There are two bell icons on YouTube, and if you want to get the most you can out of the site then you’ll need to understand both of them. Lately, these little icons have been giving a lot of creators headaches.
What is the Notification Bell and What is Used For?
While you are signed in, this bell is always in the top right corner of your page on YouTube. It lives right next to your icon.
When somebody comments on one of your videos, or replies to your comments, numbers will appear over it telling you how many comments/replies you have waiting. You can always click on this bell to see the most recent comments you’ve received.
As of December 2016, the notification bell has been having issues.
You used to be able to reply to comments in the menu that opened when you clicked the bell, but you can’t anymore. Now when you click on a comment in the bell notifications, it takes you to your own video to reply.
This is inconvenient because it takes you away from the page you were on. If you were watching a video, you’ll have to go back and find your place in it again. It is also inconvenient in that it inflates your view count. It can be hard to measure how well a video is doing if a huge chunk of its views are just you coming back to reply to comments.
Hopefully, YouTube will change this back sooner than later, or come up with something better.
What is the Double-Sub Bell and What is Used For?
The double-sub bell is a recent addition to YouTube’s notification system. You used to get alerts for all of the channels you subscribed to. Now, you only receive occasional update emails summarizing all of the videos the channels you’ve subbed to have posted recently.
If you want to receive notifications whenever your favorite creators post new videos, you have to click on the bell icon located next to where it says you are subscribed on their channel.
This is not ideal for viewers, who may be missing fresh updates because they do not know they need to double subscribe. It is also far from ideal for creators who now have to re-earn all of their existing subscribers.
PewDiePie recently cited the double-sub process as one of his major frustrations with YouTube as a platform.
When you ask people to subscribe to your videos, ask them to double-subscribe so they don’t miss any of your new content.
Also, if you’ve missed updates from somebody you like, make sure to double-subscribe to them!
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Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Shanoon Cox
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