YouTube comments historically have brought out the worst in people. They have a reputation of being hate filled, abusive, and full of spam. Take a look at any popular video on YouTube and you’ll see plenty of NSFW trolling and nonsensical chatter so YouTube has been under pressure as of late to attempt to clean up their commenting system.
In response YouTube has pushed people to use their real identities and launched a new commenting platform powered by Google+. To create a comment on a video on YouTube now a user must attach their YouTube channel to a Google Plus identity. Comments from the video’s creator, popular personalities and Google+ connections will rank above other comments, along with comments that receive many likes and replies.
The changes have sparked outrage across the Internet. A petition on Change.org has garnered almost 30,000 signatures in the first day.
You can no longer just go to your YouTube inbox to see your comments you have use the Google+ notification system a setting buried deep in Google+. I’m in favor of cleaning up spam and malicious comments but this seems like a misstep because it’s so confusing. You will no longer get notifications of new comments in your YouTube inbox instead you are forced to create a Google+ page just to moderate and receive notifications which is at the heart of the confusion.
This is nothing new, any time Facebook and other social networks make major platform changes there is temporary outrage until users adapt to the learning curve. But these changes feel different, Google is so desperate for Google+ to succeed as a social network because they have invested so much time and money that forcing YouTube users into the platform seems counterintuitive when YouTube has historically been a successful social network in its own right.