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Showing posts from 2016

2016 in Review: Hangouts (yes, still Hangouts)

Hangouts got some decent updates in 2016, despite being upstaged by Google's sexy new 1:1 chat and video messaging apps Allo and Duo . When Allo and Duo were announced at Google I/O in May, there was much speculation that Hangouts was on the chopping block. But Google quickly clarified that "We're continuing to invest in Hangouts and it will remain a standalone product," , but with a different user base in mind.  Allo and Duo are for personal one-to-one interaction on mobile devices, while Hangouts is focusing on business and collaborative uses.  Nick Fox, Google's VP of communication products, told Nathan Ingraham at Engadget: "Because Hangouts is built on a Google account, because it's deeply integrated with Google apps, the Apps suite [things like Drive, Docs, etc.], Gmail, Calendar and so on, it's seen much more success in the enterprise," Fox told me. "It will increasingly focus on that kind of group collaboration enterp

2016 in review: YouTube Creator updates - community, creativity, communication

Over the past year YouTube has really focused on creators, adding more support options, making an effort to communicate about policies, updates, and bugs more clearly, and adding features and programs to help build the YouTube community. Instead of a detailed blog post, I live-streamed my top updates. Related links: Redesigned Creator Hub YouTube for Creators Benefit Levels Improving Content ID for Creators Changes to account penalties Redesigned account features page Clarification on monetization & advertiser-friendly content - YouTube posted a clarif

Year in Review 2016: Google+ - Creators, Collections and Communities

In June 2016, Google+ turned 5 years old. It was a relatively quiet birthday celebration, with special wallpapers and shared memories. But after all that time, 2016 seems to me to be the year Google+ is finally starting to come into its own. Rewind back to July 2015, when Google+ announced a shift in focus from being the social layer across all Google products to a simpler and more focused interest-based social network . To that end, a brand new Google+ was launched in November 2015 . And this year, the focus was on building up that new Google+, both transferring features from classic Google+ and adding entirely new features. When the new Google+ web experience became the default in September, it looked like Google+ had indeed been reincarnated. Collections - which turned one year old in May - are the centerpiece, and new search and discovery features promote Collections before people or individual posts. As Eli Fennel opined "Complaining that your G+ engagement has gone

2016 in review: AdSense - Updated Account Interface, Better Communication, New Ad Types

AdSense had some solid updates in 2016. The AdSense account interface got a makeover and there were new ad formats. And there was much better communication, with the goal of " becoming more transparent and accessible to the online marketing community. " My top AdSense updates for 2016:  Weekly #AskAdSense  office hours AdSense account interface gets a material design update Introducing Page Level Ads Earn money with Matched Content AdSense Labs: test experimental features from your AdSense account Fake News supported by AdSense One of the big stories of 2016 was the proliferation of fake news sites. These are sites that exist only for the ad revenue - the "news" they publish is made up and optimized for clicks. They got a boost when credulous people  - including politicians - shared the articles as if they were real.  It was great for the e nterprising Macedonian teenagers (and others) who created the sites , not so great for political discourse.

2016 in Review: Blogger updated dashboard, with more good things to come

Blogger got some nice updates in 2016, and there is a promise of more changes to come in 2017. Blogger dashboard was redesigned and the account interface was simplified HTTPS was enabled for all blogspot domain blogs Picasa Web Albums was retired - Blogger blog albums can now be found in your Album Archive Lambda expressions for  more custom template flexibility And some things were taken away: Google Friend Connect now requires a Google account login, the Slide Show widget stopped working, and there no longer is the option to edit or otherwise manage images now that Picasa Web Albums has been retired.   Why do I expect more good things to come? November's dashboard redesign was introduced as follows:  ". . .  we’ve heard that there’s more we can do to make the platform a better place to have your unique voice be heard . So we’ll be making some adjustments over time to bring you a faster, easier to use and more beautiful Blogger. To kick things off, we’ve t

Weekly update - December 24, 2016: YouTube, Spaces, Motions Stills

Happy holidays everyone! It’s pretty quiet this this week, but there are a few nice updates: There is now a YouTube Comment history feed where you can find all your own comments Google Spaces has new invite controls and allows text with (almost) no limits The iOS Motion Stills app now has Motion Text for very cool titling, and better details and loops Plus there are tips, updates and news for YouTube, Google+, Webmasters, Google Photos, Google Sheets and more! Image: by me, all rights reserved. Holiday cheer: Sharing the Project Fi love: Get $20 when you join! Project Fi subscribers: if you are flying through San Jose, CA stop by the #FlyWithFi Travel Trolly Project Fi has holiday treats for subscribers! A World of Thanks (Google blog) Bing offers holiday treats and celebrates the spirit of giving (Bing blog) Santa's Village is now open! (Google Blog) More 2016 in review YouTube 2016 ad leaderboard (Think with Google) What’s Trending, Tubular Labs Pick Out

