Not everyone is happy with YouTube’s new comment system that launched site-wide Thursday. The new functionality requires anyone who wants to comment on a YouTube video to first register or sign into Google+. Needless to say, when you more or less force the web to do anything, they respond poorly. Since the launch of the new comments, users have turned to social media platforms, as is the style these days, to voice their discontent.
So far, the response has ranged from the semi-rational “I don’t like this,” to all-out rage. “Google+ is ruining YouTube. Stop forcing us! I don’t give any amount of fucks about Google+,” writes one unhappy commenter.
Seeing this as perhaps an opportunity to trumpet his crowdfunding site Subbable, YouTuber/author John Green took to the Twittersphere to explain that the community-based startup was implementing “normal functional comments.” Green writes: “You can’t comment on YouTube without Google+ anymore… So we installed normal, functional comments over @subbable.”
Subbable, launched by Hank and John Green in July, is a platform in which fans can support the web shows they love via monthly Kickstarter-style donations. Subbable currently hosts projects from 11 creators, including YouTube veterans like Mysteryguitarman and Wheezy Waiter.
Since making the declaration, it seems that Green has made good on his comments (pun intended). On a newly uploaded episode of “Crash Course,” Green can be seen commenting under the video. He writes “I’m practicing commenting” in what looks like a promised “normal, functional” comment system.
As you can see above, the comment system is extremely functional and requires zero login other than a free Subbable “subscription.” However, there currently doesn’t seem to be an option to erase comments, which is slightly embarrassing for the young journalist who tested it out.
For many creators, YouTube — and by proxy Google — seems to be driving a wedge between creators and their community, which is a sentiment partners have been echoing for a while. The general consensus is that fans will be less likely to interact with creators simply because commenting is now a hassle. Things have gotten so far out of hand that a petition has been launched at Change.org asking YouTube to revert back to old comments.
However, this isn’t the first time the YouTube community has raised a torch in Google’s direction. When YouTube rolled out its new site redesign earlier this year, a similar petition was launched asking YouTube to bring the old site back. The petition received over 30,000 signatures, and YouTube…didn’t care! The new redesign rolled out and people were mad, then they stopped caring. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but YouTube is going to do what YouTube wants to do.
The same applies for any form of social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr have rolled out controversial site changes that were met with aggressive user feedback. Yet, those sites’ followings are no smaller than they were before a big update. The web is fickle; changes of any kind are going to experience a certain level of backlash. Historically though, people learn to live with it, that is until the next update rolls out.