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Weekly Update - March 13, 2021: YouTube, Meet, Chromebooks

Just over a year ago the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic.It feels like we are finally slowly moving towards normal, or at least whatever the new normal will be. It’s likely many people will continue to work from home, and there will probably be ongoing travel limitations. But overall, I am hopeful things are getting better. On to news:

As YouTube announced last November, changes in the terms of service mean that all YouTube Partners must submit US tax information in AdSense. If you don’t submit tax information, a larger portion of your YouTube earnings may be withheld. This is a complicated update, so if this may affect you check out the link.

Google Meet is rolling out a number of new features. The best one? Tiled view in the mobile app. That’s available now for iOS and “coming soon” to Android. For education and business accounts, there’s a new option to schedule breakout rooms before a meeting in Google Calendar, and a new (paid) dial-in and dial-out options.

Google’s Chromebooks just turned 10! It seems like yesterday when I was using the CR-48 prototype, which was useful even without all the bells and whistles of modern Chromebooks. Google announced a number of new features, including screen capture tools, the new “Tote” holding space to help you find your files, improved copy-paste with the clipboard, the ability to directly control your Android phone and more.

New tutorial

  • March 18 is a free webinar from Google Publishers on Air: Consent Management Solutions and Improved Quality Signals for Publishers and Advertisers. It will cover Core Web Vitals for Publishers and Advertisers and Consent Status solutions.
More news: 



  • This week WordPress introduced Stories. You can use the WordPress mobile app to easily create an “engaging, tappable, full-screen slideshow” that is published on your site as a blog post. These are permanent web stories, rather than disappearing Instagram/Flickr/YouTube Stories.
  • WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” was released, with new features that “let you do more without writing custom code”. Click the link for all the details.

Meetings & Communication

Social Media

  • Facebook is launching new monetization options for creators. There are midroll ads in videos that are at least 1 minute long, and in-stream ads for Live broadcasts. Plus fan-purchased Stars and paid online events in more countries. Note that monetization is only open to eligible Pages with at least 10,000 followers.
  • The new Instagram Lite app is designed for entry-level phones, especially in locations that may have poor connectivity or slower networks.
  • Twitter now lets you disable direct message reactions to your Fleets (Twitter Stories).
  • TikTok wants to promote kindness by giving creators more tools to filter comments, and is showing a popup asking people to “reconsider” when they post a comment with words that may violate the community guidelines.


Problems with AI

“AI” isn’t separate from people.

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.

Photo: There are two fun holidays this coming week. March 14 is Pi day, a celebration of mathematics and pie. And March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. Green clover by jeonsango on Pixabay. (Free for commercial use CC0)