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Weekly Update - December 9, 2017: YouTube and abuse, Chrome Apps unlisted in the Chrome Store, Android Go

The last month of the year is usually pretty quiet, but even so, there is some interesting news and some helpful tips this month for YouTubers, Chrome users, Android fans, webmasters, live streamers and more.
Starting off on a light note: if you watch a lot of YouTube videos, check out YouTube Rewind 2017 to see if you can spot your favorite creator or musician, and identify the popular memes. I recognized a few. And, yes, this is just a big ad for YouTube. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made two announcements this week. She explained how YouTube is expanding their work against content that may “mislead, manipulate, harass, or harm”. They are hiring humans “to address content” that violates YouTube policy (aiming for 10,000 across Google), improving machine learning to detect violent extremism, hate speech, and threats to child safety. Along with that, greater transparency around flagged content. Wojcicki also addressed the Creator Community, promising there will be improvements to the sy…

Weekly Update - December 2, 2017: Hangouts Meet, YouTube Community, #NotHacked

This week there are updates and tips for YouTubers, webmasters, business owners, Hangouts Meeters, Android users and more:
G Suite Enterprise customers can now host a Hangouts Meet video call with 50 people. Plus all users can now copy and paste Hangouts Meet conferences across Google Calendar events.It was #NoHacked week, and Google Webmasters wants you to keep your website and accounts un-hacked. They posted a tip a day, and if you have a website or blog, be sure to check it out! In September 2016, YouTube launched the channel Community tab in beta. Now, over a year later, YouTube is finally rolling out the Community tab to channels with over 10,000 subscribers. There’s no word as to when the feature will be available to smaller channels. YouTube also announced "Reels" - their take on the "stories" format. They are still "experimenting with a beta version", and so most creators aren't likely to have access for a while.VidMe launched in 2014 as a vid…

Weekly Update - November 25, 2017: Google Lens, YouTube Policy, Cyber Monday

All shopped out? Tired of turkey? Check out this week’s updates and tips. This week there are tidbits for YouTubers, live streamers, webmasters, AdSense Publishers and more.
Google Lens (announced in May) has finally come to the Google Assistant and Google Photos on Pixel phones. Lens can identify (or at least try to identify) what your camera is pointing to, from flower species to landmarks to works of art and movie posters. It can also scan bar codes and QR codes, and save and navigate to addresses, call phone numbers and add dates to your calendar.  There's no word when or if it will be available on other devices.In the wake of last week’s articles pointing to disturbing and spammy content seemingly aimed at kids, YouTube announced updated policies and improved enforcement. They are age-restricting and disabling monetization on some videos, removing thousands of others, and - as of last week - had terminated 50 channels under the new policies. But major advertisers are suspe…

Weekly Update - November 18, 2017: Google+ Profiles, Google Maps Icons, YouTube Kids content

This week there are updates for Plussers, YouTubers and much more:
Google+ has a new Profile “About” card on desktop, which nicely formats your personal details, and provides buttons to contact the profile owner directly. Check yours today to see if your profile needs tweaking.Google Maps updated its look to make it easier to identify businesses, services and landmarks. There are new color-coded icons and the icons you see are more context dependent - if you’re using driving navigation, you will see gas stations, while if you are using public transit, you’ll see train stations.YouTube announced that in-video notifications of a featured video or playlist will be discontinued December 14 . It turns out, very few people follow those links, and those who do sometimes are taken to a non-existent live stream. YouTube is encouraging using Cards and End Screens to promote your videos and playlists instead.YouTube also came under fire this week as media outlets noticed that there were “startl…

Weekly Update - November 11, 2017: Google Docs & Slides, AdSense, Chrome & Ads

This week Google Top Contributors from North and South America (and a few other places) met in Mountain View, California to learn, shmooze, and have some fun. It was a great time, and it was awesome to see everyone in person. In the past few weeks, there were also meetups in Dublin, Ireland and Singapore for Top Contributors around the world.

Check out the photos of all three TC Summits on Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.
As a result, the Weekly Update will be a bit shorter than usual this week. Here are my top updates:The image insertion process for Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings has been redesigned. Now you can more easily add one of your own photos or a photo from the web to your document or presentation.Google Docs and Slides now has fonts to support 62 languages, including non-Latin scripts like Cyrillic and DevanagariThe AdSense ad balance tool is back - it lets you reduce the number of ads you show to visitors to your website without significantly decreasing your income (hop…

Weekly Update - November 4, 2017: YouTube Live, Google+ Notifications, Hangouts Meet

Fortify yourself with leftover Halloween candy and a cup of tea, and take a look at this week's updates for YouTubers, live streamers, Google Plussers, Hangouts Meeters, business owners, Local Guides and more.
Live stream events are now easier to manage on YouTube. You can now copy settings from previous events, auto-start and there is automatic resolution detection.Small YouTube channels can now join in on the mobile live streaming fun - you only need 25 subscribers to stream from the YouTube mobile app.There was a big update for Google Hangouts Meet for G Suite Enterprise accounts. Now you can record your video calls to Google Drive and include up to 50 participants. And all Hangouts Meet users can use the new Meet hardware, which includes a 4k camera, speakermic, Chromebook and controller.The Google+ desktop notifications page now lets you open notifications in a new tab (hooray!!) and includes hovercards, so you can see more about the person who +1’d you right from the notific…

Weekly Update - October 28, 2017: Gmail Add-Ons, Google Lens, Nik Collection

This week there are updates and tips for photographers, Bloggers, YouTubers, and more. This week’s top updates:
YouTube announced that they have improved the technology for classifying videos for monetization, and are rolling out an update, significantly reducing the number of videos receiving limited ads (the dreaded yellow $). That means millions more videos will become fully monetized.The new Gmail Add-Ons let you complete tasks right from your email inboxEarlier this year, Google announced that they would no longer be updating popular Nik Collection of photo editing software. But it’s been rescued: DxO buys Nik collection from Google, and will resume developmentIn May, Google Lens was announced at Google I/O. Lens lets you take a photo, and have Google Assistant tell you more about what you are looking at. Google Lens is built into the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL, and it’s now rolling out to first-gen Pixel and Pixel XLsThe new Pixel 2s have unfortunately been generating a lot of complai…