The changes, which will come into force in October, involve a new look for verified channels and an update to the eligibility criteria.
In a post on the YouTube Help Community, a representative known only as Camilla said: “When you come to YouTube, it’s important to know if the channel you’re watching is the official presence of the creator, artist, public figure or company that it represents.
“With that in mind, we’re announcing upcoming changes to our channel verification program starting in late October.”
At present, verified channels are identified by a grey checkmark, but under the new plans, this will change to a grey box behind the channel name.
“Through our research, we found that people often associated the checkmark with an endorsement of content, not identity.
“To reduce confusion about what being verified means, we’re introducing a new look that helps distinguish the official channel of the creator, celebrity or brand it represents.
“The new look will also be displayed more consistently across channel pages, search and comments and is more difficult to replicate so that viewers can be sure of a channel’s identity,” Camilla said.
As well as this, changes to channel verification mean that YouTube will prioritise creators and brands which have “a clear need for proof of authenticity”.
Currently channels with over 100,000 subscribers can be verified regardless of this need.
Explaining why the change was being made, Camilla said: “The previous requirements worked well when YouTube was smaller, but as YouTube has grown and become more complex, we need a new way to verify the identity of channels and help you find the official channel you’re looking for.”
Camilla also added that “a number of factors” are considered by the platform to determine if it meets this criteria, including authenticity and prominence.
While the changes are yet to be enforced, creators have already reported being unverified under the new plans.
— Lucy Moon 🌻 (@iamnotlucymoon) September 19, 2019
More information about the changes can be found on the YouTube Help website.
Update – 19 September 2019: In a series of tweets, YouTube has said “no one lost a verification badge today”, adding that emails sent to creators about their channel no longer being verified in the future were an “advanced notice” which creators can appeal.
“We’re making this change to help everyone determine whether a channel is the official YouTube presence of the creator they’re looking for.
“Please know that badge or no badge, you’re an important part of YouTube,” they added.
Update – 20 September 2019: In an update to a blog post published on Thursday, YouTube has said channels which have already been verified “will now keep [the badge] and don’t have to appeal”.
This follows the platform’s initial announcement that its new verification criteria would apply to all channels on the site.
In a post on Twitter, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said she was “sorry for the frustration [and] hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification”.
“While trying to make improvements, we missed the mark,” she said.