Weekly Update - December 17, 2016: Google+, YouTube, Project Fi Fun

As the end of the year draws near, the last updates of 2016 are being released. My top updates: Google+ improves search, recommended and trending posts, lets you find more content in your Home stream and released the last iOS app update of the year YouTube’s Custom URL system is now independent of Google+, plus you can learn about what’s happening with subscriptions Project Fi spreads the holiday cheer, with $20 off if you join via a referral link and free goodies for subscribers traveling through the Mineta San Jose International Airport AI is transforming Google Microsoft introduces a personal universal translator for real-time group conversations Holiday cheer: Sharing the Project Fi love: Get $20 when you join! Project Fi subscribers: if you are flying through San Jose, CA stop by the #FlyWithFi Travel Trolly Project Fi has holiday treats for subscribers! A World of Thanks (Google blog) Bing offers holiday treats and celebrates the spirit of giving (Bing blog) Santa

Weekly Update - December 10, 2016: YouTube, Google+, Best of 2016

This week there are some great updates and tips for YouTubers around the world, webmasters, Google+ers, Project Fi subscribers and much more. YouTube Red is now available in Korea, YouTube is showing morelocal language content in India, and they are working with Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft to curb the spread of terrorist content online The Google+ Android app loads web pages faster, plus there are learning resources for the new Google+ and Collections Android 7.1.1 is rolling out to more devices 2016 isn’t quite over, this year’s “Best” lists are out Image: Bloemen en vogels door Seitei, Watanabe Seitei, 1916 ( Rijksmuseum  via  Wikimedia Commons ) Holiday cheer: Project Fi has holiday treats for subscribers! A World of Thanks (Google blog) Bing offers holiday treats and celebrates the spirit of giving (Bing blog) Get your own personal Facebook Year in Review video Santa's Village is now open! (Google Blog) 2016: the best and most popular #YouTubeRewi

Free Webinar: Getting Started with the New Google+

On December 7th, I joined +Michael Daniels in his Top Contributor Hangouts series to talk about how to get started with the new Google+.  I talked about how to set up your profile, find interesting content, and  post your own content. Whether you are new to Google+ or a long time Plusser getting used to the new interface, you should learn something new.  And if you are still using the Classic Google+ interface, now is the time to give the new web experience a try! Here's the general outline of what we discussed. 1. Setting up your Google+ Profile 2. Populating your Home stream        * Finding and following Collections        * Following People and Pages        * Organizing people into Circles        * Communities 3. Engaging with posts: Plus, Comment, Share 4. Posting          * Create your own Collections          * New posts, Text and Plus Mentions          * Share photos and images          * Share links          * Create a poll          

Weekly Update - December 3, 2016: Google+ Photos, YouTube Live, Search Console

My top news this week: New Google Mac Screensaver and Android Wallpapers feature photos from Google+ YouTube now supports 4k live streaming for standard and 360-degree video s Google  removed Content Keywords and feature phone tools from Search Console, and retired the feature phone Googlebot Earth across space and time: Google Timelapse lets you see how the Earth changed over the past 32 years in detail There’s news about new leadership, updates and troubles at Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, reports about Android malware and hackers, and advances using AI to fight disease, flag inappropriate content, and improve search.. Plus there are updates and tips for video creators, live streamers, bloggers, webmasters, business owners and much much more. Plus it’s beginning to look a lot like … Santa's Village is now open! (Google Blog) Image: Detail from The Sawmill, December sun by Ester Almqvisit (1914) (public domain)

Weekly Update - November 26, 2106: Blogger, Sites, Cyber Monday

This was a pretty quiet week announcement-wise - probably because of the Thanksgiving holiday. However, this week did see some nice updates for bloggers and other online content publishers: B logger introduces a new (and slightly confusing) dashboard as a step towards a “better Blogger” The totally rebuilt Google Sites lets you create websites as easily as a doc Telegram launches Telegraph an anonymous long-form blogging platform You can now get a .blog domain for your blog Instagram launches live video in Instagram Stories and Snapchat-like disappearing photos and videos in Instagram Direct Plus updates and tips for YouTubers, Live Streamers, AdSense, Bloggers, Webmasters, Map Readers, and more. The post-Thanksgiving pre-Christma shopping season has brought great shopping deals, including great prices on the Google Pixel, Home and Chromecast, try Google Play Music + YouTube Red free for 4 months and Chromecast purchases include three months of HBO Now . And there are mor

