Over the last few years, YouTube slowly started putting a larger emphasis on channels — especially channel subscriptions — but until now, the only way to subscribe to a channel was on YouTube itself. Today, however, YouTube is changing this with the launch of a set of embeddable subscribe buttons that video creators can put on their websites. These buttons are now available for free and paid YouTube channels.
YouTube obviously hopes that these buttons will get more users to subscribe to channels in general. Chances are, the company also hopes that this will boost subscription rates for paid channels, which have been off to a slow start.
Making one of these buttons just takes a few seconds. All you have to do is insert your channel’s name here, copy and past the code into your website and you’re good to go. You can choose between very basic buttons and those that feature both your channel’s name and logo (with a white or dark background).
Here is what the larger button looks like for our TechCrunch channel on YouTube (feel free to subscribe):
[protected-iframe id=”09afcb1ca194c2faf38afb669751ebdf-24588526-34511731″ info=”https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js” ]
YouTube does set a few rules for how you can use one of these buttons, though. You can’t “offer or promote prizes or rewards of any kind in exchange for clicking on a YouTube Subscribe button,” for example. As Google told me, this is meant to discourage channel owners from artificially inflating their numbers on YouTube.
In addition, YouTube stipulates that the buttons must be fully and clearly visible and that you can’t use them to “track any data about a user related to the user’s actions or browsing activity.”