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What are Likes on YouTube?

Likes are a way for viewers to express appreciation among comments and views toward videos posted on the video-sharing website, YouTube. Likes first launched when they came out in February 2009, along with other features such as subscriptions, sharing, and favorites. People who have an account can click the thumbs-up icon under any of their videos that anyone can see. Likes are done online through another computer or device like a tablet or smartphone. The purpose of Likes was to give people a way to communicate with others through videos to express their satisfaction and appreciation towards particular videos and provide feedback for other users on what they liked about said video.

How will Likes affect my Video?

Likes cause more popularity among videos because they allow you to get feedback about what is liked about the video. Likes help the video get more traffic and viewers, which adds to its popularity and can be an essential part of its marketing strategy. Likes also help viewers decide whether or not they want to watch your future videos, in which case it results in more subscribers to your channel; this means Likes make people want to subscribe to view your next video published on your channel. Likes also drive higher rankings among Google searches because it is one of the main determinants of whether or not you show up in search results, so the more Likes, the better chance you have at showing up in searches.

Why do Likes matter?

Likes are an indication of the popularity of a video. It's not about how many Likes your video has, but rather about whether people choose to watch it or skip it. Likes are also used to determine the order of videos on YouTube -- depending on their Likes, they will appear higher up in search results, recommended videos, playlists, et cetera, or lower down.

Does getting Likes affect a video's ranking?

Yes and no. If you get enough Likes on a new upload (at least 1,000 Likes), it may start outranking other videos with fewer Likes than it. However, as time goes by and more and more Likes on older uploads accumulate (which is inevitable), newer uploads won't be able to outrank older Likes.

What about Likes and comments?

Likes and comments are the two factors YouTube uses when ranking videos in search results and 'up next' suggestions, so Likes will play a role. Likes combined with views is actually what decides whether a video ranks higher or lower within search results -- if you get more Likes on a video than the number of views it has, that can help it rank higher. In addition, Likes combined with the age of upload is how YouTube calculates the order of videos on each web page -- if your new upload has more Likes than your old one, the new one will appear higher up on the list. However, this isn't always true as YouTube's algorithm is quite complex, and many aspects, other than a "like" count, will play a role in how popular a video will be.

YouTube removed the dislike button.

Time for YouTube's newest controversy. This time, it revolves around the dislike button that everyone loves to hate. The dislike button has been present on every video detail page since its inception in December 2005. It allowed people to express opinions about a video, even if they didn't want to leave a comment. As you might have guessed, the Google-owned company realized this and removed the "dislike" button leaving behind only the Like Button. YouTube says the site already has several ways for users to show reactions other than Likes.

"Over the years, we've observed that there are times when neither a Like nor a Dislike accurately expresses your feelings or experience with a video," reads YouTube's post. "Today, more than 70 percent of YouTube watch time happens with no Likes, Dislikes, or other reaction buttons."

"Whether you want to see where everyone stands on global warming or catch up on our latest music news, it's impossible to know what the world is thinking about right now without a Likes counter," said YouTube in an interview. "We found that this new metric accurately reflects many of our community's reactions, so we're replacing Likes with 'Sideline Views' on all videos."

Many people are upset about the change, saying that they liked the dislike button because it gave them away to voice their opinion even if other users left no comments. Although, if you look at YouTube's official statement, you'll see that YouTube says that the reason behind this decision is for "letting creators focus on what brings more value to their channels instead of thankless tasks like detailing every video." They also mentioned that though they know it will take time, the community will adjust to the new norm.