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Showing posts from 2018

Weekly Update - December 29, 2018: Winding down the year

No big round-up this week, as most of the tech world is on holiday, and I'm working on my end-of-2018 round up which I'll post on January 1st. There was a little bit of news this week:
You can start the new year with a 30-day activity challenge in the Google Fit app. It starts January 1st, but you can sign up today.  Get Google Fit for your Android phone to get started.Google celebrated their Webmaster Product Experts. If you are a webmaster who enjoys sharing your expertise, check it out.  The camera on your phone is getting smarter. Google uses computer vision techniques and machine learning to power features like "Top Shot" on the Pixel 3 that saves and analyzes frames before and after your shutter press to capture just the right moment. And Google Lens lets you "search what you see" and copy text in images. Follow the links to learn how it works. Speaking of "smart" image processing, if you are a dog person, rather than a cat person, AND you u…

Weekly Update - December 22, 2018: Google+, YouTube, Christmas Fun

We’ve passed the darkest day of the year, and so, hopefully, no more bad news for at least a few weeks. This week there is more information for Plussers, new features for YouTubers, and more. Plus some holiday fun! If you celebrate Christmas, may it be merry!
There is now a timeline for the shutdown of the Google+ API. While it will stop working entirely on March 7th, there may be “intermittent failures” as early as January 28th. If you are a blog owner or webmaster, it’s time to remove any Google+ plugins such as Google+ badges, +1, share or follow buttons, and embedded posts. The API will also stop working for social media management services like Buffer and Hootsuite. Romain Vialard has shared instructions for exporting all the data from a Google+ Community and importing into FirebaseThe New York Times reported that Facebook “gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those bus…

Update on the Google+ API for developers and website owners

Update March 10, 2019: The Google+ API has shut down, and buttons, badges and embedded posts no longer display. If you have code for these on your website or blog, now is the time to remove it.

Update February 28: See the latest update with changes that may mitigate the effects for some developers.

The Google+ API will shut down on March 7 with "intermittent failures" starting as early as January 28. The "sunsetting" of Google+ for consumers is scheduled for April 2019, so it will outlive the API by a few weeks .

Google has updated the Google+ Platform Developer site with more details about the shutdown of the platform over the coming months. The Google+ APIs will be completely shut down and cease to function March 7, 2019. There may be "intermittent failures" as early as January 28th.

This will not only affect developers, but also website owners who have added Google+ integration features to their site.  And if you use social media management services lik…

Weekly Update - December 15, 2018: Google+, YouTube, advertising

This week there was more bad news, with the announcement that Google will speed up the shutdown of Google+. There were also some positive updates for YouTube Creators, so there’s that.
This week started with the unwelcome announcement that in November a change to the Google+ API could have revealed the private information of 52.5 million users. They have subsequently decided to shut down the Google+ API within 90 days, and sunset the consumer version of Google+ in April, rather than August. Despite the accelerated shutdown Google+ unfortunately hasn’t provided us consumer users (or developers) any details about what’s going to happen exactly over the coming months. Meanwhile Google+-friendly social media management platform Friends+Me has been actively developing a Google+ Exporter, which allows you to download your Google+ posts in a format that can be imported into WordPress or Blogger. The free version lets you download up to 3000 posts. I haven’t tried it personally, but it’s wor…

YouTube Partners: assess whether your content is advertiser-friendly to run ads

YouTube has launched a "Video Self-Certification" pilot program that allows some YouTube Partners to rate their own videos against the advertiser-friendly content guidelines when they upload. YouTube has also provided examples of non-advertiser friendly content, so all Partners can more easily determine if a particular video should be monetized.

Assessing Advertiser-Friendliness If your YouTube channel is in the YouTube Partner Program, you are expected to make sure that your content complies with the Community Guidelines, the AdSense Program Policies,  and also is "advertiser-friendly".

Some content may be allowed under the Community Guidelines, but might not be something advertisers want to be associated with. If that's the case, YouTube recommends you turn off ads on that video.

If YouTube detects that a video is probably not advertiser-friendly, you will see a yellow monetization icon in your video manager, which indicates it is probably not suitable for mos…

Weekly Update - December 8, 2018: Hangouts, Allo, YouTube

I thought December would be a quiet month, but people were talking this week about Hangouts and Google’s chat app strategy, Tumblr’s sudden ban on adult content and much more.
At the beginning of this week 9to5Google kicked off a storm by reporting that 2019 would be the last year you could use Hangouts, based on information from an unnamed source. This provoked a response from Scott Johnston, product lead for Hangouts, who called it shoddy reporting. Google subsequently released an article with an overview their messaging services strategy. The bottom line: “classic” Hangouts users will eventually be transitioned to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, which are designed for enterprise and are currently only available to G Suite users. There is no timeline for when that will happen, and “Google is fully committed to supporting classic Hangouts users until everyone is successfully migrated to Chat and Meet.” But while Hangouts will still be around, Google also announced that “smart messa…

