YouTube has finally decided that the homophobic, racist and hate speech-laden bottom-of-the-barrel comments section of each video are no longer appropriate nor relevant. The Google-owned video sharing site has also found another way to shove Google+ into our faces, whether we like it or not. Straight from YouTube's blog, the company summed it up,
When it comes to the conversations happening on YouTube, recent does not necessarily mean relevant. So, comments will soon become conversations that matter to you. In the coming months, comments from people you care about will rise up where you can see them, while new tools will help video creators moderate conversations for welcome and unwelcome voices.
YouTube says that beginning this week, if you're a Google+ user, you'll start to notice YouTube comments popping up on your channel discussion tab. Later on in the year, YouTube says it will transition all video comments to a Google+-powered experience, as part of its way of connecting you with familiar faces. What this all boils down to is instead of seeing 100 attempts of a "first" comment, followed by an argument of which race is better (I prefer the 5k myself), you'll see more "via Google+" comments and threads show up at the top of the comment section.
At the least, it's a somewhat better way to eliminate the spam, hopefully, however savvy Internet users will recognize this as something similar to when Facebook started deciding which of your friends are worthy enough to appear in your Timeline. The good news is we do have more detail on some of the features we'll see in this transition to a new comment system.
- Comments you care about move to the top: You'll see posts at the top of the list from the video's creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles.
- Join the conversation publicly or privately: You can choose to start a conversation so that it is seen by everyone on YouTube and Google+, only people in your Circles or just your bestie. Like Gmail, replies are threaded so you can easily follow conversations.
- Better ways to moderate comments: You have new tools to review comments before they're posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans. These can help you spend less time moderating, and more time sharing videos and connecting with your fans.
This also sort of feels like Microsoft's so.cl meets an instant messaging service, where you can pull your friends into a conversation about a song, video clip or picture that you liked on the web. Perhaps it will make the comments section of YouTube videos exciting to read again. Adversely, it might just be another reason to avoid it altogether, as you'll be reading more comments from the same couple of people who are active on YouTube, who are also in your Circles on G+.