Weekly Update - November 19, 2016: Google+, Google Photos, AI Everywhere

Top updates this week: Google Photos gets new editing tools and introduces Photo Scan , which lets you use your phone to scan old photo prints Google+ now lets you drag and drop images into posts and comments, and has updated notifications options on desktop and in the Android app Google and Facebook ban their ads on fake news sites, but it’s not clear how Facebook might stem the flood of fake news (or if they even want to) Google Play Music and Google Translate  get machine learning updates, and you can play with AI Experiments - while Fast Company profiles Sundar Pichai’s Google, where “AI is Everything - and Everywhere” US Thanksgiving is this Thursday US Thanksgiving travel tips from Google Maps (Google Maps blog) Let’s Talk Turkey: TSA Thanksgiving 2016 Travel Tips (TSA Blog) Google Search Trends: Thanksgiving Plus updates and tips for YouTube, AdSense, Google Docs, Google Photos, mobile messaging, and much more. Image: Detail from Acht kalkoenen by Theo v

Weekly Update - November 12, 2016: Google+, YouTube, Safe Browsing

Top updates this week: Google+ makes it easier to post in Communities and supports AMP pages for faster mobile webpage loading YouTube now supports HDR video and has launched an app for the Daydream VR viewer (which is now available for sale) Google Safe Browsing now warns against repeat offenders and makes it easier to report malicious sites. Plus more updates and tips for YouTube, Google+, Google Photos, Google Sites, Gmail, AdSense , Project Fi and more. Image: Poppy Field, by Vincent van Gogh (1890)

Weekly Update - November 5, 2016: YouTube, Project Fi, US Elections

Top updates this week: YouTube adds new comment features, which should help build your channel’s community YouTube’s improved Content ID dispute process ensures creators won’t lose money YouTube comes to an agreement with the Germany-based music rights organization, GEMA, meaning that more music videos will play for German viewers YouTube now offers Chrome notifications on desktop Project Fi app now displays improved real-time data Photo editing app Snapseed can now edit photo spheres without them losing their sphereiness  Microsoft launches a Slack competitor, and Slack seems pretty concerned Did you know there is an election in the US on November 8th? Facebook, Google and Twitter all provide US Election tool Watch the election results live on YouTube Periscope lets you “wear” a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump mask in your live broadcast

Weekly Update - October 29, 2016: Halloween tricks and treats

Many tech companies announced their third quarter earnings this week - and (not coincidentally) announced new hardware, software, and sadly some retirements. This week's top updates: Apple and Microsoft held special events, announcing new hardware and software Twitter announced that Vine will be shut down Just in time for Halloween: Facebook and Prisma demoed real time "masks" and artistic filters for live streams  Google Allo got a bunch of updates, including Stranger Things stickers  Google+ launched the new “Vanguard” program for Community Owners and opened a new Google+ Collections Community for India Plus there are updates and tips for YouTube, Google+, webmasters, photographers, business owners, AdSense publishers, and much much more. Image: my photo of Halloween Androids, all rights reserved

Weekly Update - October 22, 2016: Pixel, YouTube, Google+

This week’s top updates: The #madebygoogle Pixel phones are finally on sale and in users' hands  There are new data filters for YouTube Analytics realtime reports Google+ for web and Google Photos were also updated There are also updates and tips for Google Photos, Google+, YouTube, webmasters, AdSense publishers, Android lovers, Facebook live streamers, Google Docs users and more. Image: Franz Marc detail from In the Rain (1912 ) Public domain

Weekly Update - October 15, 2016: Project Fi, Google Photos, YouTube

This week’s top updates: Project Fi now offers group plans Google Photos has more ways to discover images (and more) YouTube acquires Famebit Plus tips and updates for Google+, Google Spaces, YouTube, Google Photos, webmasters, AdSense publishers, Business owners, emailers, Android phone owners and more! Image: Postcard showing man and woman using telephones c. 1910 (Public Domain)

