If you want to continue commenting on YouTube, you’re going to need a Google+ account.
Google’s overhaul of YouTube’s comment system, first announced in September, is complete and offers better sorting options than before. In the past, the thumbs up/down feature drove comments toward the top of any given thread with little, if any, moderation from YouTube.
The new system incorporates what Google calls “conversations that matter to you.” Google utilizes information from Google+, the company's social network that automatically creates accounts for users of its Gmail service, to contour comments for relevancy to specific users and their social circle. Each comment will be associated with a specific Google+ account, eliminating at least some anonymity. YouTubers also have more control over who is able to view their video remarks.
Will this new system be fully embraced by the public?
Some of that depends on whether users embrace Google+. Google+ is nowhere near as popular a social media network as Facebook, but it’s essentially being forced upon millions of YouTube users who don’t want to lose their ability to comment on videos.
That aside, discussion forums across the Internet are already bursting with outcry against the new comment system. On the Google Groups forum, users have complained about limitations to comment posting, no longer being able to have separate YouTube and Google+ accounts, and an increase of pop-ups originating from Google itself.
Even YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim is against the new changes. In his first channel post since YouTube’s 2005 inception, Karim asked “why the ---- do I need a Google+ account to comment on a video?” Google has yet to officially comment on YouTube’s drastic changes.
The negative response to the new YouTube even sparked the creation of a petition asking Google to revert the video-sharing site to its original form. So far, the petition has more than 100,000 supporters.
Perhaps user complaints are justified, but the idea of revamping the old system isn’t so bad.
Think of the crude, misogynistic and racially-charged mudslinging that has transpired over the last eight years on YouTube without any discernible moderation. Isn’t any attempt to curb unidentified libelers worth a shot? The system is far from perfect, but Google should be lauded for trying to alleviate some of the damage caused by irate YouTubers hiding behind animosity and anonymity.
And if you’re not a fan of the new YouTube changes, you can always let Google know how you feel. Of course, you might need to join Google+ first.