Google announced last month that YouTube would be retiring the dislike count on videos, a change that has already taken effect and has been highly controversial among users. For those who want to keep YouTube dislike counts alive a little bit longer, a neat browser extension makes that possible, at least for now.
The new browser extension simply titled “Return YouTube Dislike” makes it possible for users on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and even iOS to restore the YouTube dislike count to their video watching experience. The extension has picked up thousands of positive reviews from users since its release.
When installed and active, the extension automatically changes the YouTube site to where it shows a dislike count as it did previously. Better yet, it also shows exact numbers instead of the general “10k” when hovering over the like/dislike section.
To download the extension, you can use this direct link or search for “Return YouTube Dislike” in the Chrome Web Store. Other platforms are available here. After installing the extension, there’s no work needed. Just ensure it stays active and go to your favorite YouTube video to see it in action. The extension is of course free, but the developers are accepting donations.
So, what’s the catch? Really, it just comes down to wondering how long this will effectively last. The extension is currently using data from the YouTube API, which still shows up to date dislike counts to anyone using the API for public data. However, that’s set to change on December 13, as Google previously confirmed that’s the date this data will be cut off.
After that date, which is quickly approaching, the developers of this extension say they’ll use archived stats and user data from the extension to develop dislike counts. The extension is already using this scraped data to improve the visible dislike counts. As it stands today, too, data only updates once every few days.
The backend will switch to using a combination of archived dislike stats, estimates extrapolated from extension user data and estimates based on view/like ratios for videos whose dislikes weren’t archived and for outdated dislike archives.
We’re not very confident in how well this will work in the long term, but this solution is certainly better than nothing.
More on YouTube:
- YouTube videos will no longer show public dislike counts, button remains
- YouTube Premium perk on Android, iOS adds persistent ‘Listening controls’ for all videos
- ‘Me at the zoo,’ YouTube’s first video, gets new description protesting dislike count removal
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