Google gets a bad rap for missing the boat on social. You know, all that stuff Facebook and Twitter do with friends, followers, and activity streams. But many of its products have had social features for a long time. YouTube reminds us of this fact by pointing out that people have subscribed to other people’s video channels more than one billion times. They are even celebrating the milestone on the YouTube logo today.
If you think about it, the subscribe button on every YouTube video is very much like a follow button on Twitter. By subscribing to another user or video producer, you get all of their new videos in your personalized homepage stream when you are logged in. And you also get an email notification. It’s not quite the same as a status update, but one billion emails a week is quite a lot.
There are 15 video YouTube video producers who have more than one million followers, er subscribers. To encourage more subscriptions, YouTube is releasing a subscribe widget that people can put in their blogs and websites.