Skip to main content

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 worth looking into if you are trying to find another platform to host your Google+ content. You can download the Google+ Exporter for your Linus, Mac or Windows computer at
  •  YouTube released the quarterly Community Guidelines report for July - September 2018. Some of the takeaway: the vast majority of removals are for spam, and are first flagged by automated systems. YouTube has also found that as removals of comments have increased, daily users are actually more likely to comment.
  • There has been a small update to the YouTube Community tab: you can now share Playlists, in addition to videos, live streams, images and text.
  • For YouTube now provides Partners with examples to help assess whether your video is advertiser friendly or not. That should hopefully make the dreaded yellow $ less likely. YouTube has also 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. That program will hopefully expand to more Partners in the future.
  • If you are wondering why YouTube is investing in promoting gaming content, it’s all about the numbers: “We have 200 million logged-in users watching gaming content every day. [. . .] We crossed a big milestone where we hit 50 billion hours of gaming watch time in the last 12 months.”
  • YouTube Music just launched YouTube Charts, which let you explore what music videos are trending locally and globally.
  • There's a nice update to Hangouts Meet video calls: any attachments included in its Google Calendar event can now be viewed directly in the Hangouts Meet video call. Yes, Hangouts Meet meetings can still only be created by G Suite users.
  • Facebook is rolling out video “Ad Breaks” to Pages in 40 countries. Looking towards 2019, they are working on new formats for advertisers, and new tools for publishers.
  • Is the Facebook Watch video hub a success? Looking back at the past year, Facebook touts the fact that “there are already more than 400 million people monthly and 75 million people daily who spend at least one minute on Watch.” But that the “one minute” is not necessarily a consecutive 60 seconds. They do note that the 75 million daily visitors spend more than 20 minutes in Watch on average. But averages can be misleading, as a relatively small number of users watching a lot of video content (or letting videos play while they do something else) can skew the numbers. For 2019, Facebook will continue to invest in Original content, and likely is hoping people spend more time watching videos.
  • Google has announced that for users based in the European Economic Area and Switzerland, Google Ireland Limited in Dublin will become the “service provider” for most consumer services. Google Ireland Limited will also become the “data controller” legally responsible for EEA and Swiss users’ information. Why do this? Google says “We’re making the data controller change to facilitate engagement with EU data protection authorities via the GDPR’s “One Stop Shop” mechanism, which was created to ensure consistency of regulatory decisions for companies and EU citizens.”
2018 in review

Read on for links, tips and updates for YouTube creators, AdSense publishers, webmasters, and more.

ImageFire Smoke Sunset by John Fowler on Flickr (CC by 2.0 license)


  • December 21: Google Webmaster Central Office Hours Hangout (if you’re in Zurich, you may be able to join in person)

YouTube and Video Creation

Go Live


Other social media

Google Photos and Mobile Photography

Google for businesses

Bloggers and Webmasters

AdSense and advertising

Hangouts and Messaging

Google Home and Assistant


Privacy and Security

More around the web

Updated March 2019 to remove Google+ links