YouTube switches its inbox system to Google+

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 25, 2014
Updated • Jul 25, 2019
Companies, Google, Youtube

Brace yourself. If you thought that switching the commenting system from its own to one powered by Google+ was bad enough on YouTube, you may not like what Google has been cooking this time.

Update: Google retired Google+ for all consumers.The change impacts commenting on YouTube as well; users don't need a Google+ account anymore to comment on YouTube. End

YouTube made the decision to launch a new messaging system on the website powered by Google+. Since it is utilizing Google+ for that, it is required that channels are connected with a Google+ account to make use of it.

If a channel is not connected to a Google+ account the private messaging functionality is disabled for it on YouTube.

The easiest way to find out if that is the case is by visiting a channel's about page on the site. If you do not find a send message button listed on it, it is not connected to a Google+ account and can thus not receive private messages anymore.

It can still receive user comments though for its videos.

YouTube users who want to comment on videos need a linked Google+ account as well to do so. YouTube displays an "update your channel to comment" message when you click on the comment option on the site.

update your channel to comment

While you can click on "I don't want to use my full name" button, you are left with selecting one of your Google+ pages, choose a new name or use your YouTube username. This however will create a new channel for that username on Google+ as well effectively linking your account to the service.

In other words: if you want to use the commenting functionality on YouTube in the future, you need to link your account with Google+.

Sending private messages

To send private messages on YouTube do the following:

  1. Open the channel page that you want to contact, for instance by clicking on the name of the channel.
  2. Switch to the about page there with a click on the tab.
  3. Click on the send message button and fill out the information.
  4. Click on post to send it.

For now at the very least, it does not appear mandatory to have a linked Google+ account to send messages to users on the site.

Reading private messages

The location of the inbox on YouTube has changed as well. You find it listed under now. Note that the list of messages may be empty if you have not received any yet


According to Google, the new system is better in every aspect for content creators. It improves messaging by making it easier to send messages, using spam detection to get rid of junk messages and allowing for conversations to be threaded for better accessibility.

The benefits don't stop here though. The new system makes it easier to approve comments waiting for review by listing them all in one place, search comments easier using the new search box or use new filtering options.

For users who disliked YouTube's previous move which switched the commenting system to Google+.

This may come as a surprise after the revelation that Google decided to end the forced Google+ integration recently.

The old message system

The old system is not compatible with the new one. You can access all your old messages by visiting for the time being.

Here you find listed all messages including personal ones, comments, contact notifications and all messages that you have sent.

Here it seems also possible, at least for the time being, to send messages directly without visiting the about page. And yes, that includes to channels who have not linked a Google+ account yet.

Google will set the new messaging system to read only as of today. It will remain in place for the next couple of months before it is removed eventually.

According to the company, it will be possible to download the old messages and contacts to a csv file. There is no option to migrate the information to the new system though.

Connecting your channel to Google+

You can connect your channel to Google+ by opening the main account page on YouTube. Here you get an option under Account information to connect it to the social network.

YouTube switches its inbox system to Google+
Article Name
YouTube switches its inbox system to Google+
After switching its commenting system to Google+, YouTube launched a new messaging system based on Google's social networking service that makes it mandatory for all channel owners who want to receive private messages on the site.
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  1. Random surfer said on August 7, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    This is the first correct article I’ve found, after reading many, many retardedly incorrect or obsolete ones. Thank you. (My poor-yielding Google search term was this string:
    sending messages in youtube

  2. brian said on September 5, 2014 at 10:35 am

    bring the old youtube back

  3. kalmly said on June 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    No social networking. No G-Mail. No Google for me at all. I fully expect to be blocked from the internet one day.

  4. ilev said on June 26, 2014 at 10:10 am
    Reply : quickest way to make yourself disappear from Google

  5. beachbouy said on June 26, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Google is acting like a Communist organization. Use Google+, or else…

  6. DP said on June 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    I have just one video on YouTube and found the commenting system change irritating. I am not the slightest bit interested in having a Google+ account, nor could I care less about any form of so-called “social networking” whatsoever, as the very idea of folk airing their dirty linen in public and submitting inane comments about banal pursuits or situations leaves me stone cold. I thoroughly resent being bludgeoned into “updating” to make what is, for me, a rare comment on other videos.

    1. John said on June 25, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Ha! I have the same sentiment. Social networking may be good for some but not everyone. When I got tired of Youtube forcing Google+ on me, I deleted my Youtube account and now I have bookmarks of users I watch regularly. This was eight months ago and never regretted it or looked back.

  7. Bobby Phoenix said on June 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I like this move. I mostly use Google+. Probably 95% G+, and then the other 5% is Facebook and Twitter. I’m a Google ecosystem user, so the more Google products linked, the better.

  8. Shadess said on June 25, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Yup. Fuck Google+.

  9. HooJooJoo said on June 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Google just retire Google+ already. Nobody likes it, hardly anybody uses it including YouTube content producers. Even Sergey Brin admitted he screwed it up.

    They are going to keep forcing us to adopt it by tying every service into it ‘until we like it’. Whatever happened to “don’t be evil”. So far, cramming Google+ down our throats has only bred resentment.

    As a monopoly, I would say it is good that Yahoo is building a YouTube competitor but 99.99% for certain they are going to do the same thing, just with under a different brand, just giving us the ‘illusion’ of choice.

    1. PD said on July 9, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      This is stupid, just bring the old youtube back it was much easier. Goodle + sucks and nobody wants it. Google just likes to complicate our lives! UGH

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