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Weekly Update - February 17, 2018: Ad Blocking, YouTube Music, International Project Fi

This week ❤ was in the air, and there were updates for bad ad haters, video creators and more.
There are hundreds of new free music tracks in the YouTube Audio Library. The songs can be used for any project, including monetized videos. The only limitation is that some tracks require attribution. The latest version of the Chrome browser no long displays ads on websites that have advertising that doesn’t comply with the Better Ads Standards. If you’re a webmaster, be sure to check your site’s Ad Experience Report in the Google Search Console. Visitors will be able to override Chrome to show the ads, but I wouldn't count on anyone doing that.Some sites are finding creative ways to replace advertising. Membership fees or sponsorships are a common way to let your fans show their support. But Salon has a new idea: instead of displaying ads, allow them use your web browser to mine cryptocurrency. It's unclear whether this will earn them much real money or overheat visitors' compu…

Weekly Update - February 10, 2018: YouTube, Google Photos, Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics are underway in PyeongChang, YouTube is making good on promised changes, there are new fun photo options, and more.
YouTube has outlined new “repercussions” for egregious actions that harm the YouTube Community. The policy appears to be aimed at Creators who make a big negative splash, like Logan Paul. YouTube has emphasized that this is rare and the Creator’s videos and actions will be reviewed “in context”. Penalties include losing monetization and/or not having your videos recommended across the platform. This isn’t about free speech, it’s about not ruining the platform for the rest of us - most advertisers (and viewers) wouldn’t want to be associated with the site if it’s known for harassment or hateful behavior.Don’t have a Valentine’s day present for your sweetheart yet? Make them a Valentine’s Day movie in Google Photos. Google’s face recognition technology assembles a sweet movie of you and your boo, or if you aren’t in a romantic mood, your baby, cat, do…

Add or change a Google+ Custom URL

When you set up a Google+ Profile or Page, the link to the profile uses an impossible to remember 21-digit user ID.  A Custom URL lets you use a link that's easy to remember when you are promoting your Google+ activity.

If your Google+ Profile or Page is eligible for a Custom URL, you will see a banner on your Profile or Page's profile.  You will then have the option to claim the offered Custom URL.

The offered Custom URL is usually based on the name of the Google+ Profile or Page. You will not have the option to request a specific Custom URL.

Also note that Google+ and YouTube now have separate Custom URL systems. Adding a Google+ Custom URL does not create a YouTube channel Custom URL, which has different eligibility requirements.

Read on for detailed instructions:
Eligibility requirements for a Google+ Custom URLHow to claim a Custom URL on Google+What if my Google+ Profile or Page isn't offered the Custom URL I want?How to change your Google+ Custom URL

Weekly Update - February 3, 2018: YouTube, Google+, Blogger

This week we got a glimpse of YouTube’s direction for 2018, Blogger added ads.txt files to blog’s using AdSense, the Google+ iOS app got and update and more.
 2017 was a rough year for YouTube. It seemed like there was controversy after controversy, with the result that YouTube tightened up its policies, and it got harder for creators to monetize their content. That’s just one of the issues that Susan Wojcicki says YouTube is working on in her “Five Priorities for Creators in 2018”. Also on her radar: greater transparency and better communication, building more ways to let creators and fans have “meaningful interactions”, tighter policy enforcement, and investing in more educational content. 2018 should be an interesting year.Starting this week, video viewers in the US will see notices on videos by news broadcasters that receive government or public funding. So far I haven’t run into any surprises: BBC News, Russia Today, PBS News Hour, Radio Free Europe all have the notice. But I sup…

Weekly Update - January 27, 2018: YouTube, AdSense, Bulletin

This week there’s news for YouTube creators, AdSense publishers, and folks interested in recording local stories:
YouTube announced Official Artist Channels as a single stop for fans of music artists. If an artist has multiple official channels - for example a personal channel and a channel created by their record label - the content will be combined on the Artist Channel, and subscribers to the individual channel will be subscribed to that combined channel instead. YouTube also announced that the official Creator Community will be closing. The Community becomes read-only on January 30 and will shut down completely on February 28. They didn’t announce any direct replacement, but suggested people join the YouTube Product Forum, and follow YouTube Creators and Team YouTube on Twitter, and YouTube Creator Academy, YouTube Help, and Creator Insider on YouTube.Facebook is taking on Twitch and YouTube Gaming with the launch of a Gaming Creator pilot program. Facebook says it’s working wit…

Does your channel meet the new YouTube Partner Program Watchtime Requirements?

Last week YouTube announced new eligibility requirements for the Partner Program. Instead of 10,000 total views, your channel must now have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hoursof watchtime over the past 12 months.

And not only does your channel need to meet those requirements to be accepted into the program, it needs to meet those requirements on an ongoing basis to remain in the program.

This is definitely hard for a lot of channels. YouTube has explained that the reason why they made the changes was to prevent "bad actors" from harming the program overall.  And they have pointed out that  90% of affected channels earned less than $2.50 last month, and 99% earn less than $8 per month (or less in a year than the $100 required to be issued a payment). There is no reason to doubt that's true

But that leaves 1% of affected channels that are actually regularly earning much more than that, and they will lose out. What kinds of channels? There are appliance repair tutor…

Weekly Update - January 20, 2018: YouTube Partners, Mobile Website Speed, Project Fi Bill Protection

This week the focus is on changes for YouTube Creators, but there are also updates for webmasters, small businesses, Project Fi customers and more: The big story for creators this week was major changes to the eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program. Instead of 10,000 lifetime views, your channel must now have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watchtime. Channels that are currently in the YouTube Partner Program will be removed if they don’t meet those requirements by February 20th. But even if your channel is no longer eligible for monetization you will not lose any Creator features that your channel has right now - custom thumbnails, scheduled uploads, live streaming, external links will not be removed if your channel isn’t eligible to show ads. Still have questions? Head over to the YouTube Help Forum where there is an official FAQ being regularly updated with the answers to new questions.As a friendly reminder: Sub4sub violates YouTube policy. If you …