
If there are lots of subscribers and viewers, but a particular video is getting a lot of dislikes, that is when a creator must go to the comments to see what people are finding to be so objectionable. The comments should hopefully give the creator an indication of where they went wrong so that they can fix the problem in the future.
Changes To The Dislike Button
At this moment, YouTube is on the verge of making a change regarding the YT dislike button. They are not getting rid of it, but they are making it impossible for the average viewer to see how many other dislikes there are. Someone watching a video still has the option to press that button, but they will no longer be able to see how many other individuals have done the same thing.
YouTube has issued a statement about this change. They say that not allowing the average viewer to see how many other dislikes there are will:
- Protect users from dislike bombing
- Reduce creator stress and embarrassment
In other words, there can no longer be a coordinated effort by viewers to sink a video in the rankings by all of them attacking it with dislikes at one time. This does sometimes happen if the public rises up against a company because of their policies or for some other reason, such as their political affiliation. It also sometimes occurs if a competing company hires individuals to sabotage a channel and whatever videos it produces.
The Future Of Likes And Dislikes
Going forward, it seems as though anyone who watches a video on YouTube can still like or dislike it, though the dislikes will no longer be visible to anyone except the content creators. In regards to whether these subscriber reactions will tell the creator what someone feels about their content, though, the answer remains a resounding yes.
At the most fundamental level, the like or dislike buttons that a subscriber presses represent an immediate, visceral reaction to that video’s content. Other than subscriber count and the comments, there is no more accurate way for someone making and posting videos to know what their subs think about them.
Since subscribers are the bedrock of who watches the videos that you create, you need to try to satisfy them. If you don’t, then your channel will probably not grow in the way you would like.
Remember this when you post something new. Along with how many reactions you get and how quickly they appear, whether someone likes or dislikes your video will tell you whether you need to keep following the same formula or whether the time has come to deviate from it.