Weekly Update, October 8, 2016: #madebygoogle, Google+, YouTube

At the big  #madebygoogle  event on October 4th, Google announced some fancy new hardware to showcase their move to “AI-first”: Pixel phones, Google Home, Google WiFi, Daydream View VR viewer, and a new Chromecast. While most of this week's updates are related to that, Google+ also changed the default post sort order in Communities, YouTube makes it easier to disclose paid promotion, and more for webmasters, business owners, Docs users and more! Plus check out the Google+ Top Contributors and Rising Star at the #TCMeetup2016 in Mountain View and An overview video of the main day of #TCMeetups2016 in Mountain View Image: Exclamation mark By Google -, Apache License 2.0,

Weekly Update - October 1, 2016: The Keyword, G Suite, Google for India, #TCMeetups2016

This week’s top Google updates: Google’s official blogs have a new home at with “ The Keyword ” Google Apps for Work is rebranded G Suite , launched along with Google Cloud  (plus a Early Adopter program with an new Hangouts meeting experience) Google for India (making products work better for everyone) : YouTube Go , Allo, Google Station  and Chrome on Android Plus there are more updates and tips for YouTube, live streaming, Google+, Photos, Blogger, webmasters, Hangouts & messaging, Google Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Maps and more! This week I also attended the Google Top Contributor Program Meetup (#TCMeetups2016) in Mountain View. Check out the photos on Twitter , Google+, and Instagram . (You can see the YouTube RSs & TCs here) Image: Google Top Contributor Program Meetup Cupcakes! Interested in the Top Contributor program? Check it out!

Weekly Update - September 24, 2016: YouTube Heroes, Google+ in Google Apps, Allo

This week’s top updates: YouTube Heroes program announced Google Allo launches Google+ becomes a core Google Apps for Work Service Plus Google Trips, Google - and Bing! - get AMP’d, Yahoo's 2014 security breach, and more tips and updates for Hangouts, YouTube, Google+, Blogger, AdSense, Google Maps, Google Docs & Slides, and more. Image: It’s officially autumn: the air is crisper, the leaves are changing and YouTubers are freaking out ... Painting "Autumn Leaves" by Sarah Jane Prentiss (1823-1877), public domain

Weekly Update - September 17, 2016: YouTube Community, Google+ Scheduling, Cardboard Camera

My favorite updates this week: YouTube introduced the new “Community” tab (on a limited number of channels) You can now use social media management services like Hootsuite to schedule posts to Google+ Profiles The Google Cardboard Camera app now lets you share your VR Images Plus there are updates and tips for YouTube Analytics, Local Business owners, live streaming, AdSense, Google Photos, Gmail, Outlook and more.  Other topics I'm following:  Do Facebook's automated spam filters and removal of flagged content amount to censorship? (see "Other social media") AdBlock Plus now sells ads  (see "AdSense and advertising") Apple iMessage and Facebook Messenger as app platforms (see "Hangouts and Messaging") The EU's proposed changes to copyright law - good, bad, terrible? (See "More around the web") Image: Illustration by Ethel Franklin Betts for The Orphant Annie Book   by James Whitcomb Riley (1908), in honor of a

Weekly Update - September 10, 2016: Hangouts, Google+, Apple

New this week:  Apple announced the iPhone 7 - goodbye headphone jack! Plus there is a new Apple Watch, Super Mario and Pokemon and iOS10 coming soon. You can now opt in to the new Hangout Chrome Extension experience, which is much like the Hangouts app. Note that everyone will be updated October 17th. Google+ had multiple updates for the new web interface, including Chrome notifications, related Community suggestions and improved search auto-complete. On Monday, September 12th Hangouts on Air will be moved to YouTube Live Events, so this is your last chance to run a HOA from Google+ Plus there are tips and updates for YouTube, Google+, Live Streaming, Bloggers and Webmasters, AdSense, Local Business Owners, Map users and much more! Image: We’re heading into apple season - both the fruit and electronic kind. The image is a detail from Levi Wells Prentice’s Harvest

Weekly Update - September 3, 2016: New Google+, YouTube Monetization, Live streaming

This week was all about Google+ and YouTube (but not together, of course). First off, the new Google+ is now the default web experience, with the option to switch back to Classic Google+ for the time being. To sweeten the deal there are several new features: images and links in comments, web notification center, and community moderators can now choose to hold posts for review. Meanwhile, YouTube started notifying Partners with videos that are not “advertiser-friendly”. Despite the fact that this only affects the ability to monetize those videos videos, and the cited policies are well over a year old, YouTubers were upset by this “new” policy. Also this week: YouTube Gaming turned one, Google Brand Accounts for YouTube and Google+ can have multiple owners, you can schedule in YouTube Live Stream Now, Twitter offers a monetization program, Snapseed got more editing tools, and more. About Me: Why I’m a Google Top Contributor Image: Welcome to the new Google+!

