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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 person’s email address or phone number in your contacts).
  • This week Google rolled out new tools for businesses and customers to interact. The new Google My Business mobile app lets business owners and managers create a post, view stats, and see and respond to customers who messaged you or left a review. And now customers can message businesses in the Google Maps mobile app. Now the question is whether customers are really interested in following and messaging businesses directly.
  • Project Fi subscribers can now enhance the privacy and security of all their internet connections by using Fi’s enhanced VPN option. This update also improves switching from poor wifi connections to cellular data. If you are in the US and want to give Google’s Project Fi phone plan a try, use my referral code (link), and we will both get a $20 credit.
  • YouTube’s VR180 Creator Tool is now available for Windows, in addition to Mac and Linux. It makes it faster to process footage, add metadata and publish. 
  • If you are a YouTube Partner with at least 10,000 subscribers, you can now sell Teespring merchandise to your fans in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, and Portugal.
  • YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki published an op-ed in the Financial Times, explaining how article 13 of the EU’s revised copyright directive could harm the creator economy and have potentially unintended consequences for both creators and consumers of video. Wojcicki also met with Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Single Market and European Parliament members to discuss this issue. 
  • The new “Night Sight” option in the Google Camera app on Pixel phones does an amazing job capturing images in very dim light, with long exposures that use machine learning to compensate for your natural hand shake and capturing natural colors. Just compare these two photos I took with my Pixel 2 at the same spot, the first a standard photo, the second with Night Sight (click to enlarge):
  • This week was the 2018 Chrome Dev Summit. They talked about faster loading and smooth web pages and progressive web apps, a site with “hands on” guidance for web developers, Project Visbug, an extension allows web design right in your browser and more
  • is a new “buttery smooth” web tool from Google Chrome Developers that let you easily resize, reformat, and compress your images on desktop and mobile. It's meant to demonstrate the insights shared at the Chrome Dev Summit, which it seems to do admirably.
  •  Finally, the New York Times published anl investigation into Facebook’s handling of the use of its platform for the spread of propaganda. It suggests they were more interested in PR, lobbying politicians and smearing critics than actually dealing with the problems. Facebook acknowledges they were “slow to spot Russian interference”, but deny that they paid anyone to spread misinformation or attack their critics.
Read on for more tips and updates for YouTubers, AdSense Publishers, webmasters and more. 

Resources for people affected by the California wildfiresThe fires are still not contained and the death toll is rising.
Image: “Tommy” by Chris Burke on Flickr. Shared under a CC BY 2.0 license.


YouTube and Video Creation

Go Live


Other social media

Google Photos and Mobile Photography

Google for businesses

Bloggers and Webmasters

Chrome Dev Summit

AdSense and advertising

Hangouts and Messaging

Made by Google, Android, Project Fi


More around the web

Updated March 2019 to remove Google+ links


  1. An important fact this week was the launch of the new WordPress editor, Gutenberg, and although it is not yet mandatory, it already constitutes an advantage for Blogger, since writing a simple post in it is a bad experience (this text speaks a little of this:

  2. Interesting. I hadn't heard the reviews about the new WordPress editor. That might encourage some people to try Blogger :)


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