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20th, January
Did the Integration of Google Plus Make YouTube Comments Worse?

On November 6th, 2013 YouTube announced that it had begun implementing their new comment system: all users were now required to integrate their YouTube accounts with Google+. Their reasoning for this drastic change was to diminish spam and help personalize the YouTube experience by showcasing comments from those you care about (friends in your circle). It’s a change that some say was a step in the right direction, but actually it seems that Google Plus made YouTube comments worse.

“No Anonymity” Hurts Regular Users Too

The veil of anonymity is a strong one; certain individuals use that veil to leave spam messages full of mockery and hurtful speech. It’s turned YouTube into a negative space, so much so that certain social media profiles are dedicated to reminding their followers to not read the comments.

Yet, they’re not the only ones who favor using usernames on the Internet. Regular users who prefer to keep their viewing habits separate from their identity make up the majority of people on YouTube; those who visit their favorite channels to view a multitude of videos a day for their fix of entertainment.

This also applies to popular YouTube creators like PewDiePie; YouTube creators who prefer to go with pseudonyms versus their full name. Some may prefer pseudonyms for security reasons, while others are trying to maintain a unified brand. Whatever the case, not everyone who posts on YouTube wants to showcase their real name. YouTube does provide the option to use your username over your full name, but only if you create a second Google+ account separately, an unnecessarily confusing process.

Not Being Able to Comment on Your Own Videos

Even after creating this second account, users found issues where they weren’t able to reply to their own video comments. Either the platform wasn’t recognizing their particular Google+ account to verify them to comment, or there was no reply link for them to click on. YouTube has bolstered that a key element to the integration has been to reduce spam, but if it’s stopping regular users from participating in conversation altogether, the change may have missed its mark.

No Limit on Number of Characters

YouTube Google Comments War

Twitter has a limit on the amount of characters you can tweet, 140, while Facebook’s limit ranks all the way to 63,206. For Google+ there were no issues as long as the post was under 100,000 characters. This fact was abused tremendously in the first week of YouTube’s new comment system, where one comment could take up half the page—and most of the time this feature was abused, it was to actually users warning YouTube about the exploit. Eventually Google addressed this problem.

Approving Comments is Cumbersome

For brands, having the ability to approve incoming comments is fantastic to bolster positive communication versus the usual negative fueled landmine that usually accompanies very popular videos. However, when that review system is difficult to navigate, it makes users want to avoid it altogether. Then there’s the issue with top comments no longer being voted up; instead the top comments are those from your circles, ones from the Google+ profile belonging to the channel, and, most importantly, comments that are attracting the most attention. And on YouTube, “popular” comments are usually the comments that are the most unconstructive.

Google experienced firsthand what happens when you mess with a beloved system they themselves created then modified. YouTube has admitted that the transition hasn’t been a smooth one, and have thus addresses issues by creating a new tab that lists comments received for example.

Even so, YouTube creators have noticed a steep decline in fan participation in the comments, and some have opted to avoid participating in their own comments altogether. This begs the question if the merger between Google’s social platform, which is still fighting to get more participation, and it’s striving video sharing site (a social platform in its own right) was worth it.

January 29th, 2014 at 21:40 by Mank


It made everything worse, fuuuuuuuuck Google

February 2nd, 2014 at 15:22 by Sanchit Khera


I completely agree with your points in the article. I think that the moderation of the comments was previously an issue that Youtube tried to solve with the G+ issue. I’ve heard from other youtubers through a few podcasts that I listen to, and they’ve complained about fewer views after the G+ integration. I wonder why though? Why would the number of views dip?


May 28th, 2016 at 06:55 by SortingHat


Now anybody suspected of being a Tea Party conservative is banned or censored. *BTW* There is no actual *Tea Party* nor is there even a HQ as they on purpose did not want all the baggage that came with being a party.

It’s just people like you and me wanting less government intrusion in our lives and to be able to breathe without being taxed for it. The OWS did all the damage crapping on cop cars and destroying city property.

May 28th, 2016 at 06:57 by SortingHat


It seems people who upload videos past 2013 hardly have any comments or views. Even if the video is something awesome like a popular video game remix where it would before get 50,000 plus views.

Now it would be lucky to get to the 2,000 mark.

May 28th, 2016 at 06:53 by SortingHat


The real reason is censorship. Plan and simple. People who post the truth about Islam are now shut out or ridiculed for what they experienced or know about that the media lies/covers for the Saudi’s that are the real hate inspiring others to be like them.

Say that on YouTube and see how long it takes for you to get banned…..actually you need a mobile phone account now to use Google which I don’t have one and if I did I would not give it to a faceless corporation.

This is NOT capitalism. This is corny capitalism at best and monopolization at worst.

It’s time for the people to get off their smart phones and actually be productive again and realize there is a world wasting away around them and they’ll be wasted away too.

May 28th, 2016 at 07:00 by SortingHat


There is this one channel called Poo Poo Fart that does REALLY good music covers of Nintendo games with real instruments that heplays himself but he refuses to listen to anybody who would like his named changed.

He seems to not realize what he has done to himself and blames others for not being *sensitive* enough to his feelings for having a provocative name.

He’s just asking for trouble.