YouTube’s brand new commenting system has just begun rolling out worldwide today, the company announced on its blog. The new system is powered by Google+ and according to YouTube, its designed to “turn comments into conversations that matter to you.” For anyone familiar with how vitriolic some comment sections can become on the site, it’s an attempt by YouTube to fix one of its biggest and most glaring problems.
As part of the change, certain comments will now move to the top as Top Comments. Previously, Top Comments were composed of comments from the uploader, followed by the two most upvoted comments. Now it will include comments from popular personalities, people from your Google+ Circles, as well as “engaged discussions about the video.” Thankfully, the option to see the most recent comments instead remains.
Another new feature is the ability to comment publicly or privately. You can have your comment visible by anyone on the site like normal, a select group of friends on Google+, or even a single person that you’d like to talk to about the video. It’s a neat little addition, but it’s questionable how many people will use that last option, considering that they’d most likely already be chatting elsewhere.
Finally, moderating comments should be much easier for YouTube channel managers. Comments can be auto-approved for certain users, particular words can be blocked, and there are new tools to review comments before they appear on the video.
Overall, it seems like a solid effort to fix the problematic commenting system on YouTube. But only time will tell if it’s successful, and judging from the early reaction, many users aren’t pleased.