Viewing, Moderating, Replying and More


It’s true, cute cat videos are hard to ignore on YouTube. But if you’re using this social media channel as part of your marketing strategy, then your brand needs to pay attention to YouTube comments too.

YouTube comments allow the public to interact with your video content and for your brand to take part in a dialogue. And engaging with YouTube users in the comments can help you get new YouTube subscribers.

Plus, comments play an important role in the YouTube algorithm. And 70% of what people watch on YouTube is determined by the algorithm.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to change the visibility of YouTube comments
  • What a highlighted YouTube comment means
  • What goes into writing a good comment
  • How to moderate comments on YouTube and reply to comments on YouTube
  • How to make comments, search comments and filter YouTube comments
  • How to edit and review YouTube comments

Let’s get started!

How to turn on comments on YouTube

There are several settings options for YouTube comments. You can decide which makes most sense for your brand.

To select the comments settings for all the new YouTube videos you publish:

1. Sign into YouTube Studio

This will bring you to your YouTube channel dashboard.

2. Navigate to Settings

Find the three horizontal lines in the top left hand corner. Scroll down to find Settings.

3. Select Community

You’ll see two tabs here. In the Automated Filters tab, you can choose to add moderators, hide specific users and block specific words. Click on the Defaults tab to open up your comment settings.

YouTube comments setting options

Then, you can choose:

  • To allow all comments. Any comment made on your video will go public automatically.
  • To hold potentially inappropriate comments for review. YouTube identifies comments that you might not want displayed under your video.
  • To hold all comments for review. All comments are moderated by your brand. Your team manually approves which comments go live and which to delete or report.

How to turn off comments on Youtube

In this same section of your YouTube Studio Settings, you can choose the option to disable comments for new videos.

YouTube Studio Settings default disable comments

You can also turn off comments on individual YouTube videos. This overrides your general settings.

For example, if there is only one video your brand doesn’t want comments on:

  1. Upload your new video in YouTube Studio.
  2. Select the new video from the Videos section on your YouTube Studio channel.

Turn off comments on individual YouTube videos

    3. Choose Edit from the black menu bar. Select Comments from the drown down menu.

Turn off comments on individual YouTube videos

    4. Then, choose the YouTube comments settings you want for that video.

 YouTube comments channel videos settings

What does a highlighted comment mean on YouTube?

As new comments appear on the videos your brand shares, you might notice this label or tag:

YouTube Highlighted Comments tags

YouTube marks certain comments and replies with a Highlighted Comment or Highlighted Reply tag. This is an automated feature.

Think of this as YouTube’s way of bringing your attention to new activity that could be relevant to you. It makes it easier for you to interact with new comments, navigate the comments section and interact with YouTube comments.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Highlighted Comments tags are automatically generated by YouTube. Moderators, creators or users aren’t choosing which comments are highlighted.
  • Others don’t see which content is tagged. Only you see which comments YouTube tags.
  • The tags aren’t permanent. They’ll disappear once you’ve seen the comment or interacted with it.
  • But they can reload. Clicking on the comment timestamp will reload the comment and show it as highlighted.
  • There are also Highlighted Replies. This tag is on your own replies to a user’s comment, not an original comment.

YouTube highlighted replies

How to moderate comments on YouTube

First, what goes into writing a good comment on YouTube?

Whether you’re writing a new comment on behalf of your brand or posting a comment in response to another YouTube user’s video, the principles of writing for social media are the same.

A good YouTube comment strategy also includes:

  • Posting comments on your own video and kicking off the conversation.
  • Replying to comments and queries promptly.
  • And engaging with your most loyal subscribers’ content.

Your brand can also comment on another brand’s YouTube videos. This interaction can help you form partnerships and relationships with other brands. It can make your brand more visible to future subscribers. And it shows you’re paying attention to conversations happening outside your own brand.

Here, you’ll learn how to moderate comments directly in YouTube and also in Hootsuite.

How to reply to comments

To reply to YouTube comments natively, log into YouTube Studio. Then navigate to Comments in the menu.

Depending on how you’ve set your brand’s YouTube comment settings, you will see public comments under the Published tab or unpublished comments in the Held for Review tab. There might also be comments for you to review under the Likely Spam tab.

To reply:

    1. Make sure you’ve approved a comment if it’s being held for review.

YouTube comments held for review

    1. 2. In the Published tab, navigate to the comment you want to reply to.
    1. 3. Click Reply and type your response.

