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Weekly Update - June 23, 2018: Android Messages, YouTube Monetization, Video Updates

This week is (mostly) about new video features: YouTube announced new monetization and sharing options, Instagram launched IGTV for longform vertical video, and Facebook added new Live features for quizzes, game shows and polls. And there are more nice updates for podcasters, music lovers, webmasters and more. 
  • Big news for messaging this week - Android Messages is now available on the web. You can send and receive SMS and MMS messages on your desktop computer at by linking your phone. There are also a few other new features: Smart Reply, easily search for GIFs, link previews, and copy one time passwords with a single tap.
  • VidCon - the big online video convention - is happening right now. There are separate tracks for creators, industry folks, and fans, panel discussions and presentations. And YouTube’s keynote address is usually a platform for new feature announcements. This year the focus was monetization and community. 
  • New YouTube features include “Channel Memberships” (formerly “Sponsorships”) where your fans can pay a monthly fee in return for exclusive content and other perks, YouTube has teamed up with Teespring to let Partners sell Merch right on your channel, and “Premiere” which lets you schedule live premiere of your recorded video, which you then watch live with your fans, and monetize with Super Chat.
  • Facebook wants to make live stream videos more engaging with new quizzes, game shows and polls. 
  • In other video creator news, Instagram launched IGTV, a new home for long form vertical video and Adobe announced Project Rush (currently in beta), a new way to shoot, edit and share your videos on any device, with a focus on social..
  • YouTube Music and YouTube Premium launched this week in 17 countries. YouTube Music is free, or you can try Premium for 3 months before you need to start paying. 
  • Google launched a new stand-alone Podcasts app for Android, and announced a Creator program “to increase the diversity of voices and remove barriers to podcasting.” There will be more details later this summer. 
  • Well-known individuals and organizations with a Google Search Knowledge Panel are now eligible to get verified. That allows the entity in the Knowledge Panel manage the content there. Note that this is unrelated to Google+ name verification, Google My Business local listing verification or YouTube verification.
  • Also this week was the Cannes Lions “International Festival of Creativity”, which is a gathering of the advertising and creative communications industry. Google gave a number of talks, from AR as the next frontier for brands to aiming ads at Generation Z. They also introduced YouTube Creative Suite, a collection of tools for video marketers, which includes Video Experiments in AdWords, Video Creative Analytics, Director Mix, and Video Ad Sequencing. The tools aren't widely available yet - they are in alpha or beta stage - but watch for updates over the coming months. 
  • Google One is now rolling out to US users who purchased Google Drive storage. You can manage your storage, plus there is direct support for Google products, you can share storage with your family group, and there are special promotions.
  • Finally, Twitter acquired Smyte, a tech company that specializes in safety, spam and security issues. That’s great for Twitter, but as the acquisition was announced, access to Smyte’s API was abruptly disabled, leaving Smyte’s existing paying customers scrambling for replacement anti-spam and anti-fraud protection with only 30 minutes warning. Needless to say they aren’t happy. Twitter is “learning from the experience”. 
See my article below for links and more tips and updates for video creators, webmasters, business owners and more.

Image: Clapper Board by Joshua_Willson on Pixabay (CC0 Creative Commons)


YouTube, Video Creation, VidCon

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