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Showing posts from January, 2019

Blogger minus Google+: Google+ Comments and Profiles removed beginning February 4th

Today Google announced a timeline for the shutdown of consumer Google+ and the removal of Google+ features from Blogger . While Google+ itself won't be entirely shut down for consumer users until April 2nd, Google+ features on Blogger will be removed beginning February 4th, less than a week from now. This includes Google+ Comments, badges and widgets and Google+ Profiles. Note that these changes only affect Google+ features. If you are using a Blogger profile and Blogger comments, and you don't have any Google+ badges and widgets in your blog's layout, you probably won't notice any difference.   Watch the video for an overview , or read on for more details. Update 5 February 2019 : All Google+ settings have been removed, and you should see a notification inside your Blogger account: Related Blogger Tutorials: Customize your Blogger Profile Related posts about the Google+ Shutdown: Create a backup of your Google+ Page Turn your Google+ followers in

Download a backup of your YouTube Brand Account channel and Google+ Page data

If you are using a Brand Account identity for your YouTube Channel or Google+ Page, you can - and should - use Google Takeout to download an archive of your content.  Google+ Page content needs to be downloaded before consumer Google+ shuts down on April 2, 2019 . A Brand Account lets you have a brand, business, organization identity on Google that is different than your personal Google Account identity. Brand Accounts can have multiple Owners and Managers, who sign in to their own Google Account to manage the Brand Account and any Google services on that Brand Account. Currently the only Google products that officially support a Brand Account identity are YouTube, Google+ and Google Photos. Google Takeout lets you create an archive of your content stored by Google. If your data is important to you, it's a good idea to create an archive periodically: Consumer Google+ will shut down by April 2, 2019 and all Google+ Page content will be deleted (NOTE: your Brand Account a

Weekly Update - January 26, 2019: Hangouts, YouTube, Webmasters and more

January is coming to a close, and this week we got a information about what will be happening in the coming months for YouTube, Hangouts in G Suite, Search Console and more. No, there hasn’t been an update from Google+ about the April shutdown for consumer users. There also has not been any update from Blogger about what will be happening to Google+ features. Beginning of the end? Buffer ended Google+ support on January 25th and Hootsuite will end Google+ support on January 28th. Other social media management platforms that offer integration with Google+ will also be affected as t here may be “intermittent failures ” of the Google+ API starting the 28th. While this won’t affect posting to Google+ directly, businesses, organizations, and Pages that use third party tools to access Google+ may stop posting altogether.  New Google+ migration alternative: LifeCloud has a Google+ Data Importer for re-creating Google+ Communities. Todd Hawk is answering questions in the “G+” Communi

YouTube to reduce recommendations for content that could "misinform in harmful ways"

YouTube has come under fire for its recommendation algorithms that push users towards more and more extreme content.  Start out watching a news story, let YouTube's autoplay run and just a few videos later you may end up deep in conspiracy theories. Search for health information and YouTube may suggest videos promoting miracle cures and snake oil. If all you care about is total watch time, this probably works great. But it does end up promoting false information and push viewers towards extremism . Today YouTube announced a step towards remedying that. They will be reducing recommendations of videos that almost (but not quite) violate t he Community Guidelines or that could "misinform users in harmful ways".  Examples include videos "promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11." This is in addition to policies against misleading titles, tags, and thumb

G Suite Users moving to Hangouts Chat and Meet in October

Update August 2019 : Final migration of G Suite customers from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat has been postponed until after June 2020. Update June 2, 2020: Migration of all G Suite customers from Hangouts to Chat has begun. Update October 15, 2020 : Migration of personal accounts from Hangouts to Chat will be in the first half of 2021 . Some Hangouts features ( Google Voice & Google Fi SMS , phone calling , group video calls ) are going away before then. Google has announced that G Suite Users will be moved from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet in October. If you have a consumer Google account then this will NOT affect you . The above dates are specific to G Suite customers and their end users who use classic Hangouts. We will continue to  support  consumer use of  classic Hangouts , and expect to transition consumers to free Chat and Meet following the transition of G Suite customers. A more specific timeline will be communicated at a later date. Ha

Learn more about getting started with Blogger

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, January 23 at 5PM Pacific Time ( time zone converter ), when I join my fellow Google Product Expert Michael Daniels to talk about Blogger. Be sure to set a reminder on YouTube ! There will be a live chat during the broadcast so bring your questions and ideas. You can watch the video below, otherwise just click the link to watch and chat on YouTube . Update:  The live broadcast is done. You can  check out my appearance on Michael Daniel’s Tinkering with Tech show  below. I go through some of the basic Blogger settings and answer questions.

Weekly Update - January 19, 2019: Google Fi RCS, YouTube Policy, SItes for News Orgs

As we kick off the long weekend here in the US, there are a number of updates for YouTubers, Plussers, Webmasters and more. The biggest stories: Google Fi gets RCS, YouTube is cracking down on dangerous pranks, Google+-related services are winding down and there's a new platform for news organizations. YouTube will be  cracking down on dangerous pranks and challenges , resulting in Community Guidelines strikes (3 strikes in 90 days and you’re out!). Not only does it include pranks that could cause serious danger or death, but also pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress. YouTube will also strengthening enforcement around custom thumbnails and external links that egregiously violate the Community Guidelines. RIP Annotations: This week  Annotations were removed from YouTube videos . They were replaced by Cards and End Screens in 2017, but existing Annotionations were not removed until now. Ann

YouTube increasing policy enforcement around dangerous pranks, custom thumbnails, external links

YouTube announced today  that they will be more strictly enforcing their Community Guidelines around links to external websites, video thumbnail images and content that includes dangerous challenges and pranks.YouTube’s policies have not changed. What’s new is that now there are greater penalties for violating those policies. If this affects your channel, YouTube is providing a two month grace period for people to clean up their content. Custom thumbnails, external links and prank videos that violate policy will be removed, but the channel won’t receive a strike. If you find a video that violates the YouTube Community Guidelines,  flag it to report it to YouTube. Get all the details about this update in Community Guidelines enforcement in the official YouTube Help Forum .

