Initially implemented to allow smaller creators a fair shot, since viewers might be put off by the lack of subscribers, the tool has been misused by scam and spam accounts mainly looking to impersonate bigger creators.
As YouTube explained in a video: “While we’re aware that some creators find this feature valuable, as YouTube grows, we found it is often used to impersonate channels. Bad actors often lure people to their channel pages by impersonating other creators in the comments. And now, channels will no longer be able to hide their subscriber pens on YouTube.”
The subscriber count is an easy way for viewers to spot a fake account. Take PewDiePie, for example. The 111 million subscriber count on his channel is a good shout that that is one of the biggest channels on YouTube, rather than P3wDi3Pi3 or some other fake account with a few thousand.
As of the end of July, this option to hide your subscriber count will be gone, and fake channels will be easy to spot. However, smaller creators will also be exposed to their smaller subscriber counts, which causes a bias in viewers.
How does this affect marketers?
This can be very useful to affiliate marketers, who might offer creators the chance to earn commission due to their subscriber count. If an affiliate marketer is scouting out affiliates to work with, they will just as quickly be able to spot a small creator.