50 million subs ‘joke’: YouTube’s PewDiePie deletes second channel after reaching landmark (VIDEO)
Swedish viral star Felix Kjellberg had been airing his grievances over a perceived alteration to YouTube’s algorithm which was made known last week.
Upon reaching the 50 million subscriber mark, Kjellberg swore he would quit the site over changes he claimed were negatively impacting content creators.
The announcement saw legions of online followers post messages of support pleading with the YouTube star not to scuttle the hugely popular PewDiePie channel.
@pewdiepie I swear to fuckign god felix why would you throw those years of memories away I hope this is a prank— ㅤㅤㅤ (@buterace) December 7, 2016
@pewdiepie if u delete ur channel YouTube deletes with u— Fey Trash 🌐 (@fey_barbalia) December 7, 2016
@pewdiepie I AM WORKING ON BACKING IT ALL UP BEFORE YOU MIGHT DO ANYTHING, FELIX. ALL VIDS ARE SAVED MAN. GUYS HELP ME OUT WITH THIS.— SimplEagle | PAX E? (@SimpIEagle) December 7, 2016
In a video he detailed how, in the space of a month, views from his ‘suggested videos’ traffic source plummeted to below 1 percent.
“Something 100 percent happened in November because all of a sudden we got suggested views – 0.7 percent ... and it’s not just one video,” Kjellberg said.
Kjellberg has indeed deleted a channel on YouTube. However, it appears the Swede never intended to shut down his main PewDiePie account and instead clicked delete on his second channel, Jack septiceye2.
“We did it guys, we hit 50 million thanks to your help … it’s time to keep my end of the promise,” Kjellberg said in a broadcast on Friday, before doing away with his 1.5 million subscriber second channel.
“That was the joke,” he added.
FELIX DELETED HIS SECOND JACKSEPTICEYE2 CHANNEL HE PLAYED EVERYONE TO GET TO 50 MILL SO FAST I— fireside lanae ★ (@wowdanandphil) December 9, 2016
rip jacksepticeye2 it was my favorite channel next to keemstar @pewdiepie— pls no (@felixoml) December 9, 2016
Under the moniker of PewDiePie, Kjellberg amassed a small fortune for his comedic clips and video game walkthroughs, with Forbes estimating that he made $15 million last year.
Arguing that YouTube had changed its focus and allowed clickbait to gain greater prominence, he initially appeared willing to derail the gravy train.
Following an online rage in which he mentioned “record low” views on his channel, Kjellberg tweeted how he would delete his account at 5:00pm GMT on Friday. It now looks like the announcement was just an effort to boost followers.
will delete tomorrow 5pm gmt— pewdiepie (@pewdiepie) December 8, 2016
Kjellberg blamed YouTube for a drop in views and suggested a significant fall in November’s audience indicated algorithm changes had been made behind the scenes.
“I think if this continues it is going to kill a lot of channels,” he said.
“I’ll be fine but there are smaller channels that are just barely getting by, all of a sudden 40 percent of their views are getting cut out and they can’t keep making a living on YouTube, which I think is really sad and really stupid and a mistake.”
“I honestly thought YouTube was about what content the majority want to watch but it seems like it is becoming less and less of that. It’s not about who you want to watch, it’s about who is going to yell the loudest,” he said.
“If this is all intentional and Youtube is focusing away from creator based content and less personality based, well then don’t be surprised if personalities start leaving YouTube.”
RT.com has requested comment from YouTube. The company denied changes had been made.