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What Does Subscribe Mean On YouTube?

What does it mean to subscribe to a YouTube channel? Most videos that you’ll watch on YouTube will contain some form of encouragement for you to hit the subscribe button.

So the questions start to mount. What does it mean? Does it cost anything? What will happen after you’ve subscribed? And of course, can you Unsubscribe?

What Is Subscribe On YouTube?

As you probably already know, YouTube hosts million, possibly billions, of videos. The sheer amount of videos is staggering, but that leaves YouTube with a problem. How can it possibly find videos that you personally might be interested in.

The answer of course, is to ask. And that’s where subscribing comes in. When you subscribe to a YouTube channel, in essence, you’re telling YouTube that you like the videos that channel is posting. You like their content and want to see more of it.

Does Subscribing To YouTube Channels Cost Anything?

No. Subscribing to YouTube channels is completely free and (it’s worth pointing out) entirely optional. Whether you subscribe or not is your choice and free.

You will, however, need to be logged in to YouTube in order to subscribe. While it’s possible to watch videos without being logged in, subscribing and other actions can only be done when you’re logged in.

To log in you can use your Google account, which is also free.

What happens When You Subscribe On YouTube.

Whenever you subscribe to a YouTube channel, that channel is added to your Subscriptions List, which is in the left hand navigation panel.

You’ll find the Subscriptions list is in the left panel of YouTube.

If you’re using a small screen, the panel may be collapsed so that it doesn’t obscure the main window.

To open the panel, click the 3 horizontal lines at the top left of the window.

YouTube subscriptions list highlighted in navigation panel. Also marked is the open/close button (3 horizontal lines).
To open or close the YouTube navigation panel, click the 3 horizontal lines.

Clicking on any of your subscribed channels will open that channels YouTube page. There you should be able to find out more about the channel as well as finding other content that they have posted.

A channel from the subscriptions list is being clicked.
To visit a subscribed YouTube channel, just click it’s name from your subscriptions list.
The channel page has opened.
And the channel page will open allowing you to explorer other videos that they’ve posted.

The YouTube Algorithm.

The YouTube Algorithm uses your subscriptions list to help it identify other videos that you might be interested it.

Firstly it’ll suggest other videos from a subscribed channel. They’ll start to appear whenever you visit YouTube.

Secondly it’ll try to find other channels and other content that’s similar to the channels that your subscribed to. So if you subscribe to a channel posting funny “cat” videos, you can expect to see lots of cat videos appearing as suggestions when you show up on YouTube.

Can You Unsubscribe From A YouTube Channel?

Yes you can unsubscribe from a channel. Any time that you want to. You won’t be asked any questions and again it doesn’t cost anything.

One thing I will say though is that losing a subscriber does hurt, especially for smaller channels.

To Unsubscribe from a channel, open the channels YouTube page.

Click on the Subscribed button and then click Unsubscribe on the menu that opens.

Unsubscribing from a YouTube channel. The channel details are obscured but the unsubscribe button is marked.
I’ve blurred this channel’s details because this is only for an example. I really don’t want to upset anyone.

Should You Subscribe To YouTube Channels?

Yes if you want to. There’s no harm in it and certainly no cost to you personally. Subscribing is very similar to saving a web page as a bookmark in your browser.

It helps the YouTube algorithm to find other content that you might be interested in and also signals to the content creator that you at least, like what they’re doing. That’s important, especially to small channels.

How to upload a video to YouTube.
Beginners guide to using Youtube.

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