YouTube now displays the views and likes of a video in real-time

YouTube on Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube's making it easier to see views and likes instantly, helping you gauge a video's popularity on the fly.
  • The like and view counters now feature small animations upon updating, and this occurs even when a video is paused.
  • YouTube doesn't provide an option to disable real-time updates for like and view counts.

YouTube has finally rolled out a real-time counter for video views and likes, making it easier for users to track a video's popularity as they watch it actively.

As spotted by Android Police, those little thumbs-up and view counters are getting a makeover. From now on, they'll be updating live as you watch a video, instead of staying frozen in time. This allows you to see a video's popularity grow right before your eyes.

Those two metrics now have a neat animation with rolling numbers, whether the video is playing or paused. Plus, the counters update in the background. This means that, every time you switch tabs or apps and come back to YouTube, you'll see the updated counts.

Youtube live view and like counters animation

(Image credit: Android Police)

That said, some folks on Reddit aren't exactly thrilled with the new feature—they're calling it distracting and "obnoxious." While YouTube doesn't have a built-in "off" switch, some tech-savvy Redditors figured out a workaround to silence the animation.

This YouTube update isn't exactly new. Google actually announced this change in October along with a ton of features, including a new "You" tab, the ability to search for music using your singing voice or by humming along, a bigger thumbnail size when scrubbing through videos, and more capabilities.

However, the live view and like counter aren't a permanent party trick. The real-time counter is exclusive to newly uploaded videos in their first 24 hours. So, don't expect the animation if you're checking out videos that are more than a day old.

YouTube's got more on its plate than just live view and like counters. The platform has been experimenting with some AI-powered features for Premium users. Last month, YouTube rolled out an "Ask" feature underneath videos, where it can answer your burning questions and suggest similar content. Another test involves AI-generated summaries for video comments.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.