Opinion: YouTube’s notification system for comments is pathetic

It’s been a little more than six months since the YouTube team and Google started rolling out the new notification bell across all their products, presumably signifying the distancing of YouTube and Google+, and this change still annoys me to this date.

Google notifications

Gone are the days where you could easily just reply to a YouTube comment or reply from any Google page using the “Google notifications” bell, which, after it was refreshed with a Material Design look a few months ago, now only displays notifications from Google+ and Google Photos.

Google notifications

YouTube notifications

And YouTube’s notification bell isn’t any more useful than Google’s. Yes, it shows unread comments and whatnot but in a less sophisticated way. When you click on a reply, it opens the video in a new tab and starts playing the video over again. Thus, it takes nearly a good 5-10 seconds before you find the right highlighted comment you want to reply to. A year ago, you could open YouTube notifications (from any Google page!) and view, like, and reply to comments from within the notification panel.

YouTube notifications (yes, typical YouTube NBA community but beyond the point)

The Forums and Reddit

I definitely don’t seem to be the only one who’s not enjoying this change. What better place for people to voice their frustration than on Google’s own product forums and on Reddit? I formulated a short list of some of the threads I found, but there’s definitely many more:

The first one I linked, the one from the forums, has received over 10,000 views and is still getting replies to this date.

Final thoughts

The fact that this broken notification system still exists is quite disappointing. It reminds me of what the same situation is with Google’s messaging apps: disappointing.

Believe it or not, but I actually kind of enjoyed reading other’s replies (as obnoxious as they were sometimes) and responding to some of them via the notification bell. Whether it be through the Chrome “new-tab” page or elsewhere, the previous notification bell system was very useful to me.

Let us know in the comments below if you have the same issue.