YouTube "Like" Button To Be Replaced by Google Plus’ +1 Share Button?

By March 16, 2012 July 29th, 2016 Industry Perspective

Google seems to be furthering its plot to take over the world by tapping into the one social network it HAS managed to develop well, and that’s YouTube. Yep — it looks like they’re testing out how to leverage the community of the one, YouTube, to prop up (or possibly force us to join and use) the other, Google Plus.

So let’s play that game you often find in tabloid magazines where you have to decide “what’s different” between two seemingly identical photos. Here are screenshots from two different computers — while logged into the same account — of the same YouTube video being watched:

BLASTmedia YouTube video Like Button before

BLASTmedia YouTube video google +1 Button after

Notice the difference? Okay, so aside from picture cropping differences, here’s the right answer:  Google and YouTube (GooTube, if you will) are testing out replacing the old “Like” button (AKA the “thumbs up” icon) with a Google+ “+1 Share” button:

Google-Plus-Feature YouTube Like Button BLASTmedia

What’s up with that? Well, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last five years, then you know that Google owns YouTube — the popular video content sharing site AND social network. You’ve also probably been hiding under a rock if you didn’t realize that YouTube is actually a social community, and that many of the socialization factors within the network actually help to optimize your YouTube videos to rank better. As a matter of fact, YouTube was originally conceived as a social networking site, which is why you have the option to say whether you’re male or female and what your marital status is when you sign up (although that information no longer shows up on your channel).

So while perusing YouTube last night, I noticed that Google’s “G+ Share” button (now with a new look, I might add) had replaced the “Like” button beneath a video to which I wanted to show some social love. Why was this so annoying to me, you might ask? Well, because the particular YouTube account I was logged into was that of a client  — whose YouTube/Gmail login address does not have an accompanying Google+ page. Don’t get me wrong, the client has a Google Plus page, but their YouTube and Google+ profiles are NOT linked together via the same Gmail address. As a matter of fact, when Google Plus for businesses first rolled out, you had to have your profile attached to a personal Google+ account, and that meant usually using a different Gmail than ones already set up to use with YouTube accounts.

[Don’t worry, my head is spinning, too, even trying to recall all the conundrums that have occurred since Google started trying to launch platforms (which it doesn’t get).]

Anyway, the video I was watching last night was a video review of one of my client’s products, something their YouTube channel would have liked to have given a public “thumbs up” to (in addition to favoriting it and adding it to one of its playlists) for notification to the many YouTube subscribers who are privy to their activity feed. But I wasn’t given the opportunity to do that. And to give it the proper “G+ Share” click I was now being offered, I would have had to have logged out and logged back in with another account. (Something I find myself doing a lot these days working at an agency where I have to be in and out of different YouTube channels, Google Adwords accounts, Gmail accounts, Google Analytics accounts, and now flippin’ Google+ accounts all day long. “Calgon, take me away!”)

Here’s the new deal: Whether you are looking to create a new account for YouTube, Gmail, or any other Google product, Google is now requiring new users of these services/accounts to create a  Google+ enabled profile. It’s mandatory.

I remember when this process first started rolling out in January 2011, when Google started forcing people to link their YouTube accounts — new and existing — to Google Accounts. And yeah, the YouTube community was pissed.

We should have realized what was coming when, in YouTube’s recent channel and site re-design, they eliminated the ability to add “Friends” as part of the site’s social networking features. It now makes sense that they would rather such “socialization” between YouTube content producers and viewers occur over on Google Plus, to try and encourage more engagement over there.

I do notice that the option to +1 a video still appears among the features one finds by clicking on the “Share” button beneath a video (alongside options for sharing on Facebook and Twitter):

Google Plus +1 button also beneath the video under share features

…and I also get it that this is not site-wide. (Nor is it based on accounts, as I’ve logged into the same account from different computers and found that one showed the G+ share button, while the other the old thumbs up “Like.”) So that means that, yes, this is likely only a test. And despite the fact that every recent “test” YouTube has done eventually gets implemented site-wide anyway (regardless of the negative feedback from the YouTube community), I’d still like to offer my feedback (plea) to those working in the GooTube labs:

PLEASE don’t do this! …My personal Gmail is not the same as my work Gmail (run through Google Apps anyway), nor is my personal Gmail tied to the personal YouTube account I use most often (yeah, namely the one I set up in 2006, before any of these shenanigans began). YouTube, you are deterring me from wanting to log in to your site AT ALL to engage and interact — whether with people or with content — because you’ve, quite frankly, made it all a royal pain in the a**. I plan on using the G+ sharing option in the “Share” features from time to time, when content I find on YouTube is something I’d like to share with my Google Plus circles. Yet, that doesn’t mean I want to show them EVERY video I simply want to show approval for over at YouTube. Keep them separate.

