The long-maligned YouTube comment section has been rife with comedy but low in offering value to the audience that accounts for 1 billion unique visitors per month. When YouTube announced that comments would be tied into its parent company’s Google Plus, the response was mixed but generally understood. Simply put, the comments were negatively affecting user experience and the YouTube brand.
YouTube’s claim is that anonymity is the root cause of the vitriol. Other social networks like Facebook and Twitter have more personal accountability and user control features, making people less likely to post inappropriate comments or simply troll.
YouTube putting a barrier to entry on comments has created a more friendly place for users, but also for brands – where before it was a social network full of anti-social behavior.
Garett Sloane of AdWeek had a great article about this shift and how it is creating a safer space for brands that want to run campaigns through YouTube. The incessant trolling on the site had scared away a few brands that figured the negative-sentiment risk was too high for them to successfully run a campaign through YouTube, as opposed to simply being a video hosting site where people can view and link to funny commercials.
Response and Monitoring on YouTube
So if brands are thinking about investing more into a YouTube strategy as a result of these changes, should they also be thinking of proactively monitoring YouTube comments and conversation like they do on Twitter and Facebook?
As of now, there isn’t a good way to monitor YouTube comments other than manually sending a social media manager to check, report and respond, but that will certainly change in the near future if brands begin flocking to the friendlier waters.
Raidious’ real-time approach to monitoring content across social media channels for our clients is becoming the new norm for digital agencies. But like all good content strategy, efforts should be placed where the audience is. YouTube will likely see fewer comments as a result of these changes but probably not a smaller audience, and it will certainly still be the most prominent video site for the foreseeable future.
Is your brand ready to respond to these changes?