Monday, November 11, 2013

Google+ YouTube Comments - Why People Are Overeacting


It seems everybody nowadays are severely resistant against any change, regardless of any positive or negative impact it may cause. I'm sure you can somewhat relate, as nobody likes it when they are finally accustomed to something, then have it abruptly change in front of their eyes. Then again, YouTube is no newbie to this, as they are the culprit to changing and screwing around with their site hundreds of times.

Google+ rolling out their "better" commenting system caused one of the most massive outrage on the internet, even potentially surpassing the outrage caused by the very first 2.0 channel layout back in 2009. It also spawned numerous petitions on change.org, garnering over 50,000 signatures to revert back to the way things were.

Honestly, I really don't think it's as bad as people are making it out to be. Call me crazy and hammer me on the head, but I actually like a lot of the new features and improved convenience of the new comments system. However, that doesn't mean its without its flaws. At the moment, if Google would iron out the bugs and possibly squash the enforcement of Google+, I truly think the new system would be mostly favorable compared to the old system.

Here's why:

Pros of the new comments system:


* Unlimited character length - One of the most annoying nuisances with the old comments was the maximum 500 character limit, which caused many people to break their long comments into many separate comments. Thus, this causes more comments posted than necessary and additionally increased confusion amongst viewers.
* HTML links allowed and clickable - If you didn't recall, the old comments didn't allow any sort of HTML links embedded. This was I believe due to Google enforcing anti-spam measures to protect comments from spammers. For the users ourselves, this is sort of a double edged sword—we can finally post HTML links in comments, but we are now more susceptible to spam. Nevertheless, I think the former outweighs the latter. As the manager of comments ourselves, we can safely block or delete all the nasty spam.
* Threaded replies - When people reply to comments, you can now much more easily see all the replies as they are correctly lay out and indented from the post being replied to. This is similar to how old comments used to work, until Google somehow screwed it up some time ago.
* Editing comments - All new comments can be edited infinitely, from changing a small typo to completing changing the contents. I'm not sure how I positively feel about this, as it could definitely cause increased fraud—where one user can say something, then turn around to say something else.
* Comments notifications - Albeit losing the YouTube Inbox completely for comments, the new notification system allows quick and easy access to new activities on your channel, including new comments posted to your videos. Better yet, you can check comments and even reply to them without leaving the page you're on (e.g. you can watch a video while checking and replying to comments at the same time).

Cons of the new comments system:


* Google+ enforcement - Of course, one of the most leading cons of the new comments system is Google's requirement of owning or creating a Google+ profile/page in order to post comments. Whether you think Google is secretly doing this to push popularity of their social networking service, you have to agree that nobody likes to be forced to use a separate service to be able to have a convenience such as posting comments. This is especially valid if one doesn't even need it.
* Top comments - By top comments, Google somehow has failed miserably in delivering what they are indicating. Instead of top comments, we get comments from Google+ circles and then the bulk of the rest hidden deemed to spam (even though the majority of them are NOT). There is also no way to automatically adjust comments to show newest only instead of top comments. This is by far the biggest issue of the bunch, making even popular YouTubers such as ashens disabling comments and directing viewers to another site to comment. Now that's just ludicrous.
* Unlimited character length and HTML links - Yes, two of the pros are also two of the cons. Unlimited character length encourages users to spam long, useless comments like the internet trolls they are, including stupid ASCII art—in which we thought we had forgotten about in the early 2000s. HTML links can cause innocent viewers to go to an obscene or offensive site. All of these are happening in abundance everywhere on the site right now. Regardless, I'm sure as time moves on, the internet trolls will become bored of this passion and we may hopefully receive more normality in comments.
* Inability to reply to old comments -  For some odd reason, Google decided that comments posted prior to the new comments system taking place can no longer be replied to, even if they are a couple hours old. It could be quite simple to update old comments to work with the new system, but being the fools they are, Google has decided old comments must be stuck in stone for eternity. Nice...

Okay, here is the biggest question people may ask if they are still on the fence about joining Google+ with their YouTube:

Will my privacy be preserved and will I be able to hide my real name to the public?

YES! Google grants you several options when you proceed to connect your YouTube account to a Google+ account. Of course, you can choose to have it be connected to your user profile account with you real name, but you have an option to keep your YouTube username or enter a new name.

When you pick "keep your YouTube username", all it does is create an additional page under your main Google+ user profile account with that name. Hence, the two are still intertwined. However, there is no way for someone to locate and find your Google+ user profile account by just looking at your YouTube Google+ page.

Perhaps the most favorable bit of connecting your YouTube account to a Google+ page is being able to edit your username as often as you like—opposed to your user profile, which you can only change the name every 3 years or so.

See the video below for more details:


Summary:


People really need to give the new comments system a try before they bash it with full on negativity. I for one am getting dreary of all the recent comments on every video bashing it, when they should be focusing on the video contents instead.

Yes, there are some major cons as aforementioned, but the way people are reacting to it now is senseless. They only cry about how bad it is, how it ruins their privacy (when it doesn't) and how they desire the old system back. When instead, they should be giving proper feedback with good etiquette in order to improve it. Even if individuals despise it solely because they're forced to use Google+, why not just leave their Google+ alone and they won't ever have to see it again? And honestly, do they really think Google will actually revert back to their old comments system? Haven't anyone ever heard about what happened to all the changes many years ago, where no matter of how many petitions and backlash, Google kept what they invented?

I'm not defending Google nor am I hating on them either. They did something that could have good potential with the comments system—they only need to iron out the bugs, since the Google+ aspect is pretty much ultimately set in stone.

2 comments:

  1. When use said "useless comments like the internet trolls they are" I really knew what you were talking about like those that tells you thiis is bob and this his tak blah blah blabah

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