YouTube is making changes to its process for channel verification, which may make it more difficult for smaller creators to grow their footprint on the platform.
YouTube’s verification feature helps creators, brands, musicians, artists, entertainers and other figures gain traction on the site through top recommendations in users’ search suggestions.
Additionally, verification serves as a type of status symbol, recognizing channels as prominent contributors to the platform.
Currently, any YouTube channel with at least 100,000 subscribers is eligible for verification.
One of the problems with this approach is that this number could be achieved by running bot programs to create fake accounts that subscribe to the channel.
Another issue is that users mistakenly view the verification badge as a type of endorsement of the creator, their content or message, instead of a stamp of authenticity of the author.
YouTube is sharpening up the criteria to shift the focus for verification worthiness to “prominence”.
According to TechCrunch, YouTube will ascertain whether a channel represents a “well-known or highly searched for creator, artist, public figure or company” and then consider its online presence and determine how well it is recognized outside of YouTube.
The new verification system will no longer make use of a checkmark or musical note but will instead feature a grey highlight across the channel’s name.
YouTube will manage the new verification policy on its own side, combining both active human curation and algorithmic calculations to decide if a channel qualifies.
The changes will be implemented in late October.
Channels that meet the new criteria will be automatically reverified. YouTube has also stipulated an appeals process for those who may lose their verification.