Enough With Google+ification, Says Wil Wheaton — YouTube Doesn’t Need It

Google+ification is the term I’ve been using for several months about how Google has been shoving Google+ into all things Google. It’s part of Google’s “social layer” strategy. It’s also something one of its most popular users, actor Wil Wheaton, has had enough with.

Thumbs Down To Google+ Like

Watching a YouTube video yesterday, Wheaton found that rather than getting YouTube’s normal Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down buttons, he only had an option to use a Google+ button to like it. The screenshot he posted:

That sent Wheaton off on a rant at Tumblr:

Oh, go f**k yourself, Google. This is just as bad as companies forcing me to “like” something on Facebook before I can view whatever it is they want me to “like.”

Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to “upgrade” to G+, you dickheads.

The worst part of this? For a producer like me, I’m going to lose a crapton of potential upvotes for Tabletop, because the core of my audience is tech-savvy and may not want to “upgrade” to yet another f**king social network they don’t want or need.

Ouch. Not what you want to hear from anyone, much less a celebrity, much less the 52nd most-followed person on Google+ (his comments on the YouTube change didn’t get posted to his account there yet).

Neil Gaiman Not Happy, Either

It gets worse. Wheaton explained that Author Neil Gaiman, seeing Wheaton’s complaint, chimed in with his own:

I wish Google would leave the Social Network thing to others. When Google does what it does, and does it well, it changes the world. When it rides bandwagons, it’s irritating.

I’m not on Google Plus, and I suppose that I won’t be liking YouTube videos any longer.

Just A Test?

So what’s up with the change? So far, I can’t replicate it myself. Logged in, I see the normal buttons on one of Wheaton’s own videos:

Wheaton was logged out of Google when he got the Google+ buttons instead. Well, logged out, I still see exactly the same as above.

But no, Wheaton’s not crazy. It seems as if Google is testing these buttons with some users and regardless of logged-in status. Here’s a video that VleraBrite posted about it last month:

YouTube Preview Image

In fact, VleraBrite found three different buttons in use with no dislike button:

“What’s going on YouTube? Make up your mind,” the narrator asks.

What’s going on is pretty typical of Google testing different things. Whether one of these tests will stick for everyone remains to be seen. I’m checking with Google on this.

Postscript: Google tells me, “We are currently running experiments showing different Google+ buttons in YouTube in order to provide the best user experience. People are familiar with the concept of liking and following brands, businesses and activities in a social context.”

As for some pros and cons why Google+ does make sense for Google and isn’t just riding bandwagons, but also how it also can be so annoying when pushed the wrong way, see my post from last month, If Google’s Really Proud Of Google+, It Should Share Some Real User Figures. It gets into a lot more issues than just user figures.

Hat tip to Danah Boyd for spotting this.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Google: Google+ | Top News


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • http://twitter.com/khairulniloy MD Khairul Alam

     Thanks for your info http://adharealo.blogspot.com/

  • http://twitter.com/Icel Icel

    We saw it coming from a mile away. Other than in the event of more people joining the uproar, in a year’s time every Google user will be a Plus user, and every Google product will be integrated into it.https://www.facebook.com/IcelDotMe/posts/428294983865334

  • Joseph Gier

    Wil Wheaton  is expressing his opinion but you will find that a lot of people that view  Google products as a lot disjointed  unconnected line that have no continuity and minimal interoperabilty and lack a rich ecosystem of tools and products. I believe the perception is misplaced.  Google seems to have taken steps to unify their branding with Google plus. I don’t understand the rant except that usually when someone barks like this(about the changes)  and how important he is to that system (as it stood; pre G+ ) He might have something to lose in terms of followers, or just plain grumbling about having to keep himself relevant. 
    Things change and we have to change with them or be left behind. I personally dont see the changes being done as a bad thing but then again I don’t have his numbers.

  • Diego C.

    I like Google. I’m a webmaster and I’m always amazed by the amount and quality of tools that they provide for free. That said, this social networking craze is very annoying. Just look at the amount of share and follow buttons at the bottom of this very article.

  • http://www.maxminzer.com/ Max Minzer

    I like this change.

  • donthe

    The past few weeks I haven’t been able to follow links in articles to posts on Google plus. I get a redirect asking me to create a Google plus profile. It wasn’t alway like that, but I don’t recall reading anyone complaining about it. Am I the only one left without a Google Profile?

