Skip to main content

How to turn your Google+ (or other) Followers into YouTube Subscribers

With the announcement that the consumer version of Google+ will be shut down in April 2019, some active Plussers want to be sure their Followers find them in their new home.

I've seen a few questions whether there is likely to be a way to automatically convert their Followers into YouTube Subscribers. While I'd love to have an additional million subs, I think it's quite unlikely that will ever be an option.

In my case, I gained a large percentage of my Google+ Followers when I was on the old Suggested User List shown to users when they created a Profile. I would bet that many of the followers I gained that way haven't used Google+ in years, if they ever did at all.

And the folks who follow you on Google+ may not specifically be interested in your videos.

So what can you do?

 Ask your Google+ Followers to subscribe to your YouTube channel! 

RELATED: How the Google+ shutdown will - and will not - affect your YouTube channel

Use the tools provided by YouTube to make it easy for your Followers on Google+ - or any other platform - to subscribe to your channel

Since anyone signed into Google+ can subscribe to a YouTube channel without having to create a new account or even a channel of their own, you just need to provide them the opportunity. They don't even need to create a public presence on YouTube unless they want to comment or upload their own videos.

To do that, make sure you are sharing a subscribe link and using a branding watermark on your videos.

Related tutorials: 

Share a subscribe link

Rather than just sharing a link to your YouTube channel, create a subscribe link to share. When someone clicks your subscribe link, your channel opens with a prompt to confirm that they want to subscribe.

To create a subscribe link, just append ?sub_confirmation=1 to the end of your channel URL.

For example, this is my channel:

This is the subscribe link:
   (be sure you don't leave a space before the ?)

Try clicking it!  And if you are interested in my tutorials, do subscribe 😊

You can also use the link to create a subscribe button for your website or blog.

Include your channel subscribe link when you auto-share new videos to Google+

When you upload your video to YouTube on desktop, you will see the option to automatically share your video to Google+ when it's published.

Tick the box next to the Google+ icon and enter the text for the Google+ post sharing your video. Be sure to include a sentence about your video or channel and the subscribe link.

This option is available for Public and Scheduled videos, including Premieres and Live Events. The post will be Public on Google+.

When your video is published, the clickable link is included in the Google+ post.

Add a Branding Watermark custom subscribe button to all your videos

I also recommend adding a branding watermark to all of your YouTube videos. This creates a custom subscribe button that appears when your video is is played on desktop, both on YouTube itself and when the video is embedded on another site, like Google+.

1. Sign in to your YouTube account

2. Open your Channel Branding settings by clicking your channel icon, then Creator Studio. Select Branding on the left menu.  Or go directly to

3. Click the Create Watermark button
4. Select an image to upload from your computer. Try to follow YouTube's image guidelines:
  • simple image
  • transparent background
  • single color
  • PNG or GIF file
  • smaller than 1 MB
The image in my example doesn't quite meet all those criteria. 🐱

5. Adjust the cropping of the image, if necessary, and save. 

6. Adjust the time the watermark will appear on your video. 

The default is for it to appear after 5 seconds of playback. Note that if you add an end card, the watermark will not show when the end card is displaying.

This adds the branding watermark to all of your videos.

The watermark appears faintly on the lower right corner of the video. If the viewer hovers over the image, a clickable subscribe button appears.

You can learn more about adding a branding watermark to create a custom subscribe button in the YouTube Help Center.