Google Is Making A Huge And Annoying Mistake

Author, blogger, actor and internet superhero Wil Wheaton recently encountered a new Google Plus/YouTube integration that -- rightly -- made him seriously upset.

I like Google Plus. Some of the smartest people I've ever read are on Google Plus, and the Hangout is amazing.

But Google is doing everything it can to force Google Plus on everyone, and it's pissing me off.

Yesterday, I tried to like a video on YouTube. I wasn't signed in to my Google Plus account, and this is what I saw:

Where the thumbs up and thumbs down used to be, there is now a big G+ Like button. When you go anywhere near it, you get a little popup that tells you to "upgrade to Google Plus" for some reason that I don't remember, because the instant I saw it, I made a rageface.

Here's what I wrote on 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 fucking social network they don't want or need.

I am adding now: Those upvotes are incredibly important to us, because we need them to earn another season of our show.

I'm even more grateful now than I was yesterday that we own the IP for Tabletop, because we can produce it ourselves, or crowdfund with Kickstarter, or something like that, if Google keeps doing things like this that will negatively affect how users can interact with us on YouTube.

I was reblogged by Neil Gaiman, who added:

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.

John Green also reblogged me, and he said:

I strongly agree with this. Making it so that only google plus users can decide whether a YouTube video is worth watching benefits no one except for Google Plus: It is bad for viewers, bad for video creators, and bad for YouTube's ability to curate and tailor videos to potential viewers.

By crippling functionality on sites Google owns (like YouTube) and forcing users to "upgrade" to a service that they may not want or need to get that functionality back, Google is making a huge and annoying mistake. You get people to enthusiastically use services by making them compelling and awesome and easy to use. You don't get people to enthusiastically use your services by forcing them to. In fact, that's probably a great way to ensure that a huge number of people who may have been interested in trying out your service never even look at it.

Note: While we've been unable to replicate this, there have been numerous reports of people encountering the same problems. Hopefully it won't make it past the testing phase.

Wil Wheaton is an actor who's appeared in films like Stand By Me and Toy Soldiers, and played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He is also an author, blogger and voice actor. You can follow his blog here, or follow him on just about every online platform available here.

Republished with permission.



    No forced google+ button for me...yet :P is a open source....if you are using a open source...make sure you are OPEN...which means ur ready to share sucks...but thats life

      Google isn't open source. Nothing that makes them money is open.

    Oh Jesus Christ.

    Google OWNS YouTube, they can do what the hell ever they please with it.
    If someone was telling you what to do with something you own you'd tell them to fuck off.

    So Wil Wheaton, do us all a favour and FUCK OFF

      Yup, you're right.... Google owns YouTube... (and any enterprise or activity it picks up trends of in it's search engine).
      Both are reasons to find a great general alternative to youtube, and let YT die a miserable abandoned advertisment overloaded non social network.. And just hope that Google doesn't hunt down and buy up the alternative...

        You go use that alternative then and never again watch a video on YouTube... Fine with me.

          Adblock users are the biggest advertisment there is for the last few months. Stop advertising on comments, I'm sick of your ads.

        Would you pay $5/month to have YouTube without Ads?

          Drew... I once used somethig called Alta Vista, frequented Ask Jeeves and ocationally went to Excite....
          YouTube will be overrun by an alternative... probably sooner rather than later, as Google keeps pissing on people. If it isn't manipulating search logarithms; turning their back on partners; helping themselves to scanning books without authors permissions, forcing Google+ on you.... ALL IN THE NAME OF VIOLATING YOUR PRIVACY WITH RAMMING MORE TARGETED ADVERTISMENTS.DOWN YOUR THROAT.

          boris... Hell yes I'd pay 5 bucks to lead an advert/tracking free viewing experience.. I think a lot of people would. I rather pay the content creators directly too.

            Dude, get over yourself.

              I think what Luke is trying to say is nobody should have too much power or control, not even google. It's about choice, integrity and privacy. Something you quite obviously are willing to exchange for being a drone and follower on the Internet. Have a nice day!

        You've heard of AdBlock, right? It's free (or donate if you like). I haven't watched an advert on YouTube for 12 months.

        Google were actually losing over 100 million dollars per year running YouTube for years. I assume with all the ads now it might finally break even. As annoying as they are, I don't think those ads are going away unless google introduce a paid subscription option that disables them.

      Yes... fuck off WHill WHeaton



      Totally agree. If you dont like it Wil Wheaton, piss off to Vimeo.

