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Showing posts from November, 2020

Hangouts group conversations migrating to Google Chat

Classic Hangouts group conversations are migrating to Google Chat beginning December 3 . This is part of the larger migration from classic Hangouts to Chat (for conversations) and Meet (for video calling).  If you use Google Chat, either with your Google Workspace account, or because you have been added as an external user to a Room or Chat conversation, your Hangouts group conversations will start appearing in Chat as well. The group conversations should be available in both classic Hangouts and Chat. Note that if you are using a personal Google account your migration from Hangouts to Chat will be in the first half of 2021.   You will also be able to add and change members of new Chat group conversations. For Chat group conversations created before December 3, you can start an updated conversation with the same group of people, using the "Start a new chat" in the conversation settings. A couple of additional notes: First group Hangouts conversations will be available, follow

Weekly Update - November 28, 2020: Hangouts, Meet, YouTube

This week there are updates to classic Hangouts and Meet, new features being tested on YouTube, and more for YouTubers, business owners, web creators, and social media mavens. I posted a couple tutorials:  Quick tip: Blogger offers more than 1000 fonts for your posts. Learn how to use them (or watch the video ). Tutorial: How to use Google Meet video calling in classic Hangouts (or watch the video ). If you have been using classic Hangouts video calling, try Meet. I think you'll like it. YouTube YouTube is testing automatic video chapters . This uses machine learning to automatically create the chapters. You can opt out or send feedback using this form . YouTube is also testing a way to add automatic timestamps when you comment on a video . That way if you want to say “this is the awesome bit” people can see what you are referring to. Creator Insider answers 8 user questions about how YouTube’s algorithms work. You can now report bad YouTube ads on mobile , in addition t

Start a Google Meet video call from classic Hangouts

  Google is replacing Hangouts video calling in classic Hangouts with Meet. Meet has some great features, but it doesn't work quite the same way as Hangouts video calling, so it's worth understanding the differences.   This is just one change coming to classic Hangouts, which is also  removing the option to place phone calls through the Hangouts app or website. On personal Google accounts Meet video calls can have up to 100 participants,  grid view with up to 49 people ,  closed captions ,  high-quality audio and video screen sharing , and  background replacement . You should see a notice in your Hangouts account when this change goes into effect. In group Hangouts conversations you will only have the option to share a Meet video call link.  In one-to-one Hangouts conversations you will have the choice between sharing a Meet video call link or starting a Hangouts video call.  There are several functional differences bet

Quick Tip: Find and use Blogger's 1000+ Fonts

You can add some character to your Blogger blog posts by using one of the more than a thousand fonts it offers. The fonts are the from the Google Fonts collection , which has open source fonts that can also use for your own non-Blogger website or blog.  The fonts can be classy, like Tangerine Or dramatic, like Bungee Shade Or fun, like   Butterfly Kids Or add some comic book style like Bangers There are fonts in more than 20 different language scripts, from Arabic to Vietnamese. Note: if you want to change the font of your entire blog, customize your blog's Theme instead. Click the Theme  tab on the left menu, then the orange Customize button to change how your blog's theme looks. Watch the video to learn how to quickly add fonts to your Blogger posts editor or read on for detailed instructions. How to add a font to the Blogger post editor Open the Blogger post editor:  1. Click the Font Type button 2. Sel

Weekly Update - November 21, 2020: YouTube, Meet, Hangouts

  As we head into the end of November, companies are working to release the last product updates for 2020. The next couple of weeks will be busy. This week there was a surprise YouTube Terms of Service update (with some controversial provisions), new Meet video call features, end-to-end encryption in Android Messages,new Twitter “Fleets” stories and more. Gobble Gobble Gobble This week is the Thanksgiving holiday in the US that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to feast and (at least theoretically) share thanks. It’s usually one of the busiest travel times of the year. This year, with c oronavirus cases sharply on the rise in the US , people are being encouraged to stay home . Companies are stepping up to help Americans (and people around the world) gather virtually. Google Meet is being made available in classic Hangouts, and if you have been using Hangouts video calling it’s worth giving Meet a try. You can host a call with up to 100 participants (rather than 10), and th

YouTube Update to the Terms of Service: ads on more videos, changes to payments

Yesterday YouTube announced an update to its Terms of Service . The changes went into effect on November 18 in the United States (immediately, in other words), and will take effect in countries outside the US in mid-2021.  Update May 2021: the new terms go into effect outside the US on June 1, 2021. There are three changes: a clarification that it's not allowed to harvest faces  a change in the classification of payments from YouTube as royalties with potential tax implications for non-US Partners ( Tax information must be submitted by May 31, 2021 )  a new "right to monetize" videos on channels that are not in the YouTube Partner Program (with no payment to the channel owner) There will be additional information in 2021, as the terms come into effect outside the US.  Forbidden to harvest faces You are not allowed to ... collect or harvest any information that might identify a person (for example, usernames or faces), unless permitted by that person or al

