Part of what makes social media so appealing is interacting with other people around the world and getting to know so many different backgrounds and stories. Whether it is Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat, it is easy to see who you are friends with or who follows you. Similarly, when YouTube users want to see content specifically from a particular creator, they can subscribe to that channel.
If a person has their YouTube subscriber settings set to public, a YouTuber can see their name and profile when they subscribe to them. However, if a person has those settings set to private, their profile will not show up in a subscriber list, even if they are subscribed to that channel.
Thanks to constantly updating privacy settings, there are many ways in which to keep your identity hidden when browsing YouTube. However, if you want a content creator to know that you are watching their channel and that you subscribed to them, there are ways in which to do that as well.
Privacy Settings on YouTube
By default, all settings on YouTube are set to private. You can find how to change your settings by simply signing in to YouTube and going to settings and changing them to “keep all subscriptions private”. If you are a content creator and you want to keep your number of subscribers private, there is a place to choose that option as well.
YouTube and Google store your search history and activity data, which is why you will get such accurate recommendation videos and web searches. Google offers a place where you can see how your activity data is being used, but there is no way to ask Google not to track your activity unless the browser is being used in incognito mode.
Any profile pictures or names that are used to personalize a YouTube and Google profile may be shared with the public if the settings are not specifically changed to not allow this. Videos that are uploaded and published to a public setting will pop up in the google search engine when related content is searched for, but again, if the settings are turned private, only a selected audience will be able to see that content.
One of the easiest ways to gauge how successful a youtube channel is is to see how many subscribers one has. This information is generally available to the public when searching for a certain channel, but some creators choose to hide their subscriber count in order to have a little more privacy. This can be done by simply unchecking the box marked “Display the number of people subscribed to my channel”.
There are multiple videos on YouTube showing YouTubers how to see their subscribers, but the video below is extremely simple and easily breaks down both the privacy settings and how to find channel subscribers. It also includes additional information on how to interact with users and how to quickly view their profiles and their channels as well.
Another way that many video creators choose to keep in touch with their subscribers is to receive emails and notifications anytime someone interacts with their video. The kinds of notification options include:
- Recommended videos
- Activity on my channel
- Activity on my comments
- Replies to my comments
- Shared content
There are certain videos made specifically for kids or that have the kids’ settings turned on. When this is the case, notifications will not be present, and you will not be able to comment on or interact with the video. Influencers are generally not a fan of this kind of video, as it is more difficult to gauge the amount of interaction one is getting when the notifications are turned off.
The more notifications that a user sends to a creator, the more aware they will be that they have a fan. Commenting on and subscribing to channels and your favorite videos are the best way to let an influencer know that you like their content. Likes, dislikes, shares, and viewings are all anonymous and will not help an influencer know who is interacting with their videos.
Protecting Your Identity
Everyone has heard stories or perhaps even experienced a case of stolen identity. In the digital age, it is easier than ever for someone to simply steal your profile picture and interact with others online. Similarly, someone can create a YouTube account solely for advertising their business or pushing a political agenda. We have all heard of the horror stories of someone masquerading as someone else and luring people into a false sense of security, and while this is more difficult to do on YouTube, there is always a risk.
Not only do YouTube and Google offer safety tips, but Youtubers, as well as subscribers, can learn simple tips to keep themselves safe while engaging in creating or viewing content that they are interested in. There are a couple of ways in which a YouTuber can prevent someone from interacting with their content if they feel they are being targeted or if there are inappropriate comments being made.
First, a subscriber can be blocked from commenting on any videos by a particular creator. This can be done by simply blocking the user from the channel or by finding one of their comments and choosing to block them there. They will still be subscribed to the channel but will no longer be able to comment.
Secondly, a user can be completely blocked and unsubscribed from a channel by going to their profile and choosing to hide the user from your channel. It is easier to do this on a laptop or desktop computer rather than a phone or mobile device.
Content can also be stolen or others will try to take credit for work that was done by someone else. This is a risk that most influencers choose to take, as it is more difficult to get publicity when you know each of your subscribers personally. Whatever the situation, it is important to be careful and use common sense when interacting with strangers on the internet, regardless of how you meet them.