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There’s no way you’ll miss YouTube’s like and subscribe buttons now

There’s no way you’ll miss YouTube’s like and subscribe buttons now


YouTube is going to start showing visual cues on the ‘like’ and ‘subscribe’ buttons when creators say those words.

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YouTube’s logo with geometric design in the background
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

“Like and subscribe” is a familiar mantra to anyone who regularly watches videos on YouTube. But with some new changes YouTube is rolling out to the video streaming platform, the words will do more than just annoy you. As part of the updates, when a creator says the words “like” or “subscribe,” YouTube will add a visual cue over the corresponding buttons as a way to prompt you to actually click or tap them.

Here’s a GIF from Google showing what that might look like — watch the “subscribe” button in the lower-right corner of the GIF.

A GIF of YouTube showing the “Subscribe” button animate after the creator says “please subscribe.”
A subscribe animation!
GIF: Google

When I read about this feature, I immediately worried how YouTube creators might take advantage of it; I wouldn’t put it past somebody to make a video that’s just 10 minutes of them saying “like and subscribe” to get the buttons to animate as many times as possible. But according to YouTube spokesperson Allison Toh, there are some restrictions on the feature to prevent people from doing that: either animation will only trigger three times per video, and they won’t appear more than once in a three-minute window.

There are a bunch of other updates coming to YouTube, too, including, according to a YouTube blog post:

  • A new “stable volume” feature on mobile intended to “reduce jarring differences in volume,” which will roll out beginning Monday
  • The ability to press and hold on a video to bring up the speed to 2x (which YouTube was testing earlier this year), similar to how you can fast-forward on TikTok
  • A way to lock your screen on mobile and tablets to prevent accidental taps from taking you out of a video
  • The merging of the “Library” tab and the account page into a new “You” tab
  • A way to search for a song by singing or humming (which was in testing on Android and is already available with Google search) will be rolling out “in the next few weeks” on Android
  • Improvements to the YouTube experience on smart TVs

These all sound like welcome upgrades, especially for the 2x sickos like me. But I’m worried the “like” and “subscribe” flairs are going to get pretty annoying pretty quickly. At least we’ll only see them three times per video.