Weekly Update - December 1, 2018: Google Fi, YouTube Stories and more

I’m dreaming of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere! As we head into the last month of the year, there was a major announcement from Project Fi, plus some nice updates from YouTube and more.
The big news this week was that “Project Fi” - Google’s mobile network that launched in 2015 - has graduated to “Google Fi” and now officially supports most newer Android phones and iPhones. There is a catch: Fi’s unique technology to seamlessly switch between multiple cellular network and new enhanced network features only work with “designed for Fi” phones. If you are interested, you should check compatibility of your phone.And if you decide to give it a try, use my referral link and we’ll both get a bonus (click here).To celebrate the launch, Fi offered an amazing one-day-only promo: buy a new phone through Google, meet the other eligibility requirements, and you would receive the full value of the phone back in travel gift cards. It was so popular support was almost impossible to reach an…

Weekly Update - November 24, 2018: YouTube, GMB, Cyber Monday

Shopping? Visiting family? Enjoying the great outdoors? Whatever you are doing, take a few minutes to check out this week’s updates for YouTubers, business owners, Instagrammers and more.
YouTube is rolling out the Community tab to channels with at least 1000 subscribers. You can post text, polls, images, videos and more. Commenting is a bit limited, so it doesn’t seem like it’s ideal for discussions at the moment, but it seems useful for perhaps keeping your subscribers’ interested when you aren’t posting videos. You can see (and vote in) my first poll Creators can now @mention other users when publishing a Community post, in addition to @mentions when replying to video comments. Mentions are one of the things I miss about Google+ comments on YouTube, so I’m happy about this update. It would be great if mentions were eventually available to commenters other than the channel owner (although perhaps that’s too ripe for abuse). YouTube now shows a “Known issues” widget on your Studio d…

Weekly Update - November 17, 2018: Photos, GMB, Project Fi

This coming week is Thanksgiving in the US, which means big sales and few updates. That means updates needed to be launched this past week, to get ahead of the holiday. There
While Google+ won’t be completely shut down until August 2019, other Google products and services will be disconnected before then. This week Google Photos removed the option to share images to Google+. You can still share a link to an image in your Google Photos account, or select a recent image from Google Photos when creating a new Google+ post. (Technically you can select an older image from Google Photos, but that requires scrolling through your photo library to find it.The Google contact cards that appear on mobile when you click a profile photo in Hangouts or Gmail, or the About button on a Google+ Profile have a new uniform look. Contact info is highlighted, and there are buttons to Hangout, Email, Call or Schedule an event (although some of those may be greyed out, depending on whether you have that per…

Weekly Update - November 10, 2018: YouTube, Piracy, Android

The air is cooling, leaves are falling, and California is burning. Some folks can see winter on the horizon. Nonetheless  updates are appearing.
This week in the official Google+ Aspire Community, I talked about how to get your Google+ followers to subscribe to your YouTube channel, tips for sharing your videos to Google+, differences between following someone on Google+and YouTube and so forth. The #CreateConnection conversation is over, but you can still read the discussion.With last week’s announcement that Flickr will be limiting free accounts to only 1000 photos and videos, there was great concern that much of the Creative Commons content shared on the platform would be lost. Flickr has now announced that any images shared under a Creative Commons license before November 1st will not be deleted from the platform, the Flickr Commons archives from governments, universities, museums and other organizations will remain, and they are working with nonprofits to get them set up with Pro…

Weekly Update - November 3, 2018: AdSense, Photos, Flickr

This week I attended both the annual YouTube Contributors Summit and Google Product Experts Summit in California. I learned a lot and had an excellent time with my fellow experts. If you enjoy helping people with YouTube or other Google Products, learn more about the YouTube Contributors program and the Google Product Experts program. It also meant I didn’t have as much time to put this report together, so this week has fewer stories than usual, although I think I got the highlights.
Up until this week, once you had a fully approved AdSense account you could place your ads on any website. It was up to you to ensure it complied with the AdSense program policies. Now you must add any new site to your AdSense account before it can show ads. Once you do that, ownership of the domain will be verified, and the site reviewed for complain with the AdSense Program Policies.Flickr announced two major changes this week. First off, the will be moving away from Yahoo login. That’s unsurprising,Th…

Weekly Update - October 27, 2018: YouTube, Maps, Lens

Happy almost-Halloween everyone! There are some treats for creators this week.
YouTube Premieres are now available to all Creators. Set a date and time for your uploaded video to “premiere” and a video watch page is created with comments and live chat both. Your fans can then watch the premiere of your video together while they chat. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki posted her final update for 2018, with a plea to users that they "tell the world" how they will be impacted by Article 13 of the EU's new copyright legislation, and paints a dire picture about the possible outcome: it "could force platforms, like YouTube, to allow only content from a small number of large companies." She also gave an overview new features implemented over the past year, and announced the new "YouTube Learning" initiative to support high quality educational content. You can now follow businesses in Google Maps to see events, offers and other updates. Makes a lot of sense for bus…

How to turn your Google+ (or other) Followers into YouTube Subscribers

With the announcement that the consumer version of Google+ will be shut down in April 2019, some active Plussers want to be sure their Followers find them in their new home.

