YouTube Comments: Change Is Coming, But Is It Good?

on Tuesday, Sep. 24th

"The Youtube comment section, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." –Obi-Wan Kenobi

Rule #1 of the Internet, "Never Read The Comments," was practically born on YouTube. Parent company Google has finally heard the plaintive cries of a million million voices all crying "FIRST!" out at once only to be silenced by a string of unprintable expletives, and have at decided to do something about it.

They're going to make us all use Google+!

Starting this week, you’ll see the new YouTube comments powered by Google+ on your channel discussion tab. This update will come to comments on all videos later this year, as we bring you more ways to connect with familiar faces on YouTube.

The rework, announced on the Official YouTube Blog, has a few more details:

  • Comments you care about move to the top: You’ll see posts at the top of the list from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles.
  • Join the conversation publicly or privately: You can choose to start a conversation so that it is seen by everyone on YouTube and Google+, only people in your Circles or just your bestie. Like Gmail, replies are threaded so you can easily follow conversations.
  • Better ways to moderate comments: You have new tools to review comments before they’re posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans. These can help you spend less time moderating, and more time sharing videos and connecting with your fans.

While this could be a great boon for the anemic Google+ ecosystem, it is bound to cause some consternation amongst YouTubers. The tech giant already ripped out the ability to make response videos, which while only being used by a small percentage of the audience, was still a key part of certain sub-cultures within YouTube.

Yeah. I just wrote that sentence. It is a true thing. Strange days indeed.

Follow Noah Nelson on Twitter (@noahjnelson)

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