The typical top YouTube comments on a popular video are typically humorous, wildly offensive, and/or incredibly dumb. The current YouTube comment platform also isn’t good at developing genuine conversation about a video — especially with friends, coworkers, or others that follow your commentary online. It’s no wonder that YouTube is ready to chuck the old system out the window for something that’s hopefully better.
And that’s not to say that commenting on a YouTube video doesn’t happen, which it does. However, the quality conversations of those videos happen on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and any number of other social networks. Today’s announcement shows that YouTube realizes this, and wants to do something about it.
The new system basically takes all the functionality of commenting on Google+ and applies it to YouTube videos. That means you’ll not only get threaded conversations, but you’ll also have much more control over who sees your YouTube comments. Much like Google+, the new comment system will enable you to specify which of your social circles get to see a conversation thread. Also, you’ll be able to moderate comment threads that you start by blocking certain words or requiring that all comments get approved prior to anyone seeing them. (Of course, there are setting to make all your comments public and auto-approve all comments in the thread you start, too.)
And YouTube is also attempting to sort the comments you care about to the top. That means comments from the video’s creator, comments from friends, or other popular comments will be the first things you see when navigating to the discussion section of a video.
The only set-back to the new commenting system is that you will need a Google+ account before you’ll be able to start commenting. This might not actually be much of an issue since Google has already pushed the majority of YouTube users to combine their YouTube accounts with their Google accounts — meaning signing up for Google+ to comment on YouTube won’t require much effort.
YouTube said the new Google+ commenting system begins rolling out this week, and will eventually come to all users.