AdBlock Plus erases YouTube's clutter and contentious Google+ comments

AdBlock Plus from Eyeo is expanding its mission to clean up more than just annoying Flash ads. The browser add-on still blocks online ads—except for the whitelisted ones—but ABP is now turning its attention to information overload on popular social networks.

The latest social site to fall victim to ABP's editorial pen is YouTube, thanks to the new YouTube Customizer site. The feature helps you banish all the bits of the video site that annoy you, while keeping the ones you enjoy.

To get started, you must have AdBlock Plus installed on Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. Next, just visit AdBlock's YouTube customization page to start blocking YouTube's various "features."

YouTube as you see it now, with none of AdBlock Plus's features enabled. (Click to enlarge.)

If you're generally annoyed with the current state of YouTube you can block everything but the video you're watching. The list of banished items includes comments, suggested videos, featured and recommended videos in the end screen, the sharing tab in the description, in-video annotations, and channel recommendations.

That's a breathtaking list of YouTube cruft and dumping it all may be a step too far for most of us. What good is YouTube, after all, if you can't waste the afternoon following an endless stream of recommended videos.

Instead of blocking everything, ABP includes options to only block comments, or only suggestions and recommendations, or only the sharing tab and in-video annotations.

YouTube with ALL of AdBlock Plus's features enabled—even the "Watch next" recommendations that usually pop up at the end of videos are gone. (Click to enlarge.)

You could also block some mixture of the above—for example, blocking comments and annotations but leaving recommendations intact. If you have any YouTube pages open after you add AdBlock's customizations you may have to refresh the page for your changes to take effect. And if you ever want to return YouTube to the data buffet it once was, check out ABP's instructions on how to remove your customizations.

It also goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that your changes only work on the browser where you have AdBlock Plus installed and first added the YouTube filters.

The comments broke the camel's back

Eyeo says the recent switch to Google+ logins for YouTube's commenting system inspired the new ABP customization tool.

The Google+ switch is supposed to improve YouTube's notoriously vile commenting culture. But critics say the site also lost some important advantages, such as anonymous comments independence from Google+—the company's social service that is creeping into every facet of Google products.

AdBlock Plus has been on a tear recently to let users customize their favorite social sites.

In October, ABP rolled out a similar customization tool for Facebook that lets you banish content from the sidebar and news feed. Earlier in November, the browser add-on let you tweak Twitter by casting out photo and Vine previews from your timeline.

Eyeo isn't finished yet, and is taking suggestions for the sites ABP should clean-up next. If a particular site annoys you to no end, let the ABP crusaders know by sharing a comment on the AdBlock Plus Facebook page.

Subscribe to the The Advisor Newsletter

Comments