Youtube comments have historically been a place of rampant homophobia, spam links and the occasional witty one liner, but in the past few days they’ve changed drastically. Thanks to Google finally completing its transition to link Youtube comments with Google+, the user base has rioted.
Google had pledged to twin its video site and social network a few months back, but has only recently completed the move. Now you have to have a Google+ account to comment on Youtube and there are advanced filtering systems to help prevent profanity and hate speech. There’s also accountability, since everyone is forced to use their real name now – another feature many people aren’t happy about.
Similarly many commenters have complained that their comment and share numbers have gone down drastically, where people simply don’t want to use the new Google+ system and it’s causing some small to medium video producers to suffer because of it.
In a gesture of solidarity against the new regime, many Youtube commenters have started pasting an ACII tank along with a stick figure – usually called Bob – that’s declared way “against Google+.” The comment then asks you to paste the image and text on other Youtube videos if you agree. Consequently, almost every popular Youtube video now has a comment section that looks like this:
Some have suggested that Google’s reasoning behind this move – to help reduce spam and improve the relevancy of comments on the site – is a smokescreen for an artificial bump in its Google+ userbase. Google currently claims to have over 300 million active users on its social network and that number is likely to go up massively with the inclusion of every Youtube commenter.
Because of this heavy commitment to Google+ development though, a few analysts have suggested there’s little point in this form of protest, since Google will just ride the storm out, knowing how traditionally short the internet’s attention span is.
Not everyone is against the new system though. Some have praised it for the ease at which you can share a video with people on Google+, thereby potentially increasing it’s audience. These people seem like a small minority at the moment though.
KitGuru Says: But forget Youtube and Google+ users, what do you guys think? Do you care about the new system and do you think once the tank phase is complete, we’ll have something a bit more intuitive than what was there before?