TMCnet Feature
September 26, 2013

YouTube Adds G+ Powered Relevance Engine to Video Comments

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

If you’re a YouTube (News - Alert) content creator or follower, then you know that there’s a lot of detritus when it comes to viewer feedback: spam, off-the-cuff remarks and the nonsensical mingle equally with the relevant, the heartfelt kudos and the constructive criticism.

Starting this week, the video service is rolling out a new YouTube comments section, powered by Google (News - Alert)+ on the channel discussion tab. Comments that users care about the most will move to the top, so that posts at the top of the list will include those from the video’s creator, popular personalities, the most engaged discussions about the video, and people in relevant Google+ Circles.

Users can also join the conversation publicly or privately: They can choose to start a conversation so that it is seen by everyone on YouTube and Google+, only people in their Circles or just specific people. Like Gmail, replies are threaded so users can more easily follow conversations.

Image via Shutterstock

YouTube is also building in what it says are better ways to moderate comments: Users have new tools to review comments before they’re posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans.

The goal, according to YouTube, is to help users spend less time moderating and more time sharing videos and connecting with your fans.

Execs put it into perspective in a blog: “Quick taste test. Let’s say you’re watching a video from Justin Timberlake,” said Nundu Janakiram, product manager at YouTube, and Yonatan Zunger, principal engineer at the service. “What type of video comment would be awesome to see: one from JT himself, one from people you care about who love the video...or one from just the last random person to stop by?”

We probably ALL know the answer to that.

“When it comes to the conversations happening on YouTube, recent does not necessarily mean relevant,” they added. “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.”

The functionality does require drinking more of the Google Kool-Aid and signing up for a Google+ profile or page on YouTube. The update will come to comments on all videos later this year.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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