YouTube comments reply option

    4. You can also interact with the comment by liking it, disliking it or loving it.

YouTube comments like dislike or love

You can also moderate YouTube comments in Hootsuite, alongside your other social channels. After adding YouTube as a social network to your Hootsuite account:

Create a My Videos stream in your Hootsuite dashboard

This will collect all your published videos in one column.

To do this, navigate to Streams then click Add Stream. Make sure you’ve selected YouTube. Then, you will see the following options:

Hootsuite dashboard my videos stream

Add a Published Comment stream

This stream will list all your public comments in one place.

Hootsuite dashboard published comment stream

Manage YouTube comments on a specific video

Click on the More Actions button in the bottom right hand corner of the video. Choose Create Comment Stream. This creates a new column in your dashboard, with YouTube comments on that one video.

Hootsuite dashboard create comment stream

Moderate unpublished comments

You can also add a Moderate Stream in Hootsuite. Here, all comments awaiting your approval will be listed in one column.

Find detailed information on moderating comments using Hootsuite here.

How to search for a YouTube comment

In YouTube, click the menu option under the Published tab. Then, filter a comment by:

  • Response status
  • By subscribers
  • By search term

YouTube comments search stream

In Hootsuite, add a search stream to your dashboard. This pulls YouTube content and comments containing the keyword you set, making it easier for you to find, like and comment on that content.

For example, create a search stream containing your brand name or keywords associated with your brand. Instead of manually searching for content to interact with, it’s pulled directly into your Hootsuite dashboard search stream.

YouTube comments add stream option

How to delete comments

There are two ways to delete YouTube comments natively.

If you’re holding all comments for review:

You can view comments before they are made public. Instead of clicking the check mark to approve the comment, click the trash can to delete it.

Hold comments for review

If comments automatically publish:

To delete a YouTube comment that is live, navigate to the Published tab in the Comments section of YouTube Studio. Click on the three vertical dots next to the comment you want to delete. Select Remove.

Delete YouTube comments that automatically publish

This process is very similar if you’re moderating comments in Hootsuite.

To delete a comment that is already live, navigate to your Published Comments stream. Click the More Actions option — the three vertical dots next to the comment you want to delete — and click Remove.

If you’re moderating comments before they go live, click the Delete option on the comment under the Moderate stream.

Hootsuite dashboard moderate YouTube comments

How to report comments

In the Comments section of YouTube Studio, click the flag to report the comment. This option is available in both the Published and Held for Review tabs.

How to report comments

How to report comments 2

It works the same way in Hootsuite. Choose the yield symbol until the More Actions button to report a comment. You’ll find this option in both the Published Comments and the Moderate streams.

Hootsuite dashboard report comments

How to view your YouTube comment history

To see all the public comments your brand has ever made, view your YouTube comment history.

First, make sure your YouTube History is on in your settings:

  • Log into your YouTube Channel.
  • Navigate to your YouTube History by clicking on the menu button in the top left hand corner and scrolling down to History.
  • Click Manage All Activity.
  • Click the YouTube History is On option. You’ll see a check mark. Now, you can view your YouTube comment history.

1. Navigate to your YouTube History

Make sure you’re in your YouTube Channel, rather than YouTube Studio.

Then, click on the three lines in the top left hand corner of your screen. Scroll down the menu options until you find History in the dropdown menu.

2. Under History Type, select Comments

All the public comments you’ve ever made will show here, including your replies. If a video you commented on has since been deleted, that comment won’t show here.

YouTube comments history

How to edit YouTube comments

Here’s how to edit comments you’ve made on one of your brand’s YouTube videos:

1. Navigate to your channel in YouTube

Click on your profile icon in the top right hand corner and select Your Channel.

2. Navigate to your YouTube History

Click on the menu in the top left hand corner of your screen. Scroll to History in the dropdown menu.

3. Under History Type, select Comments

Click on the three vertical dots next to the comment you want to edit. This will bring up two options: Edit and Delete.

Edit YouTube comments

4. Click Edit and make your changes

This will take you to your video. Now, type in your changes and click save.

Edit YouTube comments 2

Now, you’re equipped with all the tools and information you need to handle YouTube comments.

Grow your YouTube audience faster with Hootsuite. Schedule videos and moderate comments in the same place you manage all your other social networks. Try it free today.

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