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  • Clayton Pritchard

    Personally, I still have the thumbs up/down button. So this maybe just be something that they are testing right now and thus the reasons why they have different types of the G+ buttons. I’m sure if there is a decrease in engagement that they will stick with the thumbs up/down buttons.

  • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

    This sounds like a Rant Article just to get attention!

    Clearly we all have seen and expect more and more integration of G+ into all of the Google Products… remember they ARE FREE TO USE and free to leave it you don’t like them.

    The G+ Integration is something I Look Forward to… and want even MORE!I document the GooTube+ revolution on my Google+ profile. I have been waiting since March 30th to see the updated/upgraded integration between G+ & YouTube… still not seeing it yet. But when I do, I will REJOICE! (I may complain a bit, but I’ll get over it).

    Just +1 or G+ button would be an issue, but more visible is OK, just need to click the ‘Share’ option to see more ways to share is likely the implementation we’ll see.

  • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

    Yup, testing testing testing… I’m still not sure most of us really understand the differenced between the +1 and the G+ Share button (I mean really understand the differences).

  • http://twitter.com/bberg1010 Brittany Berger

    I’m also bothered by the fact that they’re looking for a G+ replacement for the ‘thumbs up’ button, but not the ‘thumbs down,’ meaning that when they choose a button there will be no way to downvote a video, regardless of whether or not you are a G+ user. I wrote a blog post about it here http://www.ezanga.com/news/2012/05/03/is-youtube-saying-goodbye-to-thumbs-down/

  • GaneshNayak

    There are two issues here.

    First whether Youtube should have like/dislike button (limited to youtube and not a social sharing button)… Personally I think they should do away with the dislike button and only keep the like button

    Second, social sharing button.. Its so cumbersome now… I have to click share first and then the G+ button is there on far right after FB and orkut buttons… Heck its even smaller in size..

    Two or three social sharing button can be placed upfront below the video… for others there is ‘link’ method anyways

  • http://www.googlingsocial.com/ Chris Lang

    One more reason to hate that whining Wesley crusher even more. Why does his opinion mean so much that I have been seeing it everywhere all day? I don’t think this guy should have any more say than ever other YouTube user has Ronnie!

  • http://www.googlingsocial.com/ Chris Lang

    Personally I know of about 100 Million G+ users that would love to have more Google+ integration on YouTube. We know G+ commenting is coming to YouTube soon too. But I can guarantee there are a few hundred million foul mouthed YouTube fanboys that hate Google in any form. Why not just enable this if we use G+ and serve the old interface to ones that want it?

  • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

    Chris… I really like your idea of an ‘opt-in’ if you use G+ and leave it alone if you don’t want it. I know from an IT perspective that is not pleasant to do (needing to maintain multiple interfaces, etc.) but it is a great idea to let the G+ers have their G+ stuff and the YT / G+er haters leave things alone.

  • http://www.googlingsocial.com/ Chris Lang

    We wrote about this exact thing back in November for Jay Abraham. This is just the tip of the whining iceberg Ronnie. You don’t have to look far to find some ex Digg mafia foul mouthed jobless mother’s basement dweller that is still crying Google brought ads to YouTube.

    Google can simply run a CSS variation that loads one set of buttons or another. A year from now and it will all blow over. 3 years ago the same kids were pasting “Google is SkyNet” on every comment box. I would love nothing better than to see the little brats boycott Google+.

    For now look at how the UI still hides the +1 button now. Remember these kids love Zuckerberg, he is their idol. Their idol before was Kevin Rose. 3 years from now they will be beating the “Zuckerberg” sold out drum. I just don’t want to endure another Gwave or Buzz bashing session on YouTube this time.

  • fjpoblam

    I can see the point of the rant, in a way. For example, if I were a G+ member, and if I wanted positive and negative feedback about my website (e.g., “Likes” and “Unlikes”), I might find it interesting to get positive and negative feedback from website visitors regardless of whether they are G+ members. For it is their experience of my website in which I’m interested, and not their membership in some other organization. And just possibly, I might want to grant them the courtesy of allowing that feedback without enforcing G+ membership as a (dubious) form of validation. (FWIW, I don’t like being required to join Facebook to like comments on Techcrunch or add comments of my own, either.)

  • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

    A Valid point you make, however we still don’t know if any addition of the G+ ‘like’ button will necessarily remove any Thumb’s down options and it would likely not remove any FB or TW voting features either.

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