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Weekly Update - February 20, 2021: Education, YouTube, Facebook News

As there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are assessing the future of in-person services and events. It may be that virtual meetups and smaller gatherings may be the way of the future. 

This week YouTube announced they won’t reopen YouTube Spaces, Google Search Central will be testing a new virtual event platform, and there are a number of new features for schools coming to Google Meet video conferencing.

It's a bit surprising, then, that Fundo, the virtual events platform for creators developed by Google's Area 120, is shutting down on March 31. The platform let you easily run paid workshops and meet-and-greets with your fans. If you are a Fundo user, and have unpaid earnings, make sure your account is linked to Stripe to receive a final payment.

In other news, AdSense will be retiring Link Ad Units on March 10. If your site has a responsive link unit it will be converted to a display ad unit automatically. Fixed-size link units will stop displaying ads, and should be removed or replaced before the deadline.

Plus you can get a free phone from Google Fi, and there are updates for YouTube Analytics, Android, Maps and more.


Australian News

  • Facebook announced that Australian news content can no longer be viewed or shared on the platform. Australian Facebook users cannot view or share international news content either. And Australian publishers can no longer post content on their Pages. This is in response to Australia’s proposed Media Bargaining Law, which would require Facebook to pay for any shared news content. News makes up less than 4% in the News Feed, and so this will also hurt the publishers more than it hurts Facebook.

    As the cherry on top, Facebook says they were planning on increasing their investments in Australian publishers, but now they will invest in other countries instead.
  • Google is also a target of the Australian Media Bargaining Law. They have taken a different tack by investing in more News Showcase partnerships in Australia, including publications owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Google’s News Showcase also includes partnerships with publishers in Germany, Brazil, the UK and Argentina. It remains to be seen if this is sufficient to convince supporters of the law to back off requiring payment for links appearing in Google Search.


  • YouTube says they have decided not to reopen their brick and mortar YouTube Spaces studio and workspaces in Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rio, and Tokyo, Instead they will host in-person pop-up events around the world, NextUp camps and virtual workshops.
  • YouTube is “looking to redefine how the world experiences video.” In the coming weeks the Shorts beta will be expanded to the US, and they are testing new monetization options, including new applause feature and a new integrated shopping experience.
  • Improvements for viewers this year will include automatically added video chapters to relevant videos, redesigning the YouTube VR app homepage, adding a 4k video option to YouTube TV, more playlist features for YouTube Music, and new tools for parents to manage their kids’ experience.
  • YouTube Analytics has new and improved video performance comparison options. Creator Insider shows you how to use them to better understand how your videos are performing.
  • YouTube Analytics will also show a new metric: other channels your audience has been watching over the past 28 days. This will only show if there is sufficient data.

Education: Meet & Classroom

  • At this week’s Google for Education event, Google also revealed a number of new features coming to Meet video conferencing and Google Classroom in the coming year. Emoji reactions will let people show how they are feeling (❤️ 🎉) during class. There’s improved performance for participants with low bandwidth and on Chromebooks. Teachers will be able to mute the entire class, and decide when they can unmute themselves. And teachers will also be able to co-host meetings. It’s not clear when (or if) those features will also be made available to business or personal accounts.
  • Now teachers can mute everyone in a Google Meet meeting all at once. Currently this is only available to Google Workspace for Education customers, but will be made available more widely in the coming months.



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 by Pixabay on Pexels (Free to use CC0)


  1. an amazing blog, telling about different news from all over the world. It is very important for one to be updated with most of the news so that you know what you need to do next according to the situations going on in the world. If I am to travel somewhere I should be prepared with all the details of that place for example I am travelling to Germany next month and therefore I have found out that I can enjoy the Berlin Film Festival 2021 during my trip. Just like this you can have basic knowledge for that place so that you do not miss anything during the time you are in that country.


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