YouTube revealed several changes to its verification program this week, and its creator community did not take the news well.
Product manager Jonathan McPhie said in a blog post that starting in late October, changes will be made to both the Google-owned video site’s requirements for eligibility and the appearance of profiles that meet those qualifications.
Channels with over 100,000 subscribers can be verified under YouTube’s current requirements, and McPhie wrote, “That worked well when YouTube was smaller, but as YouTube has grown and the ecosystem has become more complex, we needed a new way to verify the identity of channels and help users find the official channel they’re looking for.”
Under the new criteria, channels must prove that they belong to the creator, artist, public figure or company that they claim to represent, and the subjects of those channels must be widely recognized outside of YouTube.
McPhie said the new criteria will apply to all channels, and those that meet the new requirements will automatically get the new verified treatment.
Owners of channels that fall short of the criteria began receiving emails from YouTube this week, and McPhie stressed that no verification badges were stripped, and that the video site was merely providing advance notice.
McPhie also revealed a new look for verified profiles that will help users distinguish the official channels of creators, celebrities or brands.
He said the change was made because YouTube research found that viewers often associated verification checkmarks with endorsement of the content on channels, and not with the identities of the channel holders, and he added, “The new look will be displayed more consistently across channel pages, search and comments, and it is more difficult to replicate, so that viewers can be sure of a channel’s identity. This new look will also replace the existing music note on Official Artist Channels on YouTube.”
Many affected channel owners turned to Twitter to vent their frustrations with the new requirements for verification, with most citing their follower totals, like counts and how long they have been on YouTube. Leskin shared several of those tweets: