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Showing posts from April, 2020

Meet video calling will be available free in all Google accounts

Today Google announced that the Meet video calling platform is being made available to anyone with a Google account.  Meet was designed for secure meetings and is used by businesses and schools around the world. Usership is growing by leaps and bounds -- currently there are about 3 million new users every day, and peak usage is up 30-fold since January. And in response to user feedback  Meet has added a number of new features over the past few weeks.  Up until now, Meet has only been available to G Suite customers. Now individual users with a Google account will be able to host meetings in Meet and access many of the features available to businesses and schools. If you have a email account, YouTube channel, Blogger blog, or Google Photo albums you have a Google account that's ready to go. Here is how Meet features for individual accounts compare to classic Hangout video calls.   Feature     Hangouts Video Calls   Meet (Individual accounts) Meet  (G Suite accounts) Site

Google Publisher Toolbar with AdSense data will stop working in May

Beginning in May, the Google Publisher Toolbar will no longer support Google AdSense and the Toolbar will no longer function. The AdSense Publisher Toolbar Chrome extension launched in January 2012 as a tool to let you see your earnings and view how specific ad units on your website or blog are performing. Later renamed the Google Publisher Toolbar, it eventually let you block specific advertisers , test click ads without penalty, and view data from Google Analytics , Ad Exchange and DoubleClick for Publishers (now Google Ad Manager). It does not show data from your YouTube channel. If you use the Publisher Toolbar, you should have seen the banner notice announcing that "Beginning May 2020, Google Publisher Toolbar is sunsetting support for Google AdSense, after which the Toolbar will no longer function." AdSense has explained  that this change is part of their "mission to reduce complexity and provide an enhanced yet simplified set of tools to help you focus on creati

Weekly Update - April 25, 2020: Meet, Duo, YouTube, Live Streaming

While we’re staying at home, tech companies are rapidly adding new features for video calling and live streaming. This week there are updates for Google’s Meet and Duo, Facebook’s WhatsApp and new Messenger Rooms, and Zoom, plus new features for YouTube Live Control Room and Facebook Live. And if you aren’t a live streamer yourself, there is a lot of video content to watch, both live and on demand. Plus there are updates for businesses, advertisers, and more.  Watch YouTube has a collection of conten t for people celebrating Ramadan at home. Ramadan Mubarak to all who observe! Netflix has put educational documentaries online for free Virtually explore US National Parks at Google Arts & Culture . Google has put together some suggestion s - and deals - for entertaining and informing yourself on Android TV, or with apps, movies, comics and more at home. Create Self-certification for monetization is now available to all YouTube Partners. Now when you enable monetization on a video, y

YouTube Partner Program update: Self-certification available to all monetizing channels

The ability to self-certify whether your video complies with the advertiser-friendly guidelines is now available to all channels in the YouTube Partner Program.   YouTube's criteria are pretty clearly explained , which should make it less likely you'll be surprised when ads are limited. Just be aware that the criteria can change. For example, coronavirus-related content originally could not be monetized, and now it can .  Update June 5, 2020: YouTube has updated the self-certification information in the help center with additional examples.  If YouTube's automated systems disagree with your self-rating, your ads may be limited. If you think that's incorrect, you can submit your video for human review.  YouTube recommends uploading videos you intend to monetize as unlisted. That way you can request a human review before you make your video public, if necessary.  To see how well you have been doing, you can check your rating accuracy in YouTube Studio (

New video call features in Google Meet and Duo

With social distancing in place around the world, millions of people are using video calling for work, classes, telemedicine, and visits with family and friends. Google, Microsoft, Zoom and other companies that offer video calling services have responding to user feedback improving security and introducing new features at a rapid pace.   Hangouts Meet — now just Google Meet — was launched just over three years ago . It's been steadily getting new features , but because it is only available to business and education G Suite accounts, it hasn't gotten as much public notice as other video conferencing services like Zoom, Skype, or even classic Hangouts. But now, with people working from home, schools teaching classes remotely, there are  more than 2 million new users connecting to Meet every day . And in response Meet has introduced a number of new features for business users and educators. If you don't have a G Suite account, and you have not been invited to joi

Tour of YouTube updates to Live Control Room

Just over a year ago  YouTube launched the Live Control Room in new Studio. "My Live Events" and "Stream Now" remained available in Classic Studio.  With Classic Studio going away by the end of April - just over a week from now - YouTube is rolling out new features in Live Control Room.  Development is ongoing, and YouTube has assured that  "you will still have access to the Classic live tools within Live Control Room in case you need them."  YouTube has made the Live Control Room easier to navigate, and there is a new Manage  page where you can view and edit your upcoming live events and current live broadcasts. There are also new live stream features: automatically start and stop your streams with your encoder, edit your live stream video before the archive has processed, automatically unlist live stream archives and see how your live content contributes to your channel grown in Analytics.  To access the Live Control Room, just open YouTube Studio ( st

Weekly Update - April 18, 2020: Meet, YouTube, Business Tools

Earth Day is this coming week, and has mostly moved online. That seems fitting, as pollution drops and more animals are seen in cities , while most of us humans are staying home. This week there are improvements in Google Meet and other online communication tools, new YouTube Smart Replies, free tools to help small businesses promote themselves and more. Communicate If you are a G Suite user, there are new features coming to Google Meet. The option to start or join a Meet meeting directly from Gmail is rolling out. And coming “later this month” are a new up-to-16-person grid layout, improved video quality and filtered background noise. The public conferencing platform of the moment is Zoom , and while these changes are “Zoom like”, Meet’s limitation to businesses and schools means less widespread adoption. Zoom is adding new meeting password options and creating less-guessable longer meeting IDs to keep meetings more secure. Discord is bringing noise suppression technology to voice

Goodbye Classic YouTube Studio!