    Like the silly person who posted today that if you didn't like how Apple "unfairly" restricted what your apps can do, you were perfectly free to go elsewhere - LOL.

    1) Ctl+Shift+N (opens a new window that's not signed into my G+ acc)
    2) go to a youtube video
    3) thumbs up

    Whats the problem? where are you seeing this 'upgrade' shit? I cant replicate the problem.

      Oh I was so wrong, there it is. Sorry.

    I agree with James, I just tried liking something on youtube, no google + button on mine.

    Shut up, Wesley!

    youtube = google
    google + = google

    company wants their users to be integrated. oh no..

    go watch vimeo

    Its there for me now and it sucks. To the "I love Google no matter what they do" people above, don't pretend this move is ok. I love Google too, but its obvious that this is nothing but a pathetic attempt to shove Google+ in people's faces. I personally use Google+, but I don't many other people that do,, so any voting on videos from now on will not be representative of viewer's overall opinions, given so many of them won't want to sign up to another social network just to like videos!

    As Will explains, ratings are currently very important, particularly with professional content, given the ratings often decide whether a show will continue to be funded.

    This is a greedy stupid move by Google, and if you think otherwise you are blinded by your unconditional love for Google and/or Android.

      I don't think anyone is saying that. Just that it is Google's service so they are free to do what they please. Not that you have to like or accept it. Also complaining is not the most effective method of changing things, if you want something different use something else. When Google see the the change in traffic they will try to be more accommodating, the real problem here is YouTube stands by itself. There is no real competition to it and until there is they can do what they like without consequence.

    Youtube has always asked you to be signed in to thumbs up videos, and since youtube and google accounts are the same, i dont see whats changed?

    Wow, he has so much grace and style. If you're gonna make your voice heard, one should consider if a tantrum is the best method.

    I run a Youtube channel with around 350,000 annual views. We recently had to relaunch the channel as we had a ridiculous copyright claim google refused to remove. I always login obviously to use my channel features. I do not see a forced google+ button, only an optional one. If this is because I'm signed in, then simply make a youtube account (handy for history, tracking, interactions) and use that for liking or not. If its a staged rollout and im about to get forced down that path too, I will be extremely annoyed since I do not use google+ , I do not have any interest in google+, I've been through BBS's, chat/IRC, chat websites, ICQ, MSN, Bebo, Myspace, and now Facebook and to an extent linkedin. Im over it. The world is NOT about social networking and in 10 years this will all be a distant and extremely boring memory. Stop trying to force google+ on everyone and accept a strong competitor exists there and focus on android and search. Considering android needs lots of fixing and doesnt even allow searching of emails from a company like google...time to wake up and get back to focusing on your core business.

    Youtube may crash and burn in the future (am too am sick of the fucking ads on every 2nd video I try to view), but Google has probably made the mistake of thinking Android is invincible, when it is quite the opposite. I wouldn't rule out a Google collapse within 15 years.

    Google founded on brilliance ,now driven by profit.

    Presumably that 'thumbs up' button couldn't be put back with a panel appearing when pressed with X numbers of like options.

    ... or in-house statistical counting should be used primarily, with the social-media sharing in a secondary position.

    Much ado about niothing... just add your name and email address one time that's all. A bit like when you're logged out of YouTube and have to log in to leave a comment. No real difference at all.

    to thumbs up something you have to be logged into youtube anyway right??

    this just reminded me to log into my youtube account - its been almost a year.
    I am being asked to sign up for a gmail account if i want access to my channel.
    no more youtube for me.

    Okay Wil, while you're an okay guy, I don't agree with you here: Google is simply doing the same as what Facebook has done for 3 years now.

    Google does want to rule the world and while there might be a bit of resistance to this in the first place, but Google is doing what it can to fully integrate the whole of their services and while it seems like an odd thing, G+ is destined to actually be the centrepiece of what they offer, not search since we all know that's what they do, but at the heart, G+ can capture and distribute the mail, docs/drive and give you maps to your friends. Watch the google glasses video and you'll see why G+ is actually the biggest part of their plan.

    They might lose, say, 2% of their video community in the process of this, keep the 50% of the YouTube community who already have signed up for G+ ("upgraded"), but will more than likely start to convert the other 40+% of people. There are definitely going to be growing pains in the process, but it'll come out good on the other side when they've bedded down all of the issues around it all.

    Give it a year and this article will seem antiquated.

    Rabble, rabble, rabble, rabble.

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