) is about to require a Google Plus account to comment on YouTube
videos, which could give both properties a boost.
Google is the undisputed king of Internet search. Last month, its
share of the search market was
. It even makes the
most popular browser
, Chrome, with 52% of the market. Gmail is also the world's largest
email provider, having
) Hotmail in October of last year.
But with its several forays into social networking, Google didn't
have so much luck. Buzz was dead on arrival. Orkut was a noble
effort but it mainly lives on in Brazil. Google Plus was well
received, but two years after its launch, it's still basically a
YouTube, however, can be considered both the second-largest search
engine and the second-largest social network. Google is now
marrying it to Google Plus to solve the problem of YouTube's
notoriously awful and irrelevant comments.
"When it comes to the conversations happening on YouTube, recent
does not necessarily mean relevant," Nundu Janakiram, a project
on the official YouTube Blog. "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."
Janakiram is of course referring to the video site's anonymous and
often bigoted bullying and generally tasteless comments. Tying
comments on videos to real identities is sure to dramatically
reduce the level of trolling. Online publishers elsewhere are
having users sign in with
) and Twitter to comment.
Starting this week, YouTube's comments section will be powered by
Google Plus. This way, the original video poster's comments, or
comments that others found interesting, will float to the top, in a
similar fashion to the upvoting feature on Reddit.com. You can also
comment in ways that will only be seen by your friends or certain
circles, rather than the entire Internet.
Judging by similar efforts at other outlets, using your real name
(or at least a pseudonym that you bothered to make a Google Plus
account for) in comments dramatically improves civil discourse. For
Google, it might even get people to start actually using Google
Plus rather than Facebook. Google Plus user growth is already
Twitter, but getting people to actually spend a lot of time on it
and make it valuable for advertisers is another thing. This change
could turn Google Plus into a stronger contender against rivals.