Published on 
November 19, 2021

Dislikes disappearing on YouTube: What does this mean for viewers, creators and brands

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YouTube has recently announced that they are making the dislike count private (only visible for the specific creator) in order to protect creators - but this button shows a lot more than just a thumbs down for viewers, creators and brands.

Over the last year, YouTube has made a few changes in order to protect YouTuber from harrasment, such as dislike attacks. According to the platform, when viewers could still use the dislike button but could not see the number of thumbs down the video was given, it would reduce the number of dislike attacks.

"We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed..."

However, YouTube has seemingly not considered what the 'thumbs down' tells us about audience behavior on YouTube and how this varies across different types of content.


Let's first take a look at the rise in viewers interested in sharing their reactions:

Past 10 years - rise in reactions on YouTube

YouTube Dislikes and Likes according to categories

Dislikes as percentage of total reactions

There are also some regional trends that jump out if we look at the 20 countries that produce the most content on YouTube:

Dislikes as percentage of total reactions


What can creators learn from Dislike data?

Creators are often concerned that sponsored content will not be received well by their audience. However, when we took a look at the 100 channels on YouTube with the highest number of sponsored videos, a different picture emerged.

Data about sponsored videos


What does this mean? Sponsored videos actually strengthen a channels presence - receiving more views, more likes and, most importantly, fewer dislikes


Do brands care about dislikes?

Some creators worry that receiving dislikes will cause brands to reconsider working with them - and may hinder future sponsorships. However, here's what the data showed:

Dislikes data about Nerf War: Tank Battle by PDF Films


So, is YouTube's decision to make the dislike data more private really in the creators best interest?

If you want more data, get in touch: www.thoughtleaders.io

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