We are flying in the face of popular opinion right now when it comes to the recent change by Google to the Youtube comments section. For those of you not aware of the storm it unleashed let me tell you that Youtube users were very far from happy about it. As is often the case with any change on the web it invokes a petition.
As I write over 177,000 people have signed it and this will no doubt increase, but it is barely a scratch on the 1 billion unique visitors to Youtube each month. While a lot of users have a genuine grievance about their favourite video service having a major revamp to their comments section a sizeable proportion of opponents to the change will be the trolls, spammers and general troublemakers that have made Youtube comments a no go area for pretty much everyone apart from other trolls.
The comments section became a platform for anonymous abuse, bullying and vitriol. In short it served no useful purpose.
With the requirement for Youtube users to now have a Google+ account before they can comment changes the game completely. Whilst the abuse can continue it now means that users are accountable for what they write online. We at Big Brand Ideas believe this a great thing for a number of reasons. Members of our Google Plus circles will see our videos and thus appear at the top of the comments section. Spam will be minimized and will be more easily managed. Users can comment back either privately or publicly and give the conversation more value. In turn comments can also be shown on Google plus if required which in turn increases cross pollination and visibility in search.
Youtube is the second biggest search engine after Google itself and as we know Youtube is owned by Google. Because the two services are so tightly integrated it is now easy to keep up to date with the conversation on your video. Notifications are now tied in with G+ and as a consequence it makes moderating that conversation so much easier. Trolls can now be easily blocked, thus reinforcing the quality of the other posts and building real value and search traction for the video and its interactions. Two further nice touches which is the cherry on the cake for us is the fact that the comments area no longer has a character restriction and there is now support for Google translate.
In summary we know that this major overhaul is a very good thing for all. We do not believe Google will yield on this change because they know it benefits the majority of users, many of which already have Google Plus accounts. Google have been integrating all of their services into one uniform platform that have tethered together their cloud storage, documents, play store, movies, music, search, maps, hangouts, currents, mail, photos and other services. For users of Youtube, cries of calling the service “Facebook TV” allude to the fact that they perhaps only use Youtube and no other Google service and thus are not seeing the big picture.