I've seen a few questions whether there is likely to be a way to automatically convert their Followers into YouTube Subscribers. While I'd love to have an additional million subs, I think it's quite unlikely that will ever be an option.

In my case, I gained a large percentage of my Google+ Followers when I was on the old Suggested User List shown to users when they created a Profile. I would bet that many of the followers I gained that way haven't used Google+ in years, if they ever did at all.

And the folks who follow you on Google+ may not specifically be interested in your videos.

So what can you do?

 Ask your Google+ Followers to subscribe to your YouTube channel! 

RELATED: How the Google+ shutdown will - and will not - affect your YouTube channel


Weekly Update - October 20, 2018: YouTube Player, Adobe MAX, Android

While Plussers are looking for a new home, life - and app updates - go on. There are improvements to video watching, live streaming and much more.
The YouTube embedded video player - the one you use on websites other than YouTube - got a redesign. It now displays the channel’s avatar, and there is no longer a way to hide the title or prevent related videos from appearing at the end. You can, however, limit the related videos to those from the same channel.And now you don’t need to stop watching videos while you are surfing on desktop. On YouTube, just click the mini-player icon on the bottom right of any video to continue watching as you browse the site. And if you use Chrome, picture-in-picture is now the default on Linux, Mac and Windows (and soon Chrome OS), so you can watch videos in a floating window whatever you are doing on your computer.There is evidence Facebook was aware that it was providing inaccurate video viewership metrics for over a year. Thos metrics not only mislead …

Limit related videos on embedded videos to those from the same channel

If you embed videos on your website or blog, and get the embed code from the video watch page, you may have noticed that YouTube no longer lets you choose to disable related videos from displaying at the end of the video.

YouTube has updated the embedded video player so you can't completely turn off related videos and you can't disable the video title or channel avatar from displaying. You can, however, limit the related videos that display to videos on the same channel.

This change was announced in the YouTube Developer documentation in August, but it was pretty much unnoticed until its implementation now.


The good news is that you can use the "rel" parameter to limit the related videos shown to those on the same channel as the embedded video. So if you watch one of my videos embedded on my site, I can set it so that the related videos you are shown are all mine too.

How to use the "rel" parameter to limit related videos to videos on the same YouTube chann…

Weekly Update - October 13, 2018: Google+ Shutdown, Pixel 3, Google Photos

This was a sad week for us avid Plussers, as Google announced the consumer version of Google+ will be shut down next year. There was good news too with new Google hardware with integrated AI and Assistant, new Photos features and shiny new look and name for the Google Product Experts program. This week’s update is a bit of a monster, so I've divided it into sections.

The shutdown of Google+

I am still working on a detailed write-up up my thoughts on the demise of Google+, but here’s an overview of what’s happening: on Monday, Google announced they had discovered (and fixed) a bug that may have revealed some user Google+ profile information to developers. Oh, and because of low usage and the “significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ product that meets consumers’ expectations” the consumer version of Google+ will shut down by August 2019. The official Google+ Page didn’t make even a minimal announcement until the next day. There have been no details ab…

What to do if your YouTube Partner Program application was rejected for Duplication or Reused Content

YouTube has clarified that the YouTube Partner Program requires channels to have original and relevant content. Even you upload public domain movies or "fair use" video compilations, you need to "add value" to monetize that content.
YouTube started a review process for YouTube Partner Program applications in 2017. Formerly there wasn't a review of a channel's content before monetization was enabled, and acceptance was usually fast and automatic.

With the new reviews, a number of channels have had their application rejected for the ambiguously-named "Duplication", "Repetitive Content" or "Reused Content".


Information provided to rejected Partner Program applicants on their Monetization Settings tab focused on copyright issues, which didn't always seem to apply to the creator's channel. And while it is possible to reapply after 30 days, YouTube didn't provide any guidance about what steps could be taken to improve th…

Weekly Update - October 6, 2018: Podcasting, Gaming, Live Streaming

Monday is a holiday across most of the US (Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day or Discoverer’s Day) and Canada (Thanksgiving). If you have the day off, I hope you have fair weather, and family and good friends to celebrate with. And be sure to check out this week's great opportunities for creators, and tips and updates for webmasters, business owners, YouTubers and more.
Google’s Project Stream is looking for gamers to help to improve streaming in Chrome on desktop. They recruiting participants in the US to play the soon-to-be-released Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. If you’re selected, you’ll have free access to the game until mid-January. Apply now!If you are looking for something a bit different from a .com domain for your website, you can now register a .page domain through Google at get.pageThe Google Podcasts Creator Program is now open for applications and looking for new voices. They are looking for applicants from a “range of geographies, backgrounds, views, voices and style…
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