In a move unexpected by YouTube users worldwide, Google has just announced that it has enabled Google+ commenting on YouTube, the Internet’s go-to video-streaming site.
Starting today, Google+’s commenting system will power YouTube’s commenting system. This effectively replaces the old comment system where users can choose to use his YouTube name and not his Google+ name.
So what will happen with the switch?
Influential comments move to the top
Comments (technically posts) from your Google+ circles will appear higher in the comment list. Furthermore, comments from celebrities with high social influence which comes from a high number of followers will also appear conspiciously at the top of the comments. However, recent comments can still be seen by switching to “Newest First”.
You can choose how to join a conversation
Every comment you make can now be either public or private. You can choose to let people see your comments or just switch it open to your circles or to a specific person. Threaded conversations is also another feature with many welcomed, since you can’t technically follow conversations in the old YouTube comments without switching back and forth.
Comment moderation is made easier
There are now a lot more tools for moderating comments if you are the creator of the video. They can be reviewed or you can choose to auto approve them. They can also be blocked if certain words are used in the posts.
Google first announced the integration last September, with the official purpose of letting you see the comments that “matter to you” first. The company had started integrating Google+ in many of its primary products. For example, Google+ comments can now be integrated in Blogger as per the blog owner’s preference. Picasa is also now tightly integrated with the social network – signing into Picasa will take the users to Google+ Photos.
While this new commenting system is welcomed by the majority of Google+ users on YouTube, it will effectively eliminate those users who hides under an aliases. Millions of “trolls” on YouTube are also affected by this change, as video creators can now remove comments straight on the comments section and users can hide comments with ease.
With the integration of Google+, all comments on a video on its YouTube page will also appear on the comments section of that video (when it is shared) on Google+. It is as if the comments are being cross-posted on both social networks, making it appear that both networks are active. This is beneficial to those YouTube video creators who don’t have an active profile on Google Plus. Creators can now gain more followers on both networks.
Of course, this wouldn’t be easy for people who are not actively using their Google+ account on YouTube.
— Victor (@DunDealShowdown) November 7, 2013
— Anya (@dandyli0n) November 7, 2013
I wonder what the long term plan for Google+ is? Make it a central hub for Google services with YouTube and Gmail etc just facets of it? 🙁
— Stuart Ashen (@ashens) November 7, 2013
— SoaR Eazy (@SoaREazy) November 7, 2013
Google is confident though, that this change will fix YouTube’s commenting system, which, as mentioned earlier, have a sizeable amount of negative commenters – those who comment to incite hate and anger on comment threads while hiding under an alias name. Some of these negative comments were even posted on YouTube’s official blog, which is also powered by Google+ comment system. It is also in this very forum where Vic Gundotra, director of Google+, responded to some of these comments.
Gundotra even went as far as to say that anyone who disagrees are free to leave Google for good as the company is not forcing anyone to use any of its products.