YouTube tests profile cards that show users’ comment history

YouTube commenters will now have their channel loyalty — or their tendency to troll — exposed, thanks to a new feature called profile cards, now in testing. Recently announced by way of YouTube’s Creator Insider channel, where the company shares updates and changes with its creator community, these new profile cards would appear whenever you clicked on a commenter’s name, and would list all their other recent comments on the channel.

Currently, if you click on a commenter’s name, you’re redirected to their channel page on YouTube.

But that doesn’t allow the video creator or other commenters to learn much about the person behind a given comment, in many cases, as not everyone publishes to YouTube. The commenter’s channel could be sparse, out of date or completely unrelated to the topic at hand.

With the new profile cards, however, you’ll instead be able to see all the recent comments left on the channel over the past 12 months. However, it won’t show their comments left on other channels at this time. In other words, it’s not a full user profile, similar to what you would find on other message board sites like Reddit, where a complete comment history is available for each user.

“It will help you get a sense of what this person is writing,” explains YouTube Director of Product Management Tom Leung, in the annoucement published in the past week. “We hope that it will strengthen connections with others in the YouTube community and will help creators recognize some of their best commenters,” he added.

youtube profile cards

Though not mentioned, the new feature also could help creators recognize some of their worst commenters, as well — meaning, those who only show up to troll, derail discussions or otherwise cause problems.

Being able to see a history of someone’s comments would allow a video creator or moderator to make a more informed decision about whether future comments from the same user should be hidden or, conversely, if the user is trustworthy enough to earn a spot on the “approved users” list so their comments get published automatically.

The new profile card also will include a link to the commenter’s YouTube channel, but it doesn’t redirect you there as before. YouTube didn’t say how broadly the experiment is being rolled out for testing’s sake, but it was well-received by the community members reacting to the announcement at the time.

The test is one of several experiments running on YouTube at present. Another will allow video creators to display a personalized message to help attract new subscribers, the video also noted.