YouTube Sub4Sub: Does It Really Work?

May 31, 2021• Proven solutions

Sometimes YouTubers with smaller channels feel like their small subscriber counts are holding them back. There is some truth to this. When you have a higher number of subscribers it is easier to get even more. That is why some users try to use methods like Sub4Sub to improve their numbers.

Sub4Sub, or ‘sub for sub’, is the practice of subscribing to somebody else’s channel in exchange for them subscribing to yours. Whether Sub4Sub works is debatable, but it is fairly popular. YouTubers often send messages to other YouTubers asking if they would like to sub for sub, and there are even off-YouTube sites devoted to connecting YouTubers so they can subscribe to each other. A lot of vloggers do not believe in Sub4Sub, though. This is because they doubt whether subscribers gained this way actually help them get more views on their videos.

This article will explain the pros and cons of Sub4Sub.

Does YouTube Sub4Sub Work

1. Does Sub4Sub Work?

The technical answer is ‘yes’. You can get new subscribers quickly using sub for sub and it is in no way against YouTube’s rules. On the other hand, subscribers gained through sub for sub do not watch or share your videos. Users end up with more subscribers, but their channels do not truly grow.

2. Pros of Sub4Sub

A big part of doing well on YouTube is being engaged in your vlogging community. If a YouTuber with a similar topic to yours approaches you with a Sub4Sub request and you engage them in a conversation it could be the beginning of a great friendship. Beyond subscribing to each other you can share tips, comment on each other’s videos, and maybe even collaborate on a video someday.

Sub4Sub can also help some YouTubers with their confidence. It can be discouraging not to see any growth and being embarrassed over their low subscriber counts can result in vloggers deciding to hide that information. They may feel like their content is being judged badly by people who are not even watching their videos based on how few subscribers they have. Building up a higher number using Sub4Sub may allow some YouTubers to move past these concerns and get back to focusing on making good videos.

3. Cons of Sub4Sub

The reality is that if people are pre-judging your videos based on your stats it is not subscribers they are looking at so much as views. Sub4Sub helps you get subscribers, but in most cases those subscribers will never watch any of your videos. They will also never share them or tell their friends to watch them, the way subscribers gained organically will. So while your subscriber count goes up, your view count stays low.

The situation described in the Pros section, where you talk to each other and comment on each other’s videos, is rare. You are more likely to make friends with other YouTubers after you have already watched each other’s videos or after chatting in a forum. It is worth trying to engage a vlogger with a similar topic to yours if they ask you to sub for sub, but most people who ask will have no intention of interacting with you beyond subscribing to each other. Realistically if you are going to use sub for sub to increase your subscriber count by any significant number you will not have time to have actual conversations with everyone you approach, or to watch their videos.

When you agree to exchange subscriptions with somebody there is also the danger that they will decide to unsubscribe from your channel afterwards. This could happen much later when they realize they do not want to be subscribed to so many people and have forgotten which channels were parts of Sub4Sub agreements. Or it could happen within weeks, days, or even hours of you subscribing to them. There are some dishonest YouTubers who use sub for sub to get subscribers while already planning to unsubscribe to anybody who agrees. Their hope is that the other person will not notice or will not bother unsubscribing from them if they do.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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