Google announced that it would be integrating their social network as the commenting platform for YouTube in September, but the change only came into effect last week. With the integration, users must sign up for a Google+ account to comment on videos. Although many YouTubers had already connected their accounts to Google more than a year ago when a box urging them to do so appeared during their login process, the wholesale shift was met with outcries — often in the form of YouTube videos. Videos ranging from profanity-ridden songs to detailed critiques claiming the integration has broken the site have received millions of views. One of YouTube founder's even questioned the move in his first comment on YouTube in years.
While the official reason for the switch is to increase the quality of conversations, many users and commentators believe it is an attempt to harvest YouTube's community to inflate the number of active users on Google+. Google claims 300 million users "active in the Google+ stream" per month, but those users aren't all people who are actively visiting the social network. Instead, it counts anyone who might incidentally involve themselves in the network by pressing a +1 link on another site or clicking the red notification bell in Gmail — and now, commenting on YouTube, if the text art tanks don't get their way.