5 Feb 2012

The Various Types of Youtube Commenters

Sure Youtube is a great place to put videos to enjoy. A major source of entertainment in this century so far, it's brought about billions of videos to the web where others can watch and laugh/cry/rage/be confused etc. But what fun is it if the posters who upload the videos can't interact with the viewers themselves? That's why the commenting system is another part of the magic. Of course after years of experiencing this, the generic patterns in popular comments start to surface. So here's a list of the more common ones:
  • "FIRST!!!1!: This commenter aims to be first to comment on the video. No one knows for sure why, but most speculate the reason to be a random sense of satisfaction and achievement gained from knowing you were the first comment on a (possibly soon-to-be viral) video. Of course his actions tend to be met with remarks like "Nobody cares" or "So?". Other times it starts the chain of ranking, where others scream out "2nd" or "4th" or "56th" for the heck of it. Note that the "FIRST!" guy isn't always successful at timing, and may land a later spot. That usually triggers even more comments on what a failure this commenter is.
  • "The commenter above/below me is X": Another one that may cause reactions or approvals from the crowd, depending on what the attribute X may be. If for example commenter A says he thinks the video sucks big time, then commenter B above him may say "the commenter below me has absolutely no sense of humour" or some other similar insult. Sometimes magic happens when a "commenter below me" comment becomes a top comment, while a "commenter above me" comment gets second place. E.g. Top comment: "The commenter below is a complete liar." Bottom comment: "The commenter above me is an honest guy." PARADOX!
  • Comments about top comments: Speaking about top comments, sometimes comments about those comments also end up as top comments too! (Confused?) Like if the above paradox occurs, someone might say "I like how the top comments cause a paradox :P" And because people see it to be true and find it funny, they also give thumbs up to the comment. IF it goes on long enough, there could be a funny scenario like this:

  • "Please support me!": Especially on music videos, there may be top comments coming from someone who claims to be starting out in some new area and wants support by getting thumbs up. It could be a rapper, a singer, a DJ, whatever, as long as it asks for support of some kind, through thumbs up, channel/video views, or becoming a fan on Facebook. It tends to start with "I doubt anybody would bother to read this among the sea of comments, but..."

    After a while other people noticed, and came up with their own parodies of these comments, some claiming to realise their dream to become a fish, others to become a slug... you get the idea.
  • The "Crazy" Fan: Often on videos that involve music, this commenter expresses how much he/she loves this musician/music, usually giving exaggerated accounts of defending his pride in his preference. One popular format is shown:

Another dramatic example:

  • Comments on people's looks: ...because why not? We humans tend to spot patterns, and usually spot people who look like other more famous characters, or even objects. So we comment on that, and other people who find the same striking similarity vote up your comment! It's a good formula to use! Below are two examples that look like they came from the Harry Potter movies:

  • The Song Title Montage: Basically a comment that tries to string either a) a whole list of musicians with their respective popular hits, or b) titles of the songs of the particular artist featured in the video. Usually these comments are pretty nonsensical, and at times quite annoying. Look, normal people aren't always impressed with weird stringing of song titles together. Even normal comments gushing over the singer are fine.
  • Quotes from the video itself: Well obviously these comments are bound to pop up, right? Not many can resist making some reference to the video, usually by repeating a quote or posting a modification of the quote. One nice example is posted on a popular Old Spice commercial video:

  • "Thumbs up if you X": This is a comment that can be either funny or annoying or just plain random. Some go like "Thumbs up if you knew he was going to fall" or "Thumbs up if you like Lady Gaga!" or "Thumbs up if you sleep on your left side of your body"... the possibilities are endless!
  • Comment on the quality of the video: If done properly, commenting on the video quality could garner votes faster than you can say "this video is so freaking blurry!" Generally, bad video quality = "Did you film this with a potato/toaster?" while fantastic video quality = "Oh GOD the QUALITY :,D"
  • Viewer # 301: Thanks to glitches in the system, sometimes the view count on a Youtube video gets stuck at a particular number, it may be 301, it may be 17,365,806. So some clever(from certain perspectives) commenters decide to exploit this and come up with witty comments, e.g. "Welcome Viewer #301. We've been expecting you." Note that this won't work once the view count updates...
  • Internet meme references: Well duh, it's the internet! Of course the memes would leak out onto Youtube and permeate the comments section! Arrows in the knee, combustible lemons, barrel rolls, princesses in other castles... you name it. 
...this list of comment types are definitely not exhaustive. Like the internet, such trends would change, and new comment fads would emerge. But at least you have an idea of what could potentially become top comments on Youtube videos, and what could instead trigger online hate. So if you aspire to get the highly-overrated title of the commenter who produced the highest rated comment on a popular video, go forth with your new knowledge! And don't spam Youtube with rubbish comments too ;)