When you want excellent reviews and hands on videos, feel like watching kittens being adorable, or are simply looking to watch a music video – you probably find yourself on YouTube. On the other hand, when you are looking for stimulating conversations and top-notch comments, YouTube’s comment section is probably the last place you’d ever look. Google wants to change that!
On Tuesday, Youtube announced that their comment system is getting a major overhaul, and will now be powered by Google+. The goal here will be to show relevant comments first, not just the most recently posted video responses.
So what makes a comment relevant? Three things: up-votes, the commenter’s community engagement and the commenter rep.
In other words, the channel owner’s comments will be prioritized, and so will well known YouTube participants. As for the random guy or gal who always says “First” when watching a vid? Yah, they will quickly find themselves sinking to the bottom of the list. The same will be true for other spam, hate speech and simply comments that seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the video.
Currently, you see comments from the last random person to stop by. The new system tries to surface the most meaningful conversation to you. We're trying to shift from comments to meaningful conversations.
YouTube product manager
Outside of making comments more relevant, Youtube is also providing several cool Google+ related features. For instance, if you comment on a Google+ post with a YouTube video embedded in it, the comment will now show up on YouTube as well.
When in YouTube, you’ll also find comments from people in your circles are also closer to the top of the list. YouTube will also allow you to comment about videos publicly or privately to people in your circles.
Does the new Google+ integration mean that your YouTube identity is a thing of the past? Not really.
Rest assured, you can still use pseudonyms and maintain a bit of separation between the two services. This isn’t just about “forcing folks to Google+” like conspiracy theorists might have you believe, it’s about making comments better and helping reduce the presence of hate and spam.
For channel owners and uploaders, you’ll also be happy to know that Google is giving you the power to better moderate comments and conversations within your channel and videos. This includes the ability to blacklist words, whitelist specific commenters and more.
The switch to the new Google+ powered comment system will go into effect on the channel discussion tab starting this week, and will make its way to all YouTube videos in the months to come.
What if you (for whatever reason) don’t want relevant comments, and simply wish for things to stay the same? No worries, Google will have a drop-down menu that allows you to switch to “recency”, which will present comments in the order that they were posted in.