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Showing posts from December, 2017

Year in Review 2017: Google and Your Photos

Google has been innovating with new software and hardware tricks and features for photos, and - especially - using machine learning to improve image recognition, enhancement and sharing. In 2017 Google Photos launched a number of updates that make it more fun for casual photo sharers, like the ability to recognize your cat or dog's face, easier sharing, and photo books . And Google Camera is getting smarter. On Pixel Phones you can access the new Google Lens  option, which can tell you more about the business or landmark you’re looking at, or even take actions, like add a phone number in an image to your contacts. Comic-style Storyboard created from a recent video While Google Photos is designed for sharing with family and friends, Google also provides cool tools and updates for Creators, the folks who go beyond simple snapshots, and who share their photos and videos publicly. Here are my top 2017 updates: At Google I/O in May new sharing features were launched:

Year in Review 2017: Google+ Comes Into Its Own

In 2017 Google+ both turned 6, and was born anew. “Classic” Google+ was finally retired and the new Google+ finally started to spread its wings. In July 2015 Google announced that Google+ would no longer be the social layer across Google products, but rather would be focused on “shared interests”. In November of that year a new stripped down and responsive web interface was launched.   Throughout 2016 there were regular improvements for Google+ on the web. And finally, in January of 2017, Google+ was ready to retire the Classic version of the interface. Without the need to support two separate interfaces, Google+ could start to introduce new features. And so while some of this year’s updates may have seemed like they were simply restoring features that were available in Classic, Google+ also introduced Discover, which is designed to help you find new people, posts, Collections and Communities based on your interests. And there are a number of new Community moderation

Year in Review 2017: YouTube Creators, Partners and Live Streamers

This year YouTube Creators have been hit hard by changes to the YouTube Partner Program, and some favorite features were retired. But there were some nice updates as well, and there are exciting updates in store for 2018. My top YouTube Creator updates for 2017: New YouTube Partner Program application process, requiring 10,000 lifetime views, followed by a channel review The Adpocalypse and expanded enforcement of the advertiser-friendly guidelines for monetization  Crackdown on hateful, violent, extremist content, and disturbing content aimed at kids Mobile live streaming available to (almost) all channels New ways for live streamers to earn: Super Chat and Sponsorship Read on for more details and information about all the 2017 creator updates on YouTube, and what’s in store for 2018 . State of the ‘Tube: Billions and billions YouTube updated their logo and icon , designed to look good whether viewed on a tiny screen or a giant one. Important, since more than half o

Weekly Update - December 23, 2017: Hangouts in Firefox, Webmaster FAQs, Google+ #CreateConnections

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the ‘net, not an update was stirring, not even a reset …  OK, there were a few, but there aren’t likely to be any major updates until January. Here’s the most interesting changes this week. Back in March, Firefox stopped supporting browser plugins, which meant Hangouts video calling stopped working. Now, finally, pluginless Hangouts videos calls are possible in the the lates version of Firefox. Hangouts Meet - the version of Hangouts for enterprise G Suite users - doesn’t work yet, but hopefully will be available soon. Google started new video series answering Webmasters' frequently asked questions about SEO and search . Subscribe to the Google Webmasters YouTube channel so you don’t miss an episode. Google Webmasters also launched a new Rich Results testing tool, and they shared some tips to get your website into shape for shift to mobile-first search indexing.  You can also look forward to learning how to improve your

Weekly Update - December 16, 2017: Google+, AdSense minus YouTube, AR Stickers

This week there were gobs of goodies for Google+ers! But that’s not all - there are updates and tips for YouTube Partners, Live Streamers, Business Owners, and more. Google+ launched two new features for Community Owners and Moderators: Community Insights for number lovers and bulk moderation of Community posts for spam haters.  You can also now more easily rid your posts of spam (yay!) by using the new delete, report, and block option. Poof! Spam is gone, spammers are blocked, and Google+ is better for it.  And if you really need to find that post your you made back in the summer of 2013, that awesome recipe posted in some community (but you aren’t quite sure which one), or just see all the posts that Mentioned you last week, the new Google+ advanced search operators are for you. There are a number of parameters you can use to search, including date, the type of post, whether it’s in a Community or Collection, and who posted or is mentioned. There isn’t a user-friendly interface

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 t

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