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10. YouTube Social Networking

YouTube has powerful social aspects that you can use to engage its user community. These social aspects include commenting on videos, messaging, fan funding, and donating to nonprofit causes.

Commenting on Videos

Most YouTube videos enable comments, which you can view and participate by viewing the discussions that appear below the videos or on the channel’s discussion tab if the channel has enabled discussions. The video’s owner can set whether the comments appear in order of newest comments or top comments first. Top comments appear in an order determined through voting by the community.

Comments Are Public

All YouTube comments are public, meaning that anyone in the world can read and reply to a comment that you post. Thus, YouTube becomes a worldwide social network.

Comments Are Threaded

Replies to a comment are threaded so you can follow the conversation if someone starts discussing a comment or one of its replies.

Liking or Disliking Comments

Users can like or dislike comments. If you are working in a mobile app that does not yet support viewer comments, you can use your device’s browser to log in to the YouTube mobile website, where you can like or dislike viewer comments.

Adding Style to Comments

You can bold text by surrounding it with asterisks, make italics by surrounding text with underscores, or strikethrough text by surrounding it with hyphens.

Inappropriate Comments

If you see a comment that is inappropriate, you can flag it as spam or abuse. Likewise, you can flag a channel and report users if you think they are abusive or inappropriate.

Moderating Comments

You can moderate comments made on your channel. When someone comments on one of your videos, YouTube notifies you. Use the arrow in the upper-right corner of the comment if you want to moderate it. Options include removing the comment, reporting spam or abuse, or blocking the user from posting comments on your channel. You can also hold comments for approval by choosing that option in your video manager’s advanced settings, in which case comments will not appear until you approve them.

Fan Funding

Fan Funding is a way to donate money to YouTube creators you choose to support. If a creator has Fan Funding enabled, their channel will have a Support button. Selecting that button steps you through the process of choosing how much you want to pay and making a comment if you would like to be recognized. Otherwise, your donation is anonymous. Fan Funding works for users in Australia, France, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and Japan.

Social Media Links

In your channel’s About settings, you can create up to five social media links that will overlay the corresponding social network’s icon on your channel art.