Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2019

Weekly Update - July 20, 2019: YouTube, Chrome, Emoji

This week NASA - and the world - celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first “small step for man” on the moon. It was a momentous achievement! It was a fairly quiet week otherwise, with just a few updates for YouTubers, web browsers and businesses.

(If you are interested in the logistics of space travel, and aren’t too squeamish, check out author Mary Robinette Kowel’s discussion of peeing (and other bodily functions) in space. It definitely takes away some of the glamor.)
The official G Suite channel has been posting some tutorials on how to use Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Calendar and Forms. Plus there is a newly revamped G Suite Learning Center, with training and tips for all G Suite core products - which includes useful information for us consumer users as well.YouTube is working on new features that should help creators manage their comments. In particular they are developing filters that can let you view (and respond to) subsets of comments, for example from subscribers, fr…

AdSense discontinuing mobile apps in favor of mobile web

AdSense announced today that they will be discontinuing their Android and iOS mobile apps by the end of 2019. They will be replaced by an improved mobile web interface:
By investing in a common web application that supports all platforms, we will be able to deliver AdSense features optimized for mobile much faster than we can today. Neither the AdSense Android app nor the iOS app been updated since late 2017. They haven't even been updated to use the current AdSense logo, which was introduced a year ago
That said, the current AdSense web experience on mobile isn't great. You can access your account, but it's just the desktop version of the site. For now, if you want to check your page views and earnings on the go, I recommend continuing to use the app.


There isn't a solid timeline yet, other than the apps being removed from the app stores by the end of 2019.

"Later this year" AdSense will "announce improvements to the AdSense mobile web interfa…

Weekly Update - July 13, 2019: Copyright, YouTube, Messages,

This week is all about video, with YouTube updates, VidCon announcements and live streaming discussions. Did you know all the hip youth are on TikTok now? I feel old just writing that.
I’ve started trying out services that might replace Hangouts on Air, which will be going away sometime later this year. If you want to see the tests live and join the chat, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and enable notifications!And I’m not the only one interested in live streaming platforms, StreamYard co-founder Geige Vandentop joined Michael Daniels and Heather Kraafter on the Tinkering with Tech show. YouTube announced changes that make it easier for creators to resolve manual Content ID claims. Claimants will now have to include timestamps with their claim, so that creators can more easily dispute the claim (if it’s incorrect) or edit the video. Editing the video to remove the claimed content now releases the claim. And to that end, YouTube has made it easier to either mute or replace …

YouTube VidCon announcements: Learning Playlists, Merch Options and More

At today's Industry Keynote at VidCon, YouTube's Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan discussed recent updates and some new features for YouTube Creators.

YouTube is emphasizing social features that let creators connect with their audience like Stories, Premiers, and revenue streams like Super Chat and Super Stickers.

Mohan told Variety earlier this week:
“YouTubers have shared that they want to use YouTube to generate funds and contribute resources for things that are important to them,” Mohan said. “My job as chief product officer is to find ways to make that simpler and easier.” Here's what's new:

New Learning Playlists

This is a brand new feature that I'm excited about. It's a way to organize educational content, letting you divide a collection of educational videos into chapters around key concepts, starting from beginner to more advanced.

Recommendations are hidden on the watch page, so viewers can focus on the content.

This is currently only available to a &…

YouTube makes it easier for Creators to resolve manual Content ID claims

Today YouTube is making two changes that should make it easier for creators to resolve manual Content ID claims: time stamps showing exactly what part of the video content is claimed, and automatic release of claims if they are edited to remove the claimed content.

Content ID is a tool available to copyright holders that own the rights to a "substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded by the YouTube user community."  Claims can be made by YouTube's automatic matching system or manually. The copyright holders can choose one of three options:
Block the video from being viewed (either in specific countries or worldwide)Monetize the video (in some cases, like cover videos, revenue is shared with creators)Track the video's viewership and other stats Creators can dispute a Content ID claim if they believe the claim was incorrect, or if they have the rights to use the content. You can see any copyright claims on your videos at…

G Suite for Education users: transfer ownership of YouTube Brand Accounts before July 10th

Ever since consumer Google+ shut down on April 2nd, G Suite for Education users have been unable to create a new YouTube channel on a Brand Account. Eventually many received an email from G Suite that says G Suite for Education users will not be able to be the primary owner for Brand Accounts:
Your G Suite for Education account can no longer be used to create a Brand Account or join an existing Brand Account.On July 10, 2019, Google will delete any Brand Account for which your G Suite for Education user account is the primary owner.On July 10, 2019, Google will revoke membership of your G Suite for Education user account from any remaining Brand Account you are a member of. Since the shutdown of consumer Google+, Brand Accounts are really only used for YouTube channels. The Brand Account lets the YouTube channel have multiple managers, and it can have a name that is different than your personal Google account name.