  The time has come to say goodbye to Classic YouTube Studio, which is going away at the end of April. If your channel still has the option to return to Classic from New YouTube Studio, you will have seen this notice when you choose to switch back to Classic: If you have been using Classic, it's time to switch. YouTube has provided a series of tutorials for using the new Studio :  There are also neat new features like adding a channel manager  and Smart Replies . You can follow all the recent updates to Studio here. The downside of the new Studio is that it does not work in older browsers. On your mobile device, you will have to use the YouTube Studio app for Android or iOS  to manage your channel and see your stats.  Most of you reading this have probably already switched to new Studio, so this isn't going to be a major change. But if you have been switching back to Classic, these are the last couple of weeks you can do that. 

YouTube Smart Replies to Comments

YouTube smart replies let you easily respond to comments. This week this option is rolling out to all English speaking channels.  The smart replies are similar to those you see in Gmail , Messages , and some other Google products.  According to Creator Insider , the smart replies are based on the most commonly used creator replies across YouTube.  If this is enabled for your YouTube channel, you will see a notice on your channel's comment management page. 1. Sign in to YouTube on a desktop computer. 2. Click your channel icon at top right, and select YouTube Studio ( ) from the menu 3. In YouTube Studio, click Comments on the left menu You can also go directly to 4. On the Comments page you can filter comments to see comments without replies, comments with questions, or comments from subscribers. 5. Smart replies will show under a comment. Click the reply you want to use. 6. Edit the text, if you wish 7. Click repl

Weekly Update - April 11, 2020: Meet, YouTube, AdSense

Happy Easter weekend! You can celebrate from home, with religious services, entertainment and socializing via video call all available over the internet. This week’s top updates are new features for teachers in Google Meet (which has dropped “Hangouts” in its name), COVID-19-related AdSense issues with Site review and payments, and more. Live, at home: there is music, Broadway shows, movies, games and more you can access this weekend from the comfort of your living room, bedroom or yard. Google’s cloud gaming platform Stadia is fre e and available to everyone. Stadia Pro will be free for two months, and you can cancel before you are charged for the subscription. See the Stadia FAQ for details . YouTube has a #PrayWithMe article that highlights religious programming , including a special Saturday Night Seder, Holy Week services from the Vatican and more. Opera singer Andrea Bocelli will perform live at 7 PM CET (10 AM PDT) on Easter Sunday, April 12 from Milan’s Duomo Cathedral. Watch

AdSense COVID-19-related changes: delayed site reviews, payment issues

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has made a number of changes to reduce the need for their workforce to physically come in to their offices. And businesses around the world are closed or providing limited services.  AdSense is no exception. You should see a notification in your AdSense account about how COVID-19 is affecting partners and publishers.  On the one hand, it's reassuring. Google has strong infrastructure and they make clear that payments will be issued as usual.  But the message also notes "there may be some temporary limitations and delays in support".  What this means for AdSense Publishers:  Site reviews may be temporarily unavailable. There may be difficulty receiving payment by Western Union, as some offices are closed. If you are in a country where mail delivery is disrupted, there may be delays receiving the address verification PIN postcard or payment by check. There are not any specific COVID-19 content policy changes. Howe

Weekly Update - April 4, 2020: YouTube Monetization, Creator Resources, Video Calling

As we head into April, most of the world is staying at home. Tech companies wisely decided to forgo April Fool’s jokes this year, as there isn’t much to laugh about.  What is new this week are more product updates due to the coronavirus pandemic, video conferencing platform updates, and resources for educators and struggling creators. Today is 404 Day, and the Internet Archive wants to celebrate by helping you (and me, and everyone) archive current web pages. Creator Updates YouTube Partners can now monetize COVID-19-related content , as long as it complies with the Community Guidelines and Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines . YouTube is piloting a new program called “ Unlisted Video Review ”, where creators can get a human feedback for uploaded unlisted video that have limited ads. Watch the linked video for more details and let YouTube know what you think of the idea in the video’s comments. If you are looking for a live streaming platform, Lightstream Studio has expanded availa

All YouTube Partners can now monetize COVID-19 content

Yesterday YouTube announced that all creators in the YouTube Partner Program will be able to monetize COVID-19-related content, as long as it complies with the YouTube Community Guidelines and Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines . What this means for Creators:  Once you receive a notification in YouTube Studio that this applies to your channel, you can monetize COVID-19-related content that complies with the guidelines .  YouTube encourages you to fact check your content. Refer to the latest information from authoritative organizations and agencies . If your channel is in YouTube’s self-certification program , you no longer need to rate COVID-19-related content as a "Sensitive Event". Update: When your channel is eligible to monetize COVID-19 content, you will see a notice in YouTube Studio ( ). "You can now monetize content that mentions and/or features COVID-19 if you follow our guidelines & policies". The ACTIONS option points you to Learn mo