YouTube, as one of the biggest video-sharing platforms on the planet, continues to evolve its user interface and engagement features. Among these features is the “highlighted comment” system. If you’ve ever clicked on a YouTube notification and found a comment seemingly emphasized above others, you’ve encountered this system. But the primary question many users have is: Can I manually unhighlight a comment or reply on YouTube? Let’s explore the concept of YouTube’s comment highlighting to understand its meaning and how to remove the “highlighted comment” or “highlighted reply” tag from a YouTube comment.
What is a highlighted comment or reply?
Before we address the burning question of whether you can remove a highlighted comment or reply on YouTube, it’s essential to understand what a highlighted comment is and how it differs from other comments.
A highlighted comment or reply on YouTube refers to a comment that you’ve been directed to from an external source, such as:
- A notification indicating a reply to your comment.
- A shared link from someone else pointing you directly to a specific comment.
This system exists to make navigation more manageable for users. Instead of sifting through potentially thousands of comments to find the one you’ve been notified about, YouTube takes you directly to it.
Contrarily, a pinned comment is one that the video’s uploader has chosen to showcase at the top of their video’s comment section. This comment bears a tiny pin icon and remains static, visible to every viewer until the creator decides to unpin it or pin a different one.
Creator’s choice: Pinned and Top comments
YouTube creators wield considerable power over the comments section of their videos. Their decisions, combined with YouTube’s algorithms, can determine which comments viewers see first. It’s crucial to understand the interplay between these different types of comments.
A pinned comment is one that the video’s creator has chosen to anchor to the top of the comment section. Here’s what you need to know:
- Visibility: Pinned comments are visible to every viewer of the comments section. This contrasts with highlighted comments, which are viewer-specific.
- Purpose: Creators often pin comments to relay essential information, share updates, or spotlight feedback they particularly value.
- Limit: Only one comment can be pinned at a time. Pinning a new comment will displace the previous one.
Even if a comment is highlighted for a viewer, a pinned comment by the creator will still appear at the very top. The highlighted comment comes in after the pinned comment but will be elevated above top comments.
The top comments section displays comments that have amassed significant engagement, be it through likes or replies. This mechanism is algorithm-driven, focusing on showcasing comments deemed most relevant or engaging to viewers. Here’s their relationship with highlighted comments:
- Viewer Experience: While both types of comments enrich the viewer’s experience, top comments are determined by community engagement, whereas highlighted comments focus on individual user interactions.
- Dynamics: The roster of top comments can evolve as new comments gain traction. Highlighted comments, however, remain static for the viewer until they navigate away or engage with a new notification.
How to unhighlight a comment on YouTube
Contrary to what some may believe, you can “unhighlight” a comment or reply on YouTube. While it’s not a direct unhighlight button, the method is fairly straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Revisiting the video: Open the video where the comment is highlighted.
- Address bar edits:
- Examine the web address or URL in your browser’s address bar.
- Look for any query parameter that starts with
&, such as a timestamp appended at the end of the URL (e.g.,
&t=2m30swhich indicates the 2 minutes 30 seconds mark).
- Remove any of these
¶meters from the URL.
- Press Enter.
- Refresh Your Page: On the video page? Simply hit the refresh button on your browser or press F5 on your keyboard.
After taking these steps, the comment should no longer be highlighted for you. However, bear in mind this doesn’t remove the highlight for others accessing the video via the timestamped link.
Related concern: Computer Fan is Loud When Watching YouTube Videos
Why unhighlighting a comment is mostly pointless
At first glance, the highlighted comment feature might seem intrusive or unnecessary. Some users might even find it mildly annoying and aim to “fix” it by removing the highlight. However, here’s why such efforts might be redundant:
- Transient Nature: Highlighting is a temporary marker, more like a guidepost. Once you leave the video or close the tab, and then come back, that comment won’t be highlighted anymore (unless you’re following the same notification link).
- Personal Experience: Highlighted comments are tailored to individual users. It’s not a universal highlight that every viewer sees. In other words, only you see that comment highlighted, based on your interactions or notifications.
Moreover, the “highlighted comment” or “highlighted reply” tag is essentially YouTube’s way of simplifying your navigation, directing you to the specific part of the conversation you’re involved in or might find interesting.
It’s crucial to understand that highlighted comments are viewer-specific. This means the comment that’s highlighted for you may not be for another viewer watching the same video. This personalization ensures that users are always directed to content most relevant to their interactions, further differentiating highlighted comments and replies from pinned ones.
YouTube’s highlighted comment system, though sometimes a point of confusion, is an essential feature designed to enhance user navigation and engagement. While you can’t directly unhighlight a comment on YouTube, a simple refresh or modification of the URL can remove the “highlighted comment” or “highlighted reply” tag from a comment or reply. Nonetheless, this action is often pointless as the feature’s primary intent is to guide, not to permanently mark.
As YouTube continues to evolve, who knows what changes lie on the horizon? For now, though, when you see a highlighted comment, know it’s there to help you navigate the vast world of YouTube interactions more efficiently.