Many G Suite for Education users have a YouTube channel on a Brand Acc…

Weekly Update - July 6, 2019: Robots.txt, Better Ads, Subscriber Streams

I hope summer is off to a great start for you! This was a relatively quiet week, with a few updates for webmasters, AdSense publishers, Twitch Affiliates and Partners and more.
Google announced they are formalizing the “Robots Exclusion Protocol” that allows webmasters to exclude bots and web crawlers from specific pages of their site with a robots.txt file. Google has also open-sourced the library their production systems use for parsing and matching rules in robots.txt files. Of particular note, Google will be retiring “unsupported and unpublished rules” such as using crawl-delay, noindex or nofollow in the robots.txt file. If you have been using that, there are alternatives, such as noindex in meta tags, 404 and 410 HTTP status codes, and Disallow in robots.txt. Both AdSense and Google Ads started showing a notice that Chrome would start filtering “annoying, disruptive ads” on sites globally beginning July 9th. If you have a blog or website, check out the Ad Experience Report for …

AdSense warns publishers must comply with Better Ads Standards to prevent Chrome ad filtering

AdSense is notifying publishers that sites need to comply with the Better Ads Standards to prevent Chrome from filtering ads starting July 9th.

Google joined the Coalition for Better Ads in 2017, and began filtering ads on sites in North America and Europe in February 2018. Earlier this year, they announced that Chrome would no longer show "disruptive ads" globally starting July 9th. The notice says:
Global Better Ads Standards. Google Chrome will support the Better Ads Standards globally from July 9th. Ads may be filtered on Chrome browsers if you don't comply with the standard. The idea is that annoying ads can cause a poor user experience and drive people to install ad blockers. Block the annoying ads automatically, and maybe people won't install ad blockers that block "good" ads too.

To see the AdSense notice, sign in to your AdSense account and click the bell icon at top right. The notice doesn't include details on how you can do that, but the AdSe…

Weekly Update - June 29, 2019: YouTube, Image Search, FeedBurner

We Americans celebrate our Independence Day on July 4th, and many folks have already started their holiday. Perhaps that’s why YouTube made several big announcements this week. There were also updates for FeedBurner, public transit info in Google Maps and more. And if you are in the US have a safe holiday! This week YouTube announced major improvements in recommendations on the YouTube homepage and “up next”: You can now explore specific topics and related videos, completely remove recommendations from channels you don’t watch (and don’t want to watch), and see more information about why a video was recommended to you. Note that the option to choose topics based on what you watch is currently available in English on Android, but it will be “coming soon” to more languages and devices. For more information about how recommendations work, go behind the scenes with Team YouTube.YouTube also announced they will be gradually rolling out a new default in comment settings: all “potentially i…

FeedBurner deprecates MyBrand service

FeedBurner announced today that they have deprecated the MyBrand Service, that allows bloggers to point their own domain to their FeedBurner feed. You will no longer be able to add a domain as of July 31, 2019, but existing MyBrand domains will continue to work
FeedBurner is Google's service for customizing and promoting your blog or website feed. If you add a "subscribe by email" gadget to your Blogger blog, it's Feedburner that sends out an email with new posts. (And you can create a "subscribe to my blog by email" link you can share anywhere.)
Here's what MyBrand lets you do: MyBrand lets you create an alias at your domain so that you can "mask" your feed URL at FeedBurner. For purposes of this example, we're going to assume that your domain is "" (yes, we're clever), and you have a feed that today is at Once MyBrand is active, you can use …

Test YouTube experimental desktop features at YouTube New!

If you want to help shape the direction of YouTube, you can opt in and provide feedback about experimental desktop features at YouTube New. If no experiment is available, you may be able to sign up to participate in a research study.

The experiments are usually available for 2 weeks and "help determine the feature's future".

To try new features:
1. Sign in to your YouTube channel on desktop
2. Go to
3. For any experiment you want to try out, click the Join button
4. Try out the feature and send feedback, which you can do by clicking the Send Feedback button on the YouTube New page.

Currently you can try out a Persistent Miniplayer, available through July 8th.

