a picture of big data

Why Does YouTube Want Me To Sign In?

YouTube is a great marketplace of ideas where people can share their views throughout the world. While you can watch videos without a YouTube account, there are many reasons why YouTube prefers users to sign in, noting it lets them get the most out of the platform. Today, we’re going to discuss the many reasons why YouTube seems so adamant about users signing in.

Helps Ensure Accuracy of Data

You’ve probably noticed that YouTube wants you to sign in anytime you go to like or dislike a video. This may seem quite odd as the system could really be designed to let you perform that task without logging in. However, by requiring you to login, YouTube ensures that only account holders can like or dislike videos – and makes it difficult for one individual to like or dislike videos multiple times. This helps make it more likely that the number of likes and dislikes is an accurate representation of number of people.

Helps with Moderation of Comments

Meanwhile, YouTube also requires users to log in before posting a comment. Again, this is part of a decision to help provide quality control of the platform. Sure, YouTube could allow anonymous comments; however, requiring a login makes it easier for them to respond to individuals who consistently violate YouTube Community Guidelines. Additionally, by requiring users to be identified, it may make it less likely that individuals will post inappropriate comments. Finally, if a person spams the comments on a video, it is clear to other users that it is the same person, preventing the ability of one person to make it appear as if many people share their views.

Show Me the Money

Realistically, one of the reasons YouTube wants users to log in is because it helps them collect more data about users. This, in turn, improves their ability to collect money by more accurately targeting ads to users. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Big Data.” By logging in, YouTube is able to store more data about you. This includes things like your age and gender (which you provide when you create your Google account) as well as your location and information through your viewing history. YouTube uses this to refine their advertising. Better targeted advertising means more money for them (and for creators).

Some Features Require It

While most features on YouTube could be done without logging in, some simply require it to function. Saving videos requires linking them to an account. The same is the case with subscribing to content from a particular user. Providing these services requires an account.


There are many reasons why YouTube wants users to log in to their account. Some reasons deal with how the platform operates, helping them to ensure integrity of data and better moderate the platform. Other reasons are because certain features simply can’t be accomplished without a linked account. Additionally, harvesting and using Big Data is a major reason for YouTube’s desire to have users log in.

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  • Mike has over a decade of experience in higher education as a researcher, administrator, and faculty member. He currently teaches leadership and communication. He possesses a doctorate from the University of Arkansas in organizational leadership, masters from Grand Valley State in education, and bachelors from Southeastern Louisiana University in behavioral sciences. His writing interests include politics, travel, and social issues.

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