Weekly Update - August 27, 2016: Nougat, Nexus, Live and more

The big news this week: Android 7.0 Nougat started rolling out. Plus Nexus devices will get WiFi Assistant - formerly a Project Fi-only feature. Plus there are tips and updates for YouTube video watchers, live streamers, photographers, business owners, webmasters, Hangouts chatters, Project Fi-ers and more. Image: Happy 100th birthday US National Park Service ! Check out the 360-degree views of National Parks at Google Arts & Culture . The post image is from a United Airlines poster (no known copyright restrictions) uploaded to Flickr by the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

YouTube Partners and AdSense Publishers - keep your content advertiser-friendly

Why isn't my video eligible for monetization? Why was ad serving disabled to my blog? Why can't I show ads on my content? Whether you are monetizing your YouTube channel, or using AdSense on your website or blog, you need to make sure you keep your content in compliance with the AdSense and YouTube content policies. It's easy to run ads - you choose the ad types and place the ad units, and Google decides which ads display, collects money from the advertisers and pays you your share. The system is largely automated, with an ad auction that selects the best paying and most relevant ads for your website  or YouTube videos . Since advertisers aren't usually selecting which websites or videos their ads will appear on, Google has to be able to assure them that their ads will not appear with content that is not "advertiser-friendly". As a YouTube Partner or AdSense Publisher, it's your responsibility to understand the policies and make sure your content c

Weekly Update - August 20, 2016: Duo, Hangouts on Air, Google+ and more

It's all about communication: This week Google’s new 1:1 mobile video calling app launched, and Google explained that Hangouts will focus on collaboration and business. Google also announced that Hangouts on Air would be moving from Google+ to YouTube Live. There are a bunch of tips for broadcasters to get ready for the move (and no, Google is not “killing” HOAs). The Google+ apps for Android and iOS got an updated and Collection searches have been improved all platforms. YouTube Gaming is now available in Germany, YouTube Red is available in Mexico, and YouTube Space London got a new bigger home. Outside the Googleverse: Tsu and Blab are dead, Facebook launched a new app for teens and Twitter now lets you choose who can notify you. Plus there are tips and updates for Google Forms, Street View, Chrome, Blogger, AdSense and more. Image: From the cover of the Electrical Experimenter (May 1918) . It illustrated an article by the magazine’s publisher - and notable sci

Create a Google+ Event for your Hangout on Air or YouTube Live Event

When consumer Google+ shuts down on April 2, 2019, all Events will be deleted. Google+ Events have not been available to G Suite accounts since 2016. - original article -  Starting September 12, 2016 Hangouts on Air are moving from Google+ to YouTube Live. That means it will no longer be possible to set up a Hangout on Air in Google+ Events. But if your audience is on Google+, you will still be able to create a Google+ Event for your Hangout on Air in just a few easy steps. 1. Set up your Hangout on Air at YouTube Live Events ( ) 2. Copy the video URL from the live event's video watch page 3. Set up a new Google+ Event at with the date and time of your Hangout on Air 4. Under Event Options  > Advanced > Show more options  paste the YouTube URL of your Live event The video will be displayed at the top of the Google+ Event page and attendees will be notified when the Event begins. If you create a video t

Hangouts on Air are moving from Google+ to YouTube Live Events

Note: This was originally posted on Google+ on August 15, 2016. A few of the links have been changed to the Internet Archive version or unlinked if no longer available. The image is also updated. Hangouts on Air was completely shut down on August 1, 2019.  Hangouts on Air is moving from Google+ to YouTube Live Events Hangouts On Air will move from Google+ to YouTube Live on September 12, 2016. Events cannot be scheduled on Google+ after that date and you will need to move existing events scheduled to happen after September 12 to YouTube Live. Learn more about the move in the YouTube Help Center Set up a Hangout on Air in YouTube Live Events (Note your already-scheduled HOAs should already be listed in YouTube Live Events - check it out!) 1. Go to Live Streaming Events in Creator Studio. ( ) 2. Click New live event. 3. Select Quick (using Goog