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Weekly Update: May 30, 2020 - YouTube, COVID-19, Groups

To all the 2020 grads out there: congratulations! This is a rough time to be launching the next stage of your life, but hopefully things will get better.

The big news this week is that venerable Google Groups is rolling out a new interface. Plus there are a number of small updates this week for video creators, webmasters, business owners and more.

Video and Live Streaming


  • There is a new Google Chat progressive web app, which replaces the current desktop app. Google Chat is currently only available to G Suite customers, but should eventually replace Hangouts.
  • WebRTC and WebM are 10 years old.These Google-lead open source projects helped create video streaming technology that allows browser-based real-time communication. And that’s why you don’t need to install a plugin or special software to video call in Google Meet or Facebook Messenger.
  • Facebook’s NPE Team launched the CatchUp app, which lets you see which close friends and family members are available to chat. You can launch a group call right from the app.This is currently being tested in the United States.
  • G Suite users can now use Google Voice in Gmail, letting you make and receive calls right from your inbox. No word on whether this option will be available to consumer users.
  • Twitter now lets you schedule Tweets on desktop. But scheduled Tweets apparently are not synchronized across devices.




  • Google is offering small businesses a number of new tools in the face of COVID-19. Businesses can add links for donations or to purchase gift cards, add online service bookings and indicate if they are temporarily closed. There are also new attributes like “curbside pickup” and “no contact delivery”. Plus virtual kitchens can now verify their businesses in Google My Business.
  • Facebook Shops is a new feature that lets businesses sell products online. And later this summer Instagram Shop will let you shop on Instagram. Shop shop shop!

What’s happening this week?

  • The free 10 day “We are one” global film festival starts today. There are short features premiering from around the world, plus talks about the creative process with directors, actors and storytellers.
  • The live Android 11 Beta launch that was scheduled for June 3rd has been postponed. The event has not been rescheduled yet.
  • YouTube is hosting a star-studded virtual graduation party for the Class of 2020 on June 6th at 3PM ET, with headliners President Obama, Michelle Obama, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, BTS, Lady Gaga, Maluma, Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Megan Thee Stallion and much more. It’s bound to be a celebration.
That’s all the updates for this week. Subscribe to get the Weekly Update in your email inbox or favorite feed reader every week. Miss last week’s update? Get it here.

Image: It’s graduation season! New graduates throwing their hats in the air, by Pixabay on Pexels. Free for commercial use.


  1. I use poll cards in place of annotations to put messages on videos. First annotations went away and now poll cards.

    1. Nothing is forever ... I'm not sure there is a way to use any other card type for a message.

  2. I assume if I don't create a timestamp at 0:00 then my timestamps will work as I want them to work. I don't create chapters but instead use timestamps to show points of interest in the video.

    1. That's my understanding yes. For the Chapters feature, you need to start at 0:00 in the description.


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