Weekly Update: January 12, 2019: YouTube, Google+, Assistant and more

2019 has finally gotten rolling and there have been some updates rolling out. Before you ask, no, Google+ has not provided any additional information about the shutdown process, although we are starting to see its effects. And there are updates for YouTubers, webmasters, travelers, and more.  The official YouTube Help forum is now easier to get to. Just open the YouTube Help Center ( ) and click the “Community” tab ( ). Team YouTube has a list of official announcements and updates , which should be your first stop for information. YouTube will be removing the ability to automatically share newly uploaded videos, Likes, and adds to playlists to Twitter and Google+ on January 31st. You can still share videos and playlists manually from the video watch page. According to Google, one of the 2018 highlights for G Suite was “introducing more G Suite apps to help teams collaborate, including Hangouts Chat, an enterprise

YouTube removing option to automatically share to Twitter and Google+

YouTube just announced that automatic sharing to social sites will be turned off on January 31st. After January 31st, the ability to automatically post YouTube activity (uploads, liked videos, etc.) on Twitter and Google+ will no longer be available. We’ve found that sharing these actions with a custom message (instead of through automatically generated posts) provides a better experience for the sharer and their followers on other social networks. The option to share to Facebook was removed several years ago. You can still share your videos and playlistsp manually by using the Share button. Learn more about sharing videos and playlists in theYouTube Help Center: If you have opted in to get updates and announcements by email, you should have also gotten this message. If not, check your email notification settings:

Free Flickr accounts with 1000 or more photos will be locked January 8 - archive your images!

Tomorrow, January 8th, the new free Flickr account limit of 1000 photos goes into effect.  In 2013, Yahoo increased the storage available to free accounts from 200 images to 1 terabyte of storage (or 200,000 5MB photos).  While it brought users, it was to the detriment of the site itself . "... , the free terabyte largely attracted members who were drawn by the free storage, not by engagement with other lovers of photography. This caused a significant tonal shift in our platform, away from the community interaction and exploration of shared interests that makes Flickr the best shared home for photographers in the world. We know those of you who value a vibrant community didn’t like this shift, and with this change we’re re-committing Flickr to focus on fostering this interaction." SmugMug is in the process of making changes at Flickr that are meant to increase engagement and more sustainable as a business. The most significant change is that free accounts will be limit

2018 Year in Review: Hangouts isn't dead yet and Google's messaging plans

For those of you using the classic version of Google Hangouts, I'm sure you've noticed that there haven't been any significant updates in a very long time. That has help fed rumors of Hangouts' imminent demise, and made a the anonymously sourced report  that 2019 would be "the last year" you could use Hangouts  sound plausible. This did push Google into finally posting more detailed information about their messaging services strategy: Google is developing Hango uts Chat and Hangouts Meet as collaborative tools for businesses. They are currently only available for G Suite. “ Google is fully committed to supporting classic Hangouts users until everyone is successfully migrated to Chat and Meet. ” . There's no date set for when that will happen. Google's consumer messaging platforms are Messages and Duo video calling. Allo will shut down in March, with some of its are incorporated into Messages, Google’s app for texting - SMS and MMS - a

2018 Year in Review: Bloggers, Webmasters and AdSense Publishers

In 2018 Blogger got a spring cleaning, Google Search Console for webmasters got an overhaul and AdSense ads got "smarter".  Scroll to the end to see the full list of all 2018 updates. Get all creator updates for 2018:  Google+, YouTube, Hangouts and more Take a look back :  2017 Year in Review: Bloggers, Webmasters and AdSense Publishers New Google Search Console  If you have a blog or website, Google Search Console helps you monitor your site's traffic in Google Search and fix any issues as they arise. At the beginning of 2018, the beta version of the t otally redesigned Search Console was made available to all users. It doesn't just have a new design; it also includes more data and new report s. Over the course of the year, features from classic Search Console were added , and the new Search Console graduated from "Beta" status in September.  If you're moving from classic to the new version, check out  the migration guide  that compares

2018 Year in Review: YouTube Partner Program tougher eligibility, new features for all Creators

YouTube unfortunately kicked off 2018 with a scandal. YouTube star Logan Paul outdid his usual jerkish prank videos by filming himself along with the body of someone who appeared to have committed suicide. After dealing with the fallout, and implementing new policies aimed at creators "who cause harm to the YouTube Community" through their actions, I think things have eventually gotten a bit better. But not without some pain first. In early February YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared the company's five top priorities for Creators  in 2018, and strides were made towards those goals , including improved transparency and communication around policy enforcemen t and features, and directly supporting positive content, including  creators of educational content , inspirational "Creators for Change ", up-and-coming creators around the world with the NextUp program , and providing  assistance to journalists and news organizations  through the Google News Initiati