With over 1 billion different people visiting YouTube each month, you could say its audience is pretty big. This means that any change that the site makes affects a lot of people; and we all know how people on the internet love change.
Last year, when YouTube announced its plan for Google+ integration into YouTube, it was met with positive media coverage. After all, it promised a cleaner comment section on the notoriously unpleasant site. However, once it began to implement the new system, Google was slammed with a sea of complaints.
There were some problems with the integration:
– It wasn’t really an ‘integration’ of G+; it was more of a forced signup. Not only was a G+ account a requirement in order to comment, both Gmail and YouTube repeatedly prompted for you to enter your full name. Once you eventually complied to do so, BAM! – You now had a (most likely unwanted) G+ account.
– The comment clean up didn’t work. “While the new system dealt with many spam issues that had plagued YouTube comments in the past, it also introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch, we saw some users taking advantage of them.”
YouTube does have its issues, but its audience can also be a very constructive and beneficial community. A recent study based on user engagement showed that YouTube viewers were the most active audience for advertising online. The community also has the potential (and uses it) to do awesome stuff globally. Initiatives like the Project for Awesome demonstrate the positivity that YouTube can bring to the internet.
Unfortunately, YouTube is blocked in many areas. Most recently, Turkey banned access to the site, as it did with Twitter. Turkey has done this in the past, and the Twitter ban has been lifted, leading to believe that YouTube access will be back soon. However there are still many countries that don’t allow this wonderful place of constructive community, endless content, and hateful, racist, homophobic, sexist rants of ‘free speech’.