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2018 Year in Review: Creator Updates in the Googleverse

In 2018 there were big changes for creators in the Googleverse, from the announced shutdown of consumer Google+, to a tougher-to-join YouTube Partner Program, "smart" automatic ads from AdSense and much more.

Here are my top stories for Creators for 2018:
  • Google+ for consumers will shut down in April 2019
While there were a number of new features launched in 2018, none of them will matter to most users, as Google+ for consumers will be shut down in April 2018. G Suite customers will continue to be able to use Google+ as an internal "collaboration" tool with some sweet-looking new features.
Get all the details about Google+ 2018 updates.
  • YouTube Partner Program raises eligibility requirements
YouTube started the year with new eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program. Instead of 10,000 lifetime views, your channel now needs at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time over the past 12 months. There is also a more stringent channel review process. The good news is that the backlog of channel reviews should be cleared by February. Hopefully.
Get all the details about YouTube Partner Program 2018 updates.
  • YouTube introduces webcam live streaming 
In March YouTube introduced the option to easily live stream from your desktop computer, with no special hardware or encoding software required. All you need is the current version of Chrome and a webcam. It's not a replacement for Hangouts on Air, as you can't invite guests to join you and there isn't any screen sharing, but it's an easy way to vlog or live stream from a Chromebook.
 Get all the details about YouTube live streaming 2018 updates.
  • New YouTube features to increase engagement: Premieres, Community tab, Stories
YouTube is also offering new features that should help increase engagement and build engagement on your channel: Premieres lets you schedule the live publication of your video, with live chat available before and during the premiere. The Community tab lets you share text, images, videos, playlists and polls with your subscribers. And Stories - currently in beta - lets you share short-lived casual videos.
Get all the details about YouTube creator 2018 updates.
  • AdSense launches Auto Ads using machine learning for ad placement 
One limitation of AdSense has always been that it requires some comfort with adding code to your website's layout. With the new Auto Ads, all publishers need to do is add a single snippet of code and AdSense will use machine learning algorithms to insert ads in the web page's layout. At least theoretically those ad placements should be optimized for your site without disrupting the "good user experience" on your site.
Get all the details about AdSense 2018 updates.
  • Blogger does spring cleaning, removing less used features and introducing new tools
In May Blogger announced they would be removing some features to "make room for some exciting updates" and by "simplifying the platform", "enhance the blogging experience for all of our users". Among the retired features were the ability to comment using an OpenID identity, adding 3rd party gadgets, and the Polls widget. Blogger also stopped redirecting visitors to country-specific blogspot domains.  There were also a few new tools including a video management page, multiple Google account login, and free HTTPS for custom domains.
Get all the details about Blogger and Webmaster 2018 updates.
  • GDPR goes into effect
The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation went into effect on May 25th. In addition to a ton of new privacy policy announcements and subscription confirmation requests, the new rules actually do have requirements that regular bloggers, webmasters and ad publishers need to comply with. Both Blogger and AdSense have provided information and tools for users.
Get all the details about Blogger and AdSense-related GDPR updates.
  • The last vestiges of Picasa Web Albums retired
Google announced the retirement of Picasa Web Albums and the Picasa desktop software in 2016. Despite not being supported for two years, the Picasa desktop app still worked until March 2018. At that time it stopped being able to go online, losing the ability to upload or download photos and videos, create online albums, or delete online photos, videos and albums. And with the Google Photos API made generally available, the Picasa Web Albums API will be deprecated this month, with a complete shut down in March. If you have an old Picasa Web Album slideshow on your website, it will finally stop working.
  • Google Photos gets new movie themes
Google Photos is primarily designed for the sharing of photos. But even so, it does offer some creator tools. In 2018 Photos launched offering a number of movie themes. You just select a theme, one or more people or pets in your photo library, and Photos automatically creates the movie for you. If you want to publicly post what you created, you can import the video into your YouTube channel.

Get full details about 2018 Creator updates

Other Creator Tidbits in 2018

My top tutorials for 2018