It’s a common rule for most users on the internet: businesses and content creators can’t turn a blind eye to consumer engagement—in fact, a well-managed brand would say that comments are a valuable resource, as you can learn a lot from your fans and consumers from them. Thankfully, YouTube recently unveiled new tools to help users of all types can moderate comments on their channels so they can make the most of the discussions that center around their content.
The biggest change YouTube implemented is how content creators can engage with their fans. Arguably the most useful new feature is the ability to pin comments: creators can now float especially informative or appreciated comments to the top of the feed, encouraging good, useful responses to videos. As a content creator, you can pin your own comment, too.
A great way to shape the conversation around your video is to provide a conversation topic or discussion question in a comment pinned to the top of the feed. These calls to action are typically included in video descriptions—but by putting them in a pinned comment, you ensure your viewers will see them before they are compelled to post. Thus, you’re able to better shape the conversation’s direction and keep things on-topic.
YouTubers may also award hearts—essentially, “like” in typical social media parlance—posts left from viewers. This is an incredibly easy way to respond to good responses and show appreciation for fans. While creator hearts might encourage more attention-begging from fans, this new system—in concert with YouTube’s already-existing comment voting system and pinning feature discussed above—should overall encourage the conversation to remain informative and respectful.
In addition to the announcement of new features, YouTube also reminded users of the platform’s existing comment moderation tools, such as the ability to choose other users to help moderate. While other features such as keyword blacklisting and auto-censoring inappropriate comments are useful, they are imperfect solutions; the auto-censoring, for example, is only a beta feature with kinks to be worked out.
The biggest issue with native keyword blacklisting and auto-censoring is that you can’t manage the comments in realtime if they’re not on your list. Not to mention how limited keyword blacklisting is: trolls and spam bots can easily change spacing and spelling to bypass such systems. Furthermore, comments that are caught don’t go away; instead, they’re held for review and you, the user, must check to ensure there aren’t any false-positives. This means that if you’re a target of harassment, your viewers won’t see the comments YouTube catches—but you’ll still have to face the abuse when looking them over.
This isn’t to say YouTube isn’t making huge steps in the right direction when it comes to comment moderation. The new features are great! But users who find that the native tools are a little lacking might want to try third-party software to supplement them. Smart Moderation is similar to YouTube’s auto-censoring and blacklisting tools, but there’s a key difference: it’s a dynamic tool powered by artificial intelligence that erases abusive and spam comments within the minute they’re posted. It’s not limited to rigid keywords to know what’s inappropriate; instead, it can read the context and learn just as a human would.
Pinned comments and creator hearts can incentivize fans to keep discussion clean and on-topic, but Smart Moderation will easily detect and remove comments left by trolls, haters and spammers. You can even try it out for free to see how well it works for you compared to using just first-party tools.
Here’s our question to you: Are you excited by the new features? How do you intend to use them on your YouTube profile?