Google has taken a lot of criticism for forcing Google+ down users’ throats. One frontline of this war is YouTube and their integration of Google Identities. If you think YouTube is bad on the visitor side, try using it to host content. I ran face first into the conflict recently, trying to sort out my YouTube account for personal use and 404 Tech Support usage. I’ve spent the majority of my free time in the past two days trying to straighten things out between the mess that is YouTube with Google+ integration.
I had a single YouTube account. It was old, like maybe before-Google-owned-YouTube old. On that account, there were some personal videos as well as some I had posted on 404TS. YouTube did not previously support multiple channels per account. I could have set up multiple accounts but I did not for simplicity and account management.
I had rejected Google’s “offers” to use my Google+ identity several times over the last several months. Recently, I had no choice but to click Ok and accept that my YouTube account was now tied to my Google+ page. My personal YouTube account was now tied to plus.google.com/+404techsupport
I wanted to untangle this mess and also put a little more emphasis on videos for 404TS in the future. Google finally added the ability to have multiple channels on one YouTube account that I have wanted for a while. I created a new channel which used my personal Google+ identity. I tried finding a way to move the videos from my old channel to the new personal YouTube channel I had created. It can’t be done. I had to download the videos from the one channel and re-upload them to the new channel – losing all the statistics and having to re-enter the descriptions, tags, etc. Complicating this fact is that you can only look at one channel at a time because it changes the cookie with their switch account function.
I even had videos that couldn’t be downloaded. One of them would download to a 1 KB file. When I tried to play it on YouTube, I would get an error and I know I have watched it before. The error suggested that I wait 30 minutes and try again. Nuts to that! Another problem I ran into was that I had videos that I could not download from YouTube, which you normally can download as an MP4 format. The were some personal videos that were blocked from being monetized or showing in Germany for music copyright reasons (small films that had clips of video game music in the background) and they did not have a download option. Another video that I used one of the YouTube background sounds also could not be downloaded. I used a YouTube downloader site to get the video with their background audio. Fortunately, I had originals on hand that I could upload to the new channel. Uploading took hours of time.
That took care of my personal videos and got them to a place I was content with. Now, for the 404TS videos. I created a new channel and chose a custom url of youtube.com/404techsupport. I then uploaded the 11 or so videos I had for 404TS to the channel. I copy+pasted all of the descriptions and updated the blog posts to embed the new videos. Now everything was moved over to the 404TechSupport channel. However, I could not find a way to link it to the 404TechSupport Google+ page and hopping between the YouTube and G+ settings were infuriating. According to the YouTube help pages, there was supposed to be a link to disconnect the original account from G+ that wasn’t there and a link in the settings to connect the new channel to a G+ page, but they weren’t there. Why? The old account was an old account. It can’t be disconnected once it’s been joined to form a “Google Identity”. The new channel couldn’t be linked to a G+ page because new channels automatically create and link a new G+ page.
Taking a risk, I deleted my old channel. I signed out of YouTube and signed back in. Success! It had freed up my Google+ page integration. After a few tries, I was able to create a new YouTube channel tied to my 404TS Google+ page. I uploaded the 11 or so videos (again) to this new channel, copy+pasted the descriptions, and updated my blog posts to embed the new videos again. Great! I was finally making progress. I deleted the temporary 404techsupport channel because it couldn’t be linked to the 404TS Google+ page. I then went to name the successfully linked channel to use the YouTube channel name 404techsupport but it won’t allow me because it is taken. Yes, YouTube warned me that this wouldn’t be possible but it didn’t seem like I had any choice. Now, 404techsupport can’t be used even though I deleted the account it was associated with for less than 24 hours. In hindsight, I should not have selected the custom URL before getting everything else to work.
Another snag I ran into was that Google wants you to verify each YouTube channel. I was ok with this because I hope to monetize and put ads on some of the higher traffic videos like they had been before on my old account. However, Google only allows you to verify two channels a year per phone number. I had verified my new personal channel and the 404techsupport temporary channel. It would not allow me to verify the new, working channel with my phone number. It suggested I use a different phone number (what’s the point of the limit then?). I verified it using my Google Voice number…
After several hours over two days, I’m finally in a decent spot. I’m stuck waiting for something with the custom channel name and I haven’t yet been able to monetize the videos – it says that functionality is unavailable in my country…