YouTube is widely acknowledged as the world's most popular video streaming website, and sustaining that position entails offering new services that people would like to try. With this in mind, the Google-run site performs experiments for its users to test out new features, which were recently opened to all users while still giving Premium customers first dibs on specific tests. Then there are other inclusions that YouTube does not announce, leaving it up to users to discover them, generally by accident. We're now seeing one such improvement in the form of updated views and likes statistics on videos.
The YouTube app for Android now displays likes and counts, but they don't change while you're watching a video. However, using a clever animation, this addition refreshes the video's likes and views in real time. Whether the movie is playing or paused, this dynamic view and like count animation appears. Furthermore, the animation before the change in numbers appears to be activated even when you close YouTube and reload it.
We couldn't find any YouTube blogs or other documentation pointing to this little but useful feature, though there appears to be a Reddit thread from October that mentions it, with one user providing a workaround to halt this behavior. It's difficult to say when this functionality became available on the app without hearing from the YouTube team. Furthermore, this trial appears to be limited to a subset of YouTube viewers worldwide.