YouTube may have a bit of a rep online for attracting the worst of the internet commenters, but Google’s out to take a proverbial bar of soap to the video uploading service’s filthy mouth.
Since internet denizens are apparently more likely to be racist, misogynistic and generally terrible when hidden behind a pseudonym (though Facebook-based blog comments may say otherwise…), Google is now offering incentives for YouTube users to tie their YouTube profile in with their G+ profile, with the promise that attaching the account will offer new features and perks. This feature had been open to new users since March, but it now being opened to the general YouTube population.
Cleaning up YouTube comments would definitely be a step in the right direction for corporations put off by joining because of YouTube’s well known crass culture. It’s no exaggeration to say that participation in the service can invite anything from mild trolling to outright illegal comments that companies would rather not have associated with their brand. And of course, disallowing comments on videos may be seen as trying to sweep an unsuccessful piece of advertising under the rug.
However, could this be another misstep on Google’s part if the YouTube profile campaign is seen as part of its quest to make G+ more palatable to the non-tech crowd? Wil Wheaton has already spoken out about Google being perceived as heavy handed in trying to make G+ an across the board success, to the tune of a blog post that made quite a stir. Sure, consolidating identity and determining what people are really looking for may be important in a secure search world, but will the consumers that count be willing to give up their comfy mask of anonymity for the promise of better share features? And for that matter, does the G+ membership have the growth potential in the average Joe demographic to make this viable?
Would you attach your G+ account to your YouTube account for promised perks? Or do you believe in keeping your identities separate?