October 2021 – just over a year ago, YouTube dropped the requirement for the Community tab and posting features from 1000 subscribers to just 500. Creators were still settling into that new paradigm. Smaller channels had a new mid-way goal on their way to the 1000 subscribers required to get into the YouTube Partner Program – and they liked it.
October 14, 2022 – I started hearing reports around the YouTube creator community in Facebook groups, on Twitter and Reddit and even in my comments on YouTube that smaller channels under 500 subscribers were seeing the Community tab get activated in their channel. My initial search for answers did not turn up too much, so I reached out to a contact who is a Google Product Expert to see what he knew about it. He said,
“YouTube is rolling out the Community Tab to people with less than 500 subscribers. You need to have access to advanced features. Meaning phone and ID verifications.”Source: Google Product Expert
Advanced Features. I know a little something about that from a video I did last year. A three-tiered features system was rolled out to some new channels for testing, one of which was one of my relatively new channels at this time. It involved a new Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced system where certain features were unlocked as a channel grew. Basic or Standard Features are the basic functionality of YouTube – uploading a video, creating playlists, and so on. This was automatically enabled when the channel was created. Intermediate aligned with basic features that were enabled when a channel gets verified via phone. Features unlocked here include longer than 15-minute videos, custom thumbnails, and live streaming. Advanced features, once activated, allow you to make Content ID appeals, Embed live streams, the ability to apply for monetization (if you reach the requirements), add clickable external links to your description and the aforementioned Community posts. Advanced features can be enabled by doing any one of these three options: 1) Video verification, 2) Upload a Valid ID, or 3) earn Channel History.
Since October 14th, YouTube has been on a mission to roll out not only the Community tab to literally 100’s of millions of channels (source @YouTubeLiaison via @CreatorInsider on YouTube), but the newer 3-tier features system, featuring the Advanced features section. Here’s the full announcement via the YouTube Help forum.
Even now, a month after the rollout and announcement, YouTube is still rolling these new features out to channels under 500 subscribers.
Are you one of them? If so, hang tight. Wait on YouTube for both. You can check the status of your Feature Elligibilty in your Studio dashboard in Settings -> Channel and the Feature Eligibility tab.
You will know when you have the Community tab as you will see it on your channel page right after the Playlist tab.
I’ve already got a great video on this subject from when I was first breaking the story back in mid-October here:
I did a 3 part series of Shorts discussing what Channel History is and how to get it.
In addition, once you do have the Community tab, how do you use it? I answered that question here: