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How Does YouTube Notify Subscribers?

As your YouTube channel gains momentum, you’ll start building up a fan base of subscribers. It’s a great feeling to know there are people out there who want to see more of your content! However, getting subscribers to your channel isn’t enough to guarantee they will see your videos.

In this article, we’ll explain how YouTube can notify subscribers of your new content. We’ll also tell you how to make sure your subscribers get notified about every video you post.

What Is a YouTube Notification?

YouTube notifications send an “alert message” to users about highlights of activity from their favorite channels or interests. A notification will be sent when new content is uploaded, including new videos and announcements from the content creator. YouTube gives users quite a bit of flexibility on how to manage their notifications.

How Does YouTube Notify Subscribers?

YouTube has a few different methods to notify subscribers, including push notifications on mobile devices and alerts on desktop web browsers. Think of a push notification like a text message that pops up on mobile device. Most desktop web browsers offer a similar feature, in which an alert will pop up in the corner of the screen.

Also, much like other social media platforms, when someone logs on to the YouTube app or desktop site, they will see a special “alert” icon to let them know about new notifications.

Not All Subscribers Get Notified

It’s important for content creators to understand something called “subscriber ghosting.” That’s the term used to explain why not all subscribers are notified when you post a new video.

YouTube basically has two buckets of subscribers for a channel: All Notifications and Occasional Notifications. Anyone who has subscribed to a channel and rung the bell, along with that channel’s most active subscribers, will get all notifications. However, if someone hasn’t rung the bell and they don’t fall into the “active subscriber” group, they won’t always get notified.

Requests To ‘Smash That Bell’

Have you heard YouTubers say on their videos “Smash that bell?” The ‘bell’ is a button on the YouTube screen, that shows only under channels that you are subscribed to. When the ‘bell’ is clicked, it will allow one to select to receive all notifications.

When a user clicks “Subscribe,” the channels videos will show in their subscription feed.

However, the only way they’ll get notified about all new videos is if they ring the bell.

Troubleshooting YouTube Notifications

If a subscriber is having trouble receiving notifications, there are a few things to check.

  1. For content creators, go to your video settings and click on Advanced. Make sure the box is checked for “Publish to Subscriptions feed and notify subscribers.” The good news is YouTube checks that box by default, but it’s always worth double-checking.
  2. Understand that viewers will only get up to 3 notifications from your channel in a 24-hour period. For this reason, bulk publishing more than three videos in a day is not a great idea.
  3. Most of the time notification issues are on the viewer’s end. Check out YouTube’s Notification Troubleshooter if you’re still not receiving notifications.


A YouTube notification is an alert message shown on the user’s device indicating new video content. Depending on the selection of the subscriber, notifications can be sent either occasionally or for all new videos. Knowing exactly how YouTube notifies subscribers allows one to make the most out of this powerful feature.


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