It's not clear if this is in addition to or a replacement for YouTube TestTube (

Learn more in the YouTube Help Center: Test feature experiments at

Weekly Update - June 22, 2019: AR Ads, YouTube Analytics, RCS Messaging

It’s summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime! The sun is shining, temperatures are rising and there are sexy new options for advertisers. Plus updates for YouTubers, business owners, webmasters and anyone interested in Google’s messaging options.
Hangouts on Air will be going away in 2019. That’s not new news, but YouTube has brought that to more folks’ attention by adding a notice when you click the Start Broadcasting button. YouTube suggests you use their simple webcam live streaming, but that lacks screen sharing and the option to have others join you in the broadcast. I’ve shared some suggestions for alternatives here.YouTube held YouTube Analytics Day, to introduce everyone to the new YouTube Analytics in Studio. Hopefully you gave it a try and submitted feedback about what classic features you are missing in YouTube Studio. Classic YouTube Analytics will be going away, so it’s important to let YouTube know what features you need. Google has introduced “AR Beauty Try-On” a ne…

Hangouts on Air will be going away August 1, 2019

If you ran a Hangout on Air live stream this week, you may have spotted a new notice when you clicked the "Start Broadcast" button that states "Hangouts on Air is going away later this year," and suggests trying YouTube's webcam live streaming option.

Update July 15: The notice now says "Going away on August 1st". Make sure you don't have any HOA live streams scheduled after that date.
"Hangouts On Air is going away later this year.  For quick streaming, try"

Observant folks probably already knew this change was coming. The YouTube Live Event setup page has recommended trying the simple "Camera" webcam streaming for months, and the YouTube Help Center article about Hangouts on Air has long had a similar notice about HOAs going away in 2019.

YouTube suggests using their webcam live streaming when you set up a HOA

Notice in the YouTube Help Center that "classic Hangouts on Air streaming experience is going aw…

Weekly Update - June 15, 2019: YouTube, Google Photos, Webmasters

This week there were updates for gamers, video creators, webmasters and much more. Dig in!
In honor of World Blood Donor Day, Facebook and Google are making it easier to become a blood donor in the US. Google partners with the Red Cross to help donors find a blood drive using Google Maps. And starting today, you can sign up to be a blood donor on Facebook. And if you are able, consider donating.In a change meant to reduce user confusion, Google announced that Photos will no longer synchronize with Google Drive as of July 10th. What this means is that any images or videos uploaded to Google Photos after that date will not automatically appear in Google Drive, and vice versa. There will be an option to import selected images from Drive into your Google Photos. Many users probably won’t notice the change, but for those of us who do use it to manage image uploads via Drive (and organize into albums in Photos), access Photos images from third party services (which is done via Drive), embed…

Google Photos split from Google Drive, no longer available for YouTube import

Google announced today that Google Photos will no longer be integrated with Google Drive. Youtube is also updating its desktop video uploader, and the new version (currently in beta) does not include the option to import videos from Google Photos. Also, the new YouTube desktop uploader no longer includes import from Google Photos.

Google+ Photos were made available in Google Drive in March 2015, shortly before the independent Google+-free Google Photos launched. That integration has been been useful in a number of ways:
Photos and videos uploaded or synced to Google Drive appear in Google Photos and so can be added to Photos albums and shared via Photos.You can use Google Drive file embedding options to embed Google Photos videos on your blog or website.You can import videos from Google Drive into your personal YouTube channel using the "Import from Google Photos" option.Photos and videos backed up or uploaded to Google Photos can be accessed by third party sites and services…

Weekly Update - June 8, 2019: YouTube Policy, Stadia, Street View

This week you can explore the ocean or become a Stadia Founder; Apple announced software updates, new features and hardware; and there was much furor around changes in - and enforcement of -YouTube policy. Plus so. many. updates.
Take a moment to explore the oceans. There are new underwater Street View images available in Google Earth. And to remind us that we humans aren’t alone on Earth,Pattern Radio Whale Songs is a new site that lets you visualize and explore recordings of whale songs. Maybe we will learn what they are a saying?Google Earth for Chrome now shows clouds and weather patterns from the past 24 hours.Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference was this week. There were a bunch of announcements, including updated iPhone photo editing software (you can now rotate video!), new features for iPads that let you use it as a second display for your Mac, the death of iTunes (replaced by Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts), and the pricey redesigned Mac Pro. If you use a Mac, …