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Showing posts from January, 2019

Join me January 23 to talk about 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 and join the live chat below if you are on desktop, otherwise just click the link to watch and chat on YouTube.

Join the discussion (only available during the live broadcast):

Learn how to embed a YouTube live stream live chat on your own website or blog.

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. Annotations …

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 messaging app …

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 limited to …

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 Hangouts 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 - and RCS chat.  RCS is an …

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 moreTake a look back2017 Year in Review: Bloggers, Webmasters and AdSense PublishersNew 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 totally redesigned Search Console was made available to all users. It doesn't just have a new design; it also includes more data and new reports. 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 the tools and reports in…

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 enforcement 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 Initiative.
More stringe…