Like, comment and subscribe if you’re scared of change

We all know the story; it took YouTube only eight years to grow from a small video sharing website created by three early employees of PayPal into one of the most visited sites in the world. It now regularly gets over one billion unique visitors a month. So it's no surprise that with such a large user base, changing the look and the feel of the website will not please everyone.  The recent YouTube changes have enraged the already outspoken and volatile users of the site.

By Andy Copland

The comments section has come under a lot of criticism, as they tend to range from inane to downright offensive. So the nice people at Google+ (owners of YouTube) have decided it is time they put things right.

The developments are supposed to pull the notoriously rough and troll-filled comments out of the gutter and display only the more relevant ones. By using your account history and your Google plus account (if you actually have one), YouTube selects what it sees as being relevant posts. They are the ones coming from people who are likely to watch what you like, individuals you follow or follow you on social networks and general +1s.

This is YouTube's way of policing comments and thus creating a more civilised conversation. Unfortunately, these changes have brought about huge amounts of confusion and dare we say, spam.

However, it is easy to see that the new commenting system is just one of the many attempts Google has made to transform Google+ into the underlying identity platform for all its products.

The backlash on the internet has been particularly loud, but then again this isn’t the first time users have been angry about change. If you have a Facebook account I’m sure you’ve witnessed the groans of the masses when the interface changes, with the token petition asking Facebook to revert back to the old style. Such petitions never work, nor does the site ever change back, but users seem to always be ready to repeat the cycle again in a few months time.

Whilst YouTube isn't going to remain a barren social outlet any time soon, changes like these and the outcry that soon follows can mark the beginning of the end. One can only hope that Google will learn from this mistake and utilise a user-friendly interface in a less intrusive way.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Oana Baetica - Technical PR consultant

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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