YouTube has been pushing people to tie their YouTube account to their Google+ account for many months and now they’re making it even harder to say no. This new feature allows you to direct your comments to your Google+ friends with a tag mention.
It’s an easy process if you know the Google+ usernames of all of your friends. Just write your comment then type + and the first letter and you’ll get a drop down with options. You can also tag circles of people by clicking the “Public” drop down then choosing which of your circles you want to add.
You can also remove the “Public” tag and keep the comment between you and your friends. Since replies are threaded, you can easily follow a conversation and pull anyone in – such as the creator of the video – whenever you feel the need.
YouTube is also going to decide which comments you care about:
Comments you care about move to the top: You’ll see posts at the top of the list from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles. You can still see the most recent comments by switching from “Top Comments” to “Newest First.”
If you post content on YouTube, there are new options for you, too:
Easily moderate comments: If you also post videos on your channel, you’ll have new tools to review comments before they’re posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans.
Need to see this explained in a video? I’ve got you covered.
The takeaway here is that comments are now conversations. As a content provider, you should be replying to your commenters. Suggest other videos and not just your own. Answer their questions. Thank them for stopping buy. Sure there are a lot of drive-by trolls and spammers on YouTube but if you take the time, you can cultivate a valuable community of loyal viewers.