In writing this piece here are some headlines we wanted to write:
- Scumbag PewDiePie: Promises To Delete Channel, Deletes Second Account Instead
- LOL JK! PewDiePie Deletes Second Channel
- PewDiePie Cops Out And Doesn't Delete Channel
- Breaking News: PewDiePie Likes Money And Doesn't Light $10 Million On Fire
Alas, popular YouTuber Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellnberg's channel hit 50 million subscribers yesterday. He previously vowed to delete his YouTube account today at 5pm GMT, but it seems that it was all an elaborate ruse.
Felix has previously posted videos on his site, stating his frustrations with the way YouTube chooses to share his content. His main gripe has been with algorithm changes the video sharing site have enforced on their platform leading to the "recommended" feed being given much more prevalence over the users subscription feeds.
The net result is that PewDiePie and many other YouTubers' videos had not been receiving their previous view counts. The number of video views on his videos were falling and his revenue was suffering. Although thanks to his inordinate number of subscribers, PewDiePie's income was fine, but smaller YouTubers were put in peril.
He's Thrown A Curve Ball
After promising to delete his channel, PewDiePie has thrown a spanner in the works. He has indeed deleted his YouTube channel, but has chosen to get rid of his secondary account instead of his primary account. The channel known as "Jack septiceye2" is no more.
Naturally some fans will be annoyed, some elated, but the principles that Felix has preached since announcing his plans for his channel are still very valid and should still be acknowledged. It would have been a very bold, and rather foolish, move to delete an account with 50 million followers, so you can understand why he decided to take the easy way out.
A Mass Exodus?
Felix's comments and actions have certainly caused a stir in the YouTube community, many of whom also feel like they are being wronged by the company. YouTube user H3H3 also showed that changes to the curation algorithms have resulted in his channel receiving a lot less views than normal.
His complaints are primarily about how YouTube chooses to set out its homepage, favoring recommended videos over those you're subscribed too. There have also been other cases where people have actually been unsubscribed from channels without even realizing.
The change in emphasis has shifted away from long-term content creators to trending videos. It's not necessarily a bad strategy for YouTube, as viral videos will be more prolific and gain a lot more viewership in a short period of time. But it's hardly fair to shun those who have used their platform for such a long time and have been so dedicated to the company.
"It feels like a kick in the face when they make changes and don't tell anyone about it, because this site means so much to YouTubers like me and everyone else ... It's something that we worked really hard on and I don't think they understand."
You can understand his anguish here. YouTubers that have been dedicated to the site for years and have put hours of their lives into creating the best content, are being overlooked for videos that will probably only be relevant for a couple of days.
He continued to say that:
"Like I said, this is not just affecting me, it's affecting other YouTubers and creators that you care about. YouTube is trying to kill my channel. It's clear if you watch my analytics, it's all going down there and I think my videos are better. I think they're really funny and it seems that you guys enjoy them as well so it's a shame that it's going in this direction."
50 Million And Out
As of last night, Felix's channel stands at 50 million subscribers so the world is now waiting to see if he will eventually keep his promise and actually delete his primary account. Obviously people have been questioning the motives behind such a bold move. Why would someone who has such a large following and makes such a large sum of income from his videos decide to leave the platform that creates his riches?
By starting up a new channel and a new brand for himself, Felix would be able to effectively eliminate any of his inactive followers. He would also be able to build a new style and following that he'd have a lot more control over.
The Fans React
Naturally, the outcry from the fans has been mixed. Here is what his loyal followers have had to say on the matter.
Felix's channel would certainly be missed. He may have some haters, but the fact he does actually have 50 million subscribers shows there are that many people around the world who love him. He has a great presence across YouTube and has managed to build himself a solid career from nothing.
His videos entertain millions, so of course the loss of his content would be a heavy blow to YouTube and might even lead to some sort of exodus from other creators.