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About the Google Product Expert Program

Follow me on YouTube and Twitter

I will also be on Google+ ( until consumer Google+ shuts down April 2, 2019.

Last updated: January 2019 with new logos
Recent posts

Weekly Update - April 13, 2019: Cloud Next, Hangout Chat & Meet, Currents

This week was Google Cloud Next ‘19, a three day conference showcasing updates and features for G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, developers, businesses, and educators. It’s both promotional - look who’s using Google Cloud! - and informational. I was particularly interested in the updates for communication and collaboration, including Google Docs, Google+, Voice, Hangouts Meet and Chat. But that’s not all - there are updates this week for YouTubers, webmasters and more.
The successor to Google+ for G Suite customers is Currents. While G Suite users will be able to access their Google+ content in Currents, it will be something new. Google+ features like public posts, Circles, Collections, and even +1s will be gone. New features will include tags, topic streams, starred posts and more. Watch the presentation “Engage Employees with Currents” for a peek at what it will look like. It will be available by the end of the year.Hangouts Meet is rolling out automatic live captioning in English,…

Weekly Update - April 6, 2019: Google+ & Inbox RIP, YouTube Live, Gmail Birthday

No fooling, this was a brutal week for some of us Google users. Consumer Google+ with its passionate fans is gone and Inbox with its die-hard users is gone. I catch myself thinking I should check my Google+ notifications. I’ll have more thoughts about the Plus next week, but I feel like this is also a time of growth and new beginnings. There are updates this week, for video creators, live streamers, webmasters and so much more.
April 1st arrived with a few jokey videos and company announcements. It’s toned down compared to previous years. It may be that big companies like Google and Facebook understand that with privacy breaches, revelations that platforms often recommended extremist and fake news to maximize engagement, and breaking news when really bad actors (from pedophiles to terrorists) post content, jokes might not be that appropriate. Or maybe that’s just me. I do like fun updates, rather than “gotchas”, like Reddit’s collaborative GIF-based movie, the addition of Tulip-ese to…

YouTube raises eligibility requirement for mobile live streaming to 1000 subscribers

If you are a live streamer with fewer than 1000 subscribers, you can no longer go live from the YouTube app on your mobile device.

In 2017 YouTube mobile live streaming was made available to all users with a verified channel with no live stream restrictions in the past 90 days, so this is a notable change. We’re regularly reevaluating our eligibility requirements and decided to raise the threshold for live streaming on mobile. Creators who have less than 1,000 subscribers will still be able to live stream through desktop and webcam: — TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) April 5, 2019
YouTube hasn't explained why they made this change, other than that they are "regularly reevaluating our eligibility requirements and decided to raise the threshold for live streaming on mobile."

If your channel has fewer than 1000 subscribers, and live streaming is enabled, you will still be able to live stream on desktop and using your webcam.

Source: YouTube Help Center: C…

Hangout on Air apps Control Room, Hangouts Toolbox, RingCentral require a Google+ Profile

When consumer Google+ shuts down on April 2nd, consumer users running a Hangout on Air or Hangout video call from Google Calendar will almost certainly lose access to third party apps like Hangouts Toolbox and Control Room. It is not clear whether G Suite accounts will still have access to these apps.

While there currently isn't any notice inside the Hangout on Air interface, I've personally confirmed that deletion of the Google+ Profile on an account makes the apps disappear and the option to add new apps is removed..

In April 2017 Google stopped supporting the  Google+ Hangouts API. This removed most Hangouts video call apps, leaving only a few business and Hangout on Air-related apps running.
From the Google+ Hangouts API FAQ, regarding changes on April 25, 2017
Since 2015, these apps have only been available in Hangouts video calls launched from Google Calendar events or Hangouts on Air live broadcasts. And - notably - they require a Google+ Profile or Google+ Pageon the s…

Weekly Update - March 30, 2019: Google+, Gmail, Apple

So this is it, the last Weekly Update that I share on Google+. I started the Weekly Updatein January 2015 as a way to keep track of updates to YouTube, Google+, Blogger and other Google products and to organize links to my Google+ posts. I am grateful to all of you for reading and sharing! I hope those of you who read this on Google+ will continue reading here, subscribe to the feed or by email, or follow me on Twitter for updates.
So long, farewell
I hope all you Plussers have downloaded the data you want to save. If not, do it now using Google Takeout or the Friends+Me Google+ Exporter (which lets you export your data in WordPress or Blogger format). Note that the Google+ Exporter was just updated to improve video downloads - if you uploaded a lot of videos to Google+, be sure you have the latest version.If you have a Google+ Page, note you will need to download the Page’s data separately. Your data may be gone completely on April 2nd, so really, truly download it now. And if you wa…

Help save public Google+ content to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine

The Internet Archive is a non-profit online library that includes free books, movies, music and the Wayback Machine. What is the Wayback Machine?
Internet Archive's web archive, launched in 1996, contains over 2 petabytes of data compressed, or 150+ billion web captures, including content from every top-level domain, 200+ million web sites, and over 40 languages.
There is an ongoing effort to save a copy of public Google+ content to the Wayback Machine. That probably won't be able to archive everything before April 2nd.

If there are specific public posts or pages on Google+ that you want to be sure are archived, you have several options. I've been using the Wayback Machine Chrome Extension to archive some of the Google+ official announcements to create links for my blog won't break.

How can you help or archive a copy of your favorite posts?

Enter the URL into the form at the Wayback Machine extension or add-on in your browser:Chrome ExtensionFirefox…

Customize your Blogger Profile

It just takes a few minutes to add a profile photo and customize your public Blogger profile to let your readers learn a bit more about you and to help folks similar interests find you.

When you create a Blogger Profile the only information you are required to enter is your display name.

You have the option of creating adding a profile photo, and setting up public profile that will be linked from the posts you author, your comments on Blogger blogs and the Blogger Profile gadget on your blog's Layout.

Profile gadget.
Profile photo, name, link to profile on posted comment.
Your Blogger profile is linked to all the blogs in your Blogger account. If you want to blog under more than one identity, you can create a new Blogger account on a different Google account.

If you have already set up your Blogger profile, learn how to add a Profile gadget to your blog's layout.

Note that if you haven't switched from a Google+ Profile to a Blogger Profile yet, jump to the end to learn how …