YouTube is Rolling Out New Google+ Powered Comments
Reading the comments under YouTube videos isn’t particularly viable. It’s probably the most Mos Eisley place on the internet this side of ignorant Tea Partiers on Twitter. Now, YouTube is overhauling their commenting system using Google+ to help power the new comment structure.
Google is pitching the new comment system as more conversational than the current one which features top comments right below the video followed by comments in reverse chronological order. Now, comments will be sorted based on your calculated interest in them.
The comments on top will be a mix of those from the video’s uploader, YouTube celebrities (who Google refer to officially as “popular personalities”) and your Google friends. Comments will now be threaded rather than just in chronological order so you can see who is replying to whom and what comment they are replying to the whole way back in the chain rather than the slow one-at-a-time process that currently exists on YouTube.
And since the comments will be using Google+ to power it, you can now post comments that are only visible to certain Google+ circles. Basically, you can comment the same way you post updates on G+. You can make public posts that are visible to everyone or posts visible to specified groups. There will also be some cross-posting between Google+ and YouTube as you can choose whether your comments on a video appears on one platform or both.
Finally, content creators are getting a new filter setup for the comments on their videos. Currently, uploaders can allow all comments, disable comments or manually moderate all comments before they go live. The new system allows for instant approval or blocking of specified users and words. Users can be blocked by username or email address. Comments with blacklisted words will get put into moderation limbo until the uploader deals with them. Google says that the word filter will be able to flag misspelled variants of the blacklisted word.
The threaded comments started rolling out upon Google making the announcement and you may have seen them on some videos already. The filters will be rolled out to channel pages first before making their way videos.
I can’t say that YouTube didn’t need some sort of cleaning up. The filter and threaded conversations were long overdue additions to YouTube comments.
However, integrating Google+ might not clean things up as well as YouTube hopes. It all depends on whether you have to use your real name when commenting on YouTube or not. If the few videos I have uploaded on my own channel go under my name, I wouldn’t be embarrassed by what I’ve uploaded or what I’ve commented but it’s also not my original creations I’ve uploaded so I don’t want my name attached to it.
If YouTube still allows that veil of anonymity that has allowed YouTube comments to get out of hand, then we’re just hiding the problem rather than addressing it. Still, forcing everyone to use their real names takes away some of that privacy and security on the internet. I doubt there’s a happy medium but hopefully Google and YouTube will find it upon roll out.