Late last week, YouTube announced that they have integrated Google+ into their commenting system. YouTube voiced their interest in making this shift in late September, when they explained that by implementing the social network sign-in, they would be able to filter relevant comments by reputable sources to appear first. This would push spammy YouTube comments to the depths of comment limbo, never to be seen, which I’m sure plenty of users would appreciate. Google+ integration would allow users to view “Top Comments” by default, which would show comments posted by the video’s creator, comments that receive the most thumbs up, comments from influential figures, and the user’s friends and other Google+ circle members. With the new YouTube comments integration, users will be alerted to the change the next time they try to leave a comment on a video.
New YouTube Comments Sorting Options
This interface change would mirror the Facebook News Feed to a degree, by allowing users to choose between “Top Comments” or “Most Recent Comments.” The default, however, will always be “Top Comments,” so every time a user views a new video, the comments will be reset to display the highest-rated comments. The change will also provide video creators with a new set of tools to moderate the comments on their videos. These tools including giving creators the option of reviewing YouTube comments before they’re published, or pre-approving comments from specific YouTube (/Google+) users. Additionally, they’ll be able to block specific words, which is particularly useful for G-rated content, so that inappropriate language can be filtered out. YouTube’s hope is that by connecting commenters with their Google+ profiles, those kinds of inappropriate comments will be less frequent because of the loss of anonymity.
New Implementation is Looking Quite like Facebook
Similarly to Facebook as well, users will now be able to tag their friends to bring their attention to videos, by tagging their Google+ handle. Users will also be able to share their YouTube activity straight to their Google+ feed, or keep their YouTube comment activity private.
Google+ Integration May Out Cyber Bullies
The integration process has been built into the YouTube framework by prompting users to connect their YouTube accounts with their Google+ profiles. This integration has been met with adversity from many users. Some of these users may be against this integration because they have previously left negative or abusive YouTube comments, and are concerned that their once-anonymous commentary will now be labeled with their identities. With the frequency of future employers performing online searches on job candidates, this could be a liability for many who would open up their YouTube history to publicly display their online bullying, or other embarrassing commenting activity.
Not Everyone is Thrilled About Linking Social Network Accounts
Many users are turned off by the idea of putting a face to their name when it comes to their YouTube accounts, because anonymity is one of the aspects of online communities to which they’re most attached. This new integration opens up the conversation about Internet user activity being tracked across a variety of networks, driving people to ask a number of questions. Precisely who has access to this information? Who will ultimately be profiting from it? What purpose can this information serve? What other ways will users be affected by the change? Those who are already concerned with the heightened monitoring that we’ve faced in the last several years look to this new system as one more way to tighten corporate/government surveillance on user activity, which is not being taken lightly.
What do you think of this new implementation for YouTube comments? Tweet to us @FatGuyMedia or comment on our Facebook to let us know how you feel!