Monday, November 11, 2013

2013 vlog #11 | How much is Google+/YouTube pissing me off? Let me count the ways!



Ever since Google+ and YouTube merged, this site has really gone downhill and I don't see much hope for recovery. It's really pissing me off. I bet these are similar gripes a lot of you have, too. If you do, please let me know.

They keep changing the subscription queue. It was great several years ago when you clicked on your subscriptions and they were all in little boxes where you could see them all pretty much on one pace. Then they changed it to look like a Facebook feed, which was a pain because you could only see a few on the screen at any given time. Though at least if you watched the video it would disappear from your subscription feed. NOW even when you watch a video it still stays on your subscription feed, it's just slightly grayed out with a "watched" notation in the top left corner. Why do I still need it in my feed if I've already watched it?!

Speaking of subscriptions, there used to be a time where if you missed a video from someone, you could just click on their name in your subscription queue to see all their most recent videos. Well, now when you do that it just takes you to their main channel page. And that wouldn't be so bad, but they keep changing the way the channel pages are laid out and how they work. YouTube tries to show you the videos from that channel they think you should watch. Shouldn't all the videos in reverse chronological order be the default?

Speaking of the channels, whenever I try to arrange the playlists on my main channel and move them around, I'll click on the up or down arrow and it'll move, but then I scroll the screen and it moves back. What the hell!? These types of buggy glitches are for amateurs - why can't a huge tech company like Google get it right?

The YouTube smartphone app has always sucked. You've never been able to check your comments on it and it's really difficult to navigate and search. I've rarely used it in the last four years.

The YouTube partner program is completely useless by now. It was nice being a partner back in 2010 when it actually meant something. You could upload longer videos, upload your own thumbnails and run ads on your videos. Now they let everyone and anyone do that. So at this point I'm assuming the partner program isn't even a thing anymore.

Speaking of customization - whenever I upload a video and then try to upload my own thumbnail picture, it'll appear in the preview box for a second or two and then disappear. Then I have to do the whole thing over again. Again, another ridiculous glitch that's been persistent for a while now. How come they haven't fixed this by now?

I hate how whenever you tweet a link to a video it won't always have the full title of the video in the tweet AND it'll always have an automatic "via @youtube" suffix. There should be a way that each user can customize it so that if someone tweets a link through their video, that it would tweet at YOUR twitter instead of YouTube's.

Ever since they forced me to sign into YouTube through my Google+ account I notice whenever I type in the tags they no longer auto complete. It was nice, because there's times where I would only have to type a few letters and the suggestions would pop up and I could click on them. I don't know why, but they aren't doing this anymore.

I've been getting a lot of copyright notices from YouTube lately over videos that have no copyrighted material in them! They've been doing this on random episode of my Batman vlogs and even an episode of me and Peter's review of "Y The Last Man". It's just me talking to the webcam - there's no copyrighted footage unless they're talking about my t-shirt or something like that. And what's worse is that when YouTube sends you one of these notices that you're in breach of their copyright policy is that there's absolutely NO WAY to respond to it saying there's no copyrighted material in the video. They just ask you about your recording equipment, software, and links to the terms of service of everything you used to create the video. They never actually tell you WHAT it is in your video that's a copyright violation. You're guilty until you can prove your innocence. This could be random trolls just flagging random videos to be a dick, but there should still be SOME form of due process. I don't make a ton of money on my videos, but every little bit helps. Plus it's the principle of the issue - don't randomly accuse me of being a pirate and then making me GUESS as to what I've done wrong!

They disabled video responses. They say it's because the click through rate on the video response is so small it's just not worth it. So what's the point of disabling them, then? A lot of people rely on video responses as part of contests and any kind of community related activities they participate in. Also, what about all the PREVIOUS video responses? They're all gone now! If they insisted on instituting this ridiculous policy couldn't they have at least grandfathered in all the old video responses? Now there's going to be a ton of videos in people's archives that make no sense since there's no video response attached.

I can't figure out how the hell to start a live stream on YouTube. There was a time where you just went to your main channel page and there was a link in a banner across the top of the page that said click here to start a Google hangout or whatever. When I was interviewing John Richards, the director of the beer hunter movie, I wanted to do it as a Google hangout so people could watch it live, but we couldn't figure out how to make it happen. It shouldn't be this difficult to perform such an easy task.

The Google+/YouTube merger is an absolute MESS. I don't know how else to put it. Why do I have to have a Google+ account just to have a YouTube account? Why can't they be separate entities? And then it creates separate accounts within the accounts. This makes no sense! When I'm signed on as ChadzBeerReviews and I click on "switch account" there's no THREE accounts by the name of "ChadzBeerReviews" - what the hell!? Where did all these accounts come from and how do I get rid of them?

I never liked Google+ from the day it launched and I still hate it today. But now that I'm FORCED to have a Google+ account, just to have a YouTube account, it's even less appealing. How good can your product be if you're not giving people a choice to use it!? I like YouTube - why can't I just have a YouTube account?! So I create a Google+ account for each of my YouTube channels, and then it wants to create yet ANOTHER YouTube channel for that Google+ account. Why!? This makes no sense!

I can't see the comments on any videos anymore! Everytime I click on the inbox there's a banner that says "most comment notifications will be delivered by Google+ and not your inbox." First of all, it says "most" not "all." But since I haven't seen any comments in my YouTube inbox in a week or two, I'm assuming there's no way to see comments in my YouTube inbox anymore. So that's just a lie. Second of all, it doesn't actually tell you how to check your comments on Google+. All I can tell is that they want to either email your or send you a SMS message for each individual comment you receive! WTF who would want an individual email for each individual comment!? And they don't even ask you beforehand, it's an automatic setting. You have to follow the links in the email to unsubscribe.

They never actually tell you how to check your YouTube comments through Google+. I'm assuming you can't. Or can you only see comments left by people in your "circles"? and if so, where - how?! It shouldn't be this difficult to figure out a social networking site!

I notice there's sometimes a number next to a bell next to my screen name in the top right corner, but all that tells you is that someone shared one of my videos. Shouldn't THAT be where I see the comments at least? This is just a complete ripoff of the Facebook sidebar (which is also annoying and redundant).

I remember people predicting these kinds of issues a few years ago. I remember hearing a lot of conspiracy theories that YouTube was just going to become another Netflix type website where you'd pay to watch professional Hollywood type movies and TV shows, and all the user content would be buried. Well, it's starting to look like that prediction is coming true. All these glitches and the fact that the comments are such a clusterfuck really discourages me from using YouTube anymore. I pretty much only watch a few select videos from a few select channels, but I rarely comment anymore because I'll never be able to see if anyone responds to it. It's even worse when you have a channel like mine and you enjoy reading the comments, but now that I can't see them I feel like I'm just screaming into the abyss.

I have a feeling this is all being done to combat spam and trolls because it is really frustrating to have to have a Google+ account just to comment on a damn YouTube video. I really hope Google would take a clue and stop this stupid Google+/YouTube merger and go back to the way things used to be, but I wouldn't count on it. If this is how YouTube is going to be from here on out, it's going to be a pretty lonely and boring place for the average person.

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