YouTube Milestones & algorithmic secrets

YouTube has become one of stable income sources. A lot of people have opted it as a business and a career. In this post, I am sharing some of my thoughts based on more than a decade-long experience of mine with the video sharing platform.

Starting with zero views and zero subscribers, the popularity depends on how YouTube treats your channel. YouTube says that, it follows the viewer’s trend. If people are watching often and longer, YouTube tends to recommend the videos. YouTube treats the channel according to their popularity. One of the metrics of popularity is the subscriber count. YouTube has set public and not-so-public milestones based on subscriber counts.

There are algorithmic tweaks at every milestones. The tweaks are however top secret and we can only guess according to the experience and those experiences might be different for different users because, YouTube constantly tweaks it according to their research and conclusions.

The number one video-sharing platform in the world has over two billion logged-in monthly visitors globally and generates billions of hours of video views every day. So, it is a huge platform to understand.

YouTube milestones:

First milestone is the first 100 YouTube Subscribers. This milestone unlocks new channel feature unlocks — is the custom URL. The URL feature is available for all channels with 100 subscribers that are 30 days or older with a profile picture and a banner image.

Custom URL helps in shortening long URL to a short one. In addition, you can brand the url according to you name or service.

Right after reaching the first milestone, videos get a little more impression – called “an algorithmic bump up” increases total impressions means better option for impressing the potential viewers with clickable thumbnails and quality videos.
Hence, milestones help in the likelihood of the video going viral.

Reaching the 100K milestone experience however was not that positive in my case. In both Anand Nepal Channel and Nepali Folk Tales, YouTube stopped promoting the video as before right after reaching the milestone. The views decreased by 4 time and so did the subscriber addition. Now, after 3 to 3.5 months, things seem to be going in the right direction.

100K effect: Sudden drop in impression despite the viewership. Continues for 3 months and it slowly recovered after that.

AnandNepal YouTube milestones:
– Started YouTube in August 16, 2009
– 100 subscribers October 2013
– 1000 Subscribers August 2014
– 10,000 Subscribers May 2016
– 100,000 subscribers in January 2018
As of now January 2022 the total is 706,000 subscribers

NepaliFolkTales YouTube Channel
– April 9, 2016 (Started as a news channel)
– 100 subscribers – May 21, 2016
– 1000 subscribers – June 31, 2016
– 10,000 subscribers Oct 15, 2018 (Attempted to make it an Automobile Channel)
– March 2019 Gave-up on the attempt – back to News reports
– 20,000 subscribers – November 2019
– Jan. 10, 2020 – Shared Swasthani story (videos donated by Subharaj)
– January 2021 Decision to make it a Story Channel
– May 2021 – Some video went viral – sudden increase in subscribers count. Rebranding Nepali Folk Tales
– 100,000 subscribers – Sept 2021
In January 2022 the count is 126,000 subscribers

YouTube milestones:
Each YouTube milestone unlocks unique channel features that are beneficial in the overall popularity of the channel. After 1 lakh subscriber – YouTube sends Creator awards.

  • 1st Milestone – 100 subscribers
  • 2nd Milestone — 1,000 Subscribers
  • 3rd Milestone — 10,000 Subscribers
  • 4th Milestone — 30,000 Subscribers
  • 5th Milestone — 100,000 Subscribers – Silver Play Button
  • 6th Milestone — 1,000,000 Subscribers – Gold Play Button
  • 7th Milestone — 10,000,000 Subscribers – Diamond Play Button
  • 8th Milestone — 50,000,000 Subscribers – Custom Creator Award (different for different channels)
  • 9th Milestone — 100,000,000 Subscribers – (Only 4 channels have surpassed 100 M subscribers as of 2022 Jan)

Prior to March 2021, YouTube featured three additional benefit levels. These are not eligible for Creator Rewards, but they do offer several preliminary benefits:

Graphite was for channels with 1 to 999 subscribers. Channels with 100 subscribers or more can apply for a custom URL.
Opal was for channels with 1,000 to 9,999 subscribers. This is the minimum subscriber count required for the YouTube Partner Program, which also requires a minimum of 4,000 total viewer watch hours in the past 12 months, plus a manual review of the channel’s content to determine compliance with the program guidelines.

Bronze was for channels with 10,000 to 99,999 subscribers. The YouTube NextUp program is exclusive to channels meeting this threshold and other program criteria. This is also the minimum subscriber count required for a Spreadshop or Teespring merchandise shelf.

All the best for your journey!

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