YouTube's social features at the moment are as follows:
The comments of a video are somewhat nice for smaller channels, but as soon as the channel reaches a size where the creator cannot react to all comments anymore, they become something somewhere between meaningless ("who is watching in 2019?") to toxic (trolls, political shouting matches, etc.)
Likes and dislikes provide no meaningful feedback about the video for the creator, other than perhaps "this video has a technical issue" if the dislikes outweigh the likes mostly.
(the community tab and stories exist, but I haven't really used them for anything due to me not using mobile much)
To YouTube's credit, outright abuse has been reduced in the past couple years, presumably through the Perspective API, changes to the comment rankings (so that inflammatory comments don't automatically are the top comments) and changes to discussion visibility (through hiding replies to a comment). They however have not affected the meaninglessness of the comments.
As a creator, there are three types of comments I really like to see:
Anything showing a healthy community. Frequent commenters interacting with each other.
Constructive criticism. Often, when I make a thing, friends and family will compliment me on it, even though it actually is kinda bad and I know it. Getting criticism I can improve off of (and that doesn't include a vague insult at my person) is incredibly difficult, so I'm really thankful for any comment saying something among the lines of "I found this part to be a bit too lengthy". The goal isn't necessarily to become famous, the goal is to make artistically challenging content. For me, anyways.
praise and compliments. Those make me feel warm and fuzzy every time, even if they don't help me make my videos better.
YouTube currently has nothing helping #2 whatsoever. Finding constructive criticism takes hours of shifting through comments, especially when trying to interact with people in category 1 and 3 on the way. Constructive criticism so far I can best find on film festivals and competitions, because there I can talk with people with the right expertise and because of the juries present, there definitely are some critical eyes on my work. Which isn't to say that I enjoy these events, due to me not really being a competitive person, and also not a terribly extravert one either.
YouTube could take steps to making both comments and ratings more meaningful as something that critics could be use, that would be great.
Now, I know that feature request aren't necessarily the most useful thing to any developer, but I'm going to include some anyways:
Split up the meaningless from the meaningful. Leave the comment section as the chaos that it currently is and let a quick click on like or dislike allow people to save the video to their liked video playlist, or to tune the algorithm to see fewer of my content. Whether or not the numbers are public on these things, I don't particularly care about, but considering they're meaningless anyways, hiding them by default probably works just fine.
With my videos being dislike bombed somewhat frequently whenever I'm the bearer of bad news ("your channel got terminated and won't be restored"), or when I have controversial opinions elsewhere, the entire like/dislike ratio thing is pretty meaningless to me anyways because people are definitely not rating the quality of the video. I personally just hide them, and actually would somewhat like to hide view counts, too (I enjoy that nobody can tell whether or not my blog is successful or not, as it ultimately doesn't matter for the quality of the content).
As for the meaningful, I'd like a system somewhere between deviantart and newgrounds.
Deviantart has critiques that are separate from the normal comment and favourite (aka like) system. In critiques, critics can rate the following factors on a 5-star scale, with the overall rating being the average of the factors:
In addition to this, the critics are required to write 100 words before being able to publish the critique. Once published, the critique serves as its own comment thread with people being able to reply and discuss to it. Further, the audience can rate the critique as fair or unfair, with the creator's verdict on the critique being displayed underneath it.
I previously used these factors to rate a 50-something video "community rewind" competition with a jury of 4 (sample of the voting sheet below) and found that they definitely do work quite well for artsy stuff, but make it difficult to rate the boringness or entertainment value of a video (which is a big part of video anyways.), so these factors would need to get reworked a bit for YouTube. Maybe Originality, Technique, Entertainment value, Impact?
Newgrounds meanwhile doesn't have comments, you can only leave a review that's quite similar to store reviews: 5 stars and you get to post your opinion on the thing. No discussions, but a dedicated forum section on their website. What I like about this is that you can directly associate the verdict of a viewer with their comment, as well as this system being way more simple than what deviantart does, however, in terms of quality these reviews is on par with the standard app store reviews or, indeed, YouTube comments.
These are just my two cents on it anyways. If you have something to add, write it in the, well, comments. Either here, or on the CreatorInsider video, because YouTube is currently considering how to tackle dislike bombing.