More  importantly, Google, please stop trying to force us into using G+. Let it happen naturally. And quit trying to make Google Plus into Facebook. It ain’t never gonna happen.

Google, you do search well; you’ve always done search well. While I understand that you want search to now be social (and that social is often now search), my search results while logged into one of my Google accounts yield results that are nothing more than an echo chamber (props to my colleague, Robby Slaughter, for the suggestion of the term “echo chamber” to describe social search). Believe it or not, I’m actually turning to you to SEARCH in order NOT to see what I’m already seeing on all my social networks. I know what my social contacts are talking about — I see it on Twitter, Facebook, et al. Perhaps I’m actually there to SEARCH what I don’t already have access to seeing…Perhaps I don’t always want to be influenced by the people I’m connected to elsewhere online. Wouldn’t giving me access to the entire World Wide Web be the right thing to do for it to truly be “search”?

My advice to Google: Stick to search….And stay away from trying to create social networks.

Back to this YouTube-Google Plus “liking” business though, I’m curious: Will we eventually be able to dislike (the old “thumbs down” icon) a YouTube video via the option of a “G- Share” (that’s G-Minus) button?

BTW: Has anyone else noticed the new G+ share button beneath YouTube videos? It happens on my same computer whether I’m logged in or logged out, and no matter which account I’m in at the time. Even if you’re not seeing it, what are your thoughts about this further step in the Google Plus-YouTube integration? How does this make you feel about Google? I’d love to know what you think…(because I think they’re BUGGIN’!).



About BLASTmedia

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Join the discussion 30 Comments

  • Julie Perry says:

    Regarding Google Plus: Someone commented on my posting over on Facebook, and directed me to this link —  http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jw_on_tech/archive/2012/03/13/why-i-left-google.aspx — which he mentioned would “clarify what is happening inside Google and their push of +.”
    I found it to be very insightful.

    • DezFutak says:

      @Julie Perry The mess-up that has resulted in a former Google+ advocate to jump ship over to Microsoft shows how misguided Google’s decision is to try and merge social and search. If “universal search” means trying to compete with Facebook on their own terms, then that’s a failed formula for enhancing a USP …unless the acronym now means Universal Search Plus 🙂

  • […] No longer will you be able to simply Like a video, now you’ll be giving it a +1 according to recent reports of a big switch over at the world’s largest online video […]

  • […] No longer will you be able to simply Like a video, now you’ll be giving it a +1 according to recent reports of a big switch over at the world’s largest online video […]

  • […] blastmedia has discovered Youtube is experimenting with the google plus button in place of thumbs up and thumbs down. […]

  • duvetdiva says:

    Yes i too have this issue now and it seems there is no way around it other than to delete the post from G+. I am furious… What the hell happened to privacy. I cant comment on facebook without everyone being able to see what i post and i cant like on YT without posting to G+. /Quit SocialMedia

    • Julie Perry says:

       @duvetdiva The account it happened to me on has not reverted back, so yes, I’m stuck sharing my video “likes” on Google+, or doing what you say and going over later and deleting them. It deters me from wanting to interact with videos at all (unintended consequence: they kill YouTube, the one successful social network they DO have)…
      And I agree, all this “sharing” makes for too much noise — and too many SEOs crawling out of the woodwork to game the system. I swear 3/4 of my G+ followers are link builders from overseas sharing crap.
      Google has definitely gone down a bad road; they need to back up and take the fork in the other direction. 😉

    • Don Reba says:

       @duvetdiva On Facebook, you can select the audience for any post you make. You can even narrow it down to just yourself.

