As blastmedia has discovered Youtube is experimenting with the google plus button in place of thumbs up and thumbs down. Currently it doesn’t tie in with the rating system that google has in place and so for people who see the Google Plus button they are bard from giving a thumbs up without using the google api or switching browsers.
I can’t say I’m a fan. Like and Dislikes used to not be public let alone show in organic search results. If this feature is adopted every +1 has the potential to apear in search results. Ug.
Youtube originally did 5 stars but most people just voted 1 or 5 stars. So we got thumbs up or down. Now with Plus we loose anyway of providing negative feedback.
There are many reasons to no have negative feed back. All of them have to do with one group of users mas down voting content either for their own advantage or to discourage other groups of visitors. Youtube does not have this issue. There is no way to mass effect video ranking on youtube by disliking a video outside of botting. Wich to be fair @thewillofdc points out that Google has been lax in fighting botting as of late.
Some will say that letting people do a negative action on a site is never good and I would strongly disagree with them. Currently the down vote remains one of the more civil way on youtube to voice that you did not like a video. A great example of a valid use case is the Rick Perry Strong video which has a near 99% dislikes and for good reasons.
Negative comments remain much more damaging then down votes. Youtube is known, for good reason, as some of the most vile comments on the web. I can only imagine that letting people voice their dislike with a simple action stop even more horrible comments.
Please youtube. Add Google Plus as an option to the page. But leave the current ratings system in place. Both can coexist and content producers will definitely encourage users to +1 as it will clear help in google ranking.