Google has been quietly testing a new strategy to force YouTube users to sign up for its social network—but the plan is already raising hackles among some high-profile users.
Actor Wil Wheaton has blasted Google for a new feature that would replace the classic thumbs up and thumbs down feedback signs with a simple “+.”
“Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to ‘upgrade’ to [Google+], you dickheads,” Wheaton, who is best known for playing Wesly Crusher on Star Trek: Next Generation, said on a Tumblr blog post on Tuesday.
The feedback system has been in the testing phase for the last month and only works for less than 1 percent of all YouTube subscribers. Wheaton just happened to be in that group.
The new system would apparently require YouTubers without Google+ accounts to signup for the service before giving feedback on a video.
Best-selling authors John Green and Neil Gaiman reblogged Wheaton’s post and added their own two cents.
“Making it so that only [Google+] users can decide whether a YouTube video is worth watching benefits no one except for [Google+],” Green posted. “It is bad for viewers, bad for video creators, and bad for YouTube’s ability to curate and tailor videos to potential viewers.”
Gaiman echoed those sentiments.
“I wish Google would leave the Social Network thing to others,” Gaiman said on his Tumblr. “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,” Gaiman continued, “and I suppose that I won’t be liking YouTube videos any longer.”
Photo by MelodyJSandoval