YouTube has started its new comment system that requires users to sign in with a Google+ account to comment on videos, and YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim isn’t very pleased about it.
“Why the fuck do i need a google+ account to comment on a video?” he wrote (h/t Peter Kafka at AllThingsD). Karim is one of three former PayPal employees who formed YouTube in 2005 before selling it to Google in 2006.
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Google’s new system for commenting on YouTube
Online comments have long been something of a joke, with sincere comments being drowned out by conspiracy theories, abject nonsense, and aggressive trolling on any popular site that allows for anonymous commenting. Some websites have tried to get readers to sign in, but the idea of creating yet another account and password to remember turns most people off. Letting people sign in with social media accounts such as Facebook is increasingly common, and many sites let you use whatever social media account you like, but of course Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) wants people to use its own network.
The assumption is that most people will be more careful about what they write if they can be identified (though both parts of that statement are dubious), but having people sign in with Google+ also allows for new features that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) can use to make comments sections more interesting, such as limiting it to people in your circle or seeing your friends’ comments first, reports Stuart Dredge for The Guardian.
Google’s strategies for user numbers
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been able to drive membership in Google+ by simply creating accounts for everyone who uses the company’s other services, but there is still a big discrepancy between the number of users and the number of active users – 300 million versus 540 million according to Google. This decision is one of the strategies that Google is using to close the gap, and we can expect to see more in the future. Requiring a log-in to use the search engine is probably far too risky to contemplate, since search engine dominance is still at the core of Google’s business model, but every other Google product will be woven into Google+ if it hasn’t been already.