April 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM ET
Everyone occasionally cries while watching YouTube videos. And now it's apparently even becoming socially acceptable to announce such an emotional experience by clicking an "I cried" button on the video-sharing service.
The button isn't some kind of new YouTube feature though. Instead, as a post on Mashable explains, it's the result of a browser plug-in available to Google Chrome users. As with most Google Chrome plug-in, all you have to do is install the "I cried" plug-in through the Chrome app store. Once you've done that, you'll start seeing an extra button on YouTube videos.
A number next to the button will show you how many people (admitted to having) cried while watching a particular clip, and tear drop icons will track how emotionally moving it is. The plug-in tracks "how many people cried during the video by searching for words associated with crying in comments and combining them with the number of clicks gathered by the ‘I cried’ button," according to the button's makers. So the number's not just telling you how many people actually clicked the button — and classic tearjerkers might already show a high "I cried" count.
The "I cried" browser plug-in was created by the folks behind Project Goodcry, an experiment "intended to make crying a collective experience." In theory, it'll help its creators explore "the role of crying in a networked culture."
In reality, a lot of people will probably install the "I cried" button just so that they can click it while watching Justin Bieber's music videos — some out of adoration ... others out of exasperation.
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