Report abuse in a Google Meet meeting

If you are in a Meet video call with someone who is spamming, running a scam or otherwise violating Meet's acceptable usage policy , you can report them to Google.  As the world has shifted to online meetings, classes, and social events, so have spammers and scammers and other bad actors. With Google Meet taking the place of classic Hangouts, there is a greater chance you will run into someone who violates policy. While there isn't any option to block someone in Meet, you can report them to Google. Note that if you are a meeting host, the best first step is to prevent bad actors from joining your meeting:  Create a Google Calendar Event, and only invite people you know. If you create a meeting link, be careful who you share it with. If someone "knocks" and asks to join your meeting only admit them if you know them. Meeting hosts can also remove meeting participants by clicking the circle with a minus sign.  Anyone can report abuse in a Mee

Phone calls in Hangouts are going away soon: get a refund of your call credit balance

A very useful feature in Google Hangouts is the option to make phone calls, with almost all calls to the United States and Canada totally free.  This feature will be removed by the end of the year.  A few weeks ago Google announced that Hangouts would be removing phone calling feature for everyone, along with the removal of SMS for Google Voice and Google Fi users.  The reason? "New telecommunications regulations" that are being introduced in the EU and U.S. in 2021.  Note: Google Fi users with Hangouts integration will  no longer be able to use Hangouts for voice calls, SMS, or voicemail after March 31, 2021 . You can still sync with Messages for Web or download your messages after that date. Hangouts has started rolling out a notice of this change in the Hangouts mobile app and Hangouts on desktop. Calling in Hangouts will be turned off soon. You can keep making calls with Google Voice. Google Voice is free to use, but is only available to

Weekly Update - November 14, 2020: Photos, Docs, YouTube

TANSTAAFL is the word of the week. Next year Google will start counting new Google Photos uploads, Docs, and Sheets towards your account’s storage quota. In other news, Twitch’s lack of copyright enforcement tools is hurting creators. And YouTube will be skipping a celebratory “Rewind” video this year. Plus there are updates for private video sharing on YouTube, a new “Google Search Central” site for webmasters, new Chat features and more. This week Tomorrow, November 15, I will be hosting a blogging basics workshop through Tangi . It’s free, but you need to sign up in the Tangi mobile app , which is unfortunately not currently available in the EU or Brazil. I hope to see some of you there! Happy Diwali! Celebrate the Indian festival of lights online: Google Arts & Culture has a virtual Diwali experience with AR lamps and firecrackers ; video tutorial platform Tangi has a Diwali creator challenge sponsored by Mason & Co chocolate, and there are new Diwali AR filters on Inst

In June 2021 new Photos, Docs, Sheets, and more will count against Google Account storage

Google announced today that it will begin counting "High Quality" backed-up photos, Docs, Sheets, and more towards your Google account storage on June 1, 2021.  Also, if you are not active in Gmail, Drive, or Photos for 24 months, your content in that product will be deleted.  You can get an estimate of how long your current storage will last at  and purchase additional storage if you need it . Keep in mind:  This will not affect photos, videos, docs or files that you are uploading now. This only affects content uploaded, created, or edited starting June 1, 2021. High Quality photos and videos backed up from a Pixel 1-5 phone will not count against your Google account storage.  This does not affect YouTube channels. This does not affect Blogger blogs.  This does not affect Google Sites sites. This does not affect Google Keep notes. You can keep Gmail, Drive, and Photos active by signing in periodically. This will affect G Suite and Google Workspace

How to share a private YouTube video

You can limit who can see your YouTube video to specific individuals by setting the visibility to Private, then sharing with their Google account email addresses. This isn't a new feature, but YouTube recently moved the private video sharing settings from classic into YouTube Studio, making them easier to find and edit. You can share during the video upload process or from the uploaded video's Details page. Note that to share a private video with someone, you need to know the email address they use to sign in to YouTube (or, more accurately, to sign in to the Google account they use to access YouTube).  A few other limitations of private videos on YouTube: Private videos are only visible to you and the people you share them with. Private videos can only be viewed by invitees using their main Google account identity. If they use a brand account identity on YouTube, they may need to switch to their main Google account to view the video.

Weekly Update: November 7, 2020 - Chat, YouTube, Election Week

This has been a heck of a week here in the US. As I write this, votes for the presidential election still being counted. It’s probably a good thing I’m taking a break from refreshing the election results and reading hot takes on Twitter. And hopefully when you read this it will be decided. One of the emerging stories is how well (or not) social media is handling this; Social Media Today has an overview and Casey Newton’s Platformer argues “ YouTube got played on Election Day ”. Mark your calendar : On November 15 I will be hosting a blogging workshop through Tangi . It’s free, but you need to sign up in the Tangi mobile app , which is not currently available in the EU or Brazil. I hope to see some of you there! This week there are a few product updates for Chat, Meet, YouTube and webmasters, and I’ve also included a few tutorials from my fellow Google Product Experts to boost your productivity. YouTube and Video Updates on YouTube : improved sharing