  • robbyslaughter says:

    Ugh! Once again, Google is trying to influence the nature of the web by restructuring properties they technically own but everyone else thinks of as being separate and “owned” by the users.
    The reason this is a problem is because Google did not rename YouTube when they bought it. If they had, we’d all expect for Google to have +1 buttons on their own sites.
    For now, Google needs to fix their login system. They need to allow you to merge accounts, login as multiple accounts simultaneously, and configure particular sites to associate on-site actions with certain accounts.

    • Julie Perry says:

       @robbyslaughter Amen, Robby. And by the way, I should give credit where credit is due — I borrowed “echo chamber” from you from our coffee meeting awhile back. Come to think of it, that’s worth of a shout-out and link back. Editing my post now.
      Thanks for the comment — and agreed that they need to address the login system ASAP. I spend so much time logging in and logging out of accounts all day that all it does is make me bitter toward them…and I’ve heard others say the same. They went from the “cool” company to the “annoying,” “wannabe,” and “desperate” company.

  • Near says:

    fuck you google!

  • I completely understand your frustration Julie! It is quite the chore having to log out/log in several times a day to manage various accounts – client or personal.  I haven’t seen the Google + share button on the accounts I maintain. This seems to be an act of desperation on their part to try to get Google + some traction.
    Now I’m  thinking just looking at your screen shots above is why do they put Facebook and Twitter first, then the Google + 1 button when you click the share button? I wouldn’t mind seeing Google + share or +1 as my first choice.  Google should start there – why muck up the Like button?

  • […] above picture and quote are taken from this article which covers the changes in depth. Like that author, I’m also building up a collection of […]

  • OliverMalcherczyk says:

    fuck google… are they trying to create an internet monopole or something? Google-search, youtube, the “new-but-crappy facebook-Skype Clone”, and Gmail… G+ is a shitty concept which can’t be forced through, if you try to or not. If something’s not fulfilling people’s needs, it won’t be used… PERIOD… I liked the like and dislike concept, just to optimize recommended videos, keep track of music I liked and other reasons… All theses overflowing G+ ads everywhere, this concept of only being able to like if you have a G+ account and still not a lot of people use G+… At some point you have to admit defeat and see that it’s just not IT… It’s just not it, google 😉 😛

    • Julie Perry says:

       @OliverMalcherczyk It is all very frustrating, I agree. And yet, they continue to further integrate the two every day (much to the chagrin of YouTubers). This should be interesting to watch play out. 

  • D Q says:

    I noticed this last night. I was lurking along, thumbing as I often do. Then suddenly, the thumb disappeared and was replaced with a +1 Publicity for Google+!  I don’t have Google+ and I have no intention of ever getting one. Shoving it down my throat is not the way to market to me. In fact, it just makes me dig my heels in more. I already had to sign up for Gmail just to keep logging in to YouTube! Quit putting your grimy fingers into my pies, Google!

  • DanielWatkins says:

    I agree with this article. I haven’t encountered any videos with a Google+like instead of a regular like though, yet. I don’t have a Google+ account

  • tonyisontwtr says:

    I freakin’ hate that in order to post a comment HERE I had to open a twitter or Google Plus or facebook account!

  • tonyisontwtr says:

    It’s really annoying that in order to post a comment HERE, you have to have a Google Plus, twitter or facebook account.

    • DanielWatkins says:

       @tonyisontwtr It’s funny how the mods changed the beginning of your post and removed the exclamation point at the end, and switched the order of Google Plus and Twitter in your post.

      • tonyisontwtr says:

         I did that. I posted a comment then deleted my comment then posted it again.
        But if they had done that, it really would have been hilarious!

      • tonyisontwtr says:

         P.S. I also removed the exclamation point at the end because I didn’t want it to sound like I was mad. I was actually being silly. The author was ranting about having social media shoved down her throat in order to be able to “thumb up” a video. Meanwhile, I had typed my comment here and when I hit “post comment” it then required that I sign in to a social media site in order for my comment to be posted. I just thought it would be funny. Especially if people got the connection I was making.

  • tonyisontwtr says:


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  • fan88 says:

    I deleted my g+  account as soon they did that, though I had it since their beta with tons circles and friends, and never made g+ account since, and probably wont ever.   it was a sucker move

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