Today YouTube on behalf of Google announced that they would be rolling out “better commenting for YouTube.”
Google leaked this new feature about 6 weeks ago and it has been long anticipated and talked about amongst the video and internet marketing community.
It’s All About Google+
This is happening, whether you like it or not Google+ is rapidly gaining a large chunk of the social market share. They own search, now they want social as well.
Google+ was founded in 2011. Before that Google had a number of failed social network projects including: Google Wave, Google Buzz as well as others like Jaiku and Orkut.
But Google doesn’t like to fail. Later that year, CEO Larry Page tells all employees that a huge chunk of their bonuses would be tied to the success of Google+. That includes those that aren’t even involved in the development of Google+.
But it wasn’t just about the money, this announcement let everyone know how important it was for Google to have a social network.
It turned the entire Google community into a mob of people pleasers: everyone wanted to be the one who made Larry happy.
To date, Google+ is the most successful social network created by Google. As of June 2013 it has 500,000,000 (million) users.
Google is pulling out all of the stops in order to make it a success. Google+ has made the news a number of times for “forcing” users to sign up when signing up for other products, such as Gmail.
So What’s Different?
There are so many changes in YouTube’s new commenting system. To reiterate: it is completely based on the Google+ commenting framework. Yes, this means that you must have a Google+ account to use YouTube.
To start, if you publicly comment on a YouTube video it will show up in your Google+ feed.
Check out this embedded post. I originally commented on this video by Matt Cutts but then found out that it also showed up in my Google+ feed.
You can then go back to the video you will see that the reply that I made on my comment within my Google+ feed is then posted onto the original YouTube feed for everyone to see.
Linking within a YouTube comment
Next I tried what any god fearing SEO would try: dropping a link! YouTube’s old commeting system was really sketchy when it came to links. People had to do all kinds of workarounds to drop links. The new system lets you drop links. It turns out that they added the no-follow attribute (duh!) but they do allow links within comments. I think there are positives and negatives when it comes to this, but it is definitely worth looking into.
Tagging Google+ users in YouTube comments
This is a pretty cool feature that is pretty much self-explanatory. If you are crafting a response on a YouTube video, simply input the + (plus) sign and start typing a name to tag someone. This will “tag” the person and give them a nice notification to check out the video that you mentioned them in.
Embedding Google+ and YouTube comments
The next part of the new commenting system I checked was the ability to link to a comment and embed a comment. About 2 months ago Google+ made a really cool feature available allowing you to easily embed a Google+ post in your website. Unfortunately, YouTube does not allow you to embed YouTube comments in websites (at least not easily anyway) unlike Google+.
It is worth noting that you can embed YouTube videos the same way as always. Another way to embed a YouTube video is like this:
1. comment on a YouTube video publicly go to your Google+ profile
2. find the comment within your Google+ feed and click the down arrow and select “embed post”
3. you can then embed a YouTube video in your website like this:
What happened to my old comments?
Don’t worry, all of your old comments are still there. In fact, it gets better! Any sort of engagement that happened from your shared YouTube video on Google+ has been nicely formatted into YouTube’s commenting system. For instance, yesterday Kapar Syzmanski shared this video on his Google+ account:
More “features” worth noting
- YouTube comments still have the classic up/down vote system as they did in the past.
- YouTube comments do not have the ability to +1
- YouTube comments do not have the ability to reshare comm
- YouTube page owners can remove comments
- “Top comments” are now gone, as far as I can tell.
- It looks way more clean
Using YouTube to promote your blog and profile
This is huge for marketers. There are so many ways to use this new system to funnel traffic and interest back to your blog.
For starters, embedding YouTube videos in your website will open your site up to new visitors that you might not have received before.
This will truly turn your blog into an interactive web 2.0 experience.
I will definitely be using YouTube a lot more both as a publisher and a user to reap all of these new benefits.
Of course, some people are not happy about this. In fact the new system has brought up a number of issues for people including:
- old Google+ posts with embedded YouTube videos that were not marked private are now displaying those comments left by the original user.
- threaded comments have been un-threaded
- interface changes were made, which tends to anger people
I AM GOING NUNTS, SWITCHING MY YOUTUBE TO GOOGLE+ NOW I CAN’T FILTER YOUTUBE COMMENTS IN MY INBOX AND I HAVE LIKE 300 IN LIKW 20 MINS UGH
— Daniel Sulzbach (@MrRepzion) November 7, 2013
DANG IT YOUTUBE/GOOGLE! Just give us a comment system like @reddit, with no interaction with Google+, & some cookies! #YouTubeComments
— MegaTrev (@MegaTrev) November 7, 2013
About new YouTube comments, Tiffany would like to retract her statement of “YT is her best friend. Best friends don’t tell you to shut up.
— SM ENTERTAINMENT (@SMentertainmnt) November 7, 2013
The heck is up with the YouTube comments. It’s like they want us to never go on YouTube again.
— Rogue #EarthEP (@RogueMoosic) November 7, 2013
I have absolutely no idea what is going on with the new Youtube comments section.
— TotalBiscuit (@Totalbiscuit) November 7, 2013
So yes, there are lots of people unhappy. On the other hand I’ve found an equal amount of people who are excited with the new changes. Overall most YouTube users do not seem to notice, and have been commenting away all evening long.
Google has also updated their terms of service to reflect some of these new changes. It mainly clarifies how your name appears in “Google Products” aka YouTube. It also mentions privacy, confidentiality and security.
*Technical note: I’ve been deeply immersed in this new feature all day, but we all still have a lot to learn. This is all very new to all of us. If anyone has any comments or corrections on what I have reported please feel free to let me know or comment below. Thanks!