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Weekly Update - March 20, 2021: YouTube, Chrome, Threadit

Happy Spring or Autumn, depending on what side of the world you are on!

This week YouTube Shorts are coming to America, live captions (in English) are available for any audio in Chrome, and new web communications tool Threadit lets you easily send short video updates and screencasts to your teammates.

Plus there are updates for writers, video creators, Meet, Chat and more.

New tutorial

If you are using YouTube Stories, there are two ways to save your Story videos: save shorting after recording, or download the video with stickers and text from YouTube Studio. Watch the video. Note that YouTube Stories are still in beta, and are generally only available to channels with at least 10,000 subscribers.



Bloggers, Publishers and Webmasters

  • If you publish your own videos, Google Webmasters has new tips and resources for video SEO.
  • Google released their annual Ads Safety Report for 2020, which explains how they deal with policy violations by advertisers and publishers. Among other changes, they introduced an advertiser identity verification program, and now share the advertiser’s name and location in the “about this ad” information. Google also invested in automated technology that scans the web for publisher violations, which “vastly increased” their enforcement. They removed ads from 1.3 billion publisher pages and stopped ads from serving on over 1.6 million publisher sites.
  • Annalee Newitz writes about the Substack “scam”. Substack is a newsletter platform that allows writers to monetize with subscriptions. But, it turns out, Substack is paying a group of “Pro” writers a substantial amount of money. That isn’t the problem. The issue is that Substack isn’t identifying who the subsidized writers are (although some have identified themselves). That’s problematic because it makes newsletter writing appear to be more lucrative than it is. And by selecting specific writers to fund, Substack is making editorial decisions which ideally should be transparent.


Social Media


  • Android’s Live Captions comes to Chrome on desktop. Now you can get captions in English for any audio playing in your browser, including podcasts, videos in Google Photos, audio chat and more. Enable this in your Chrome Settings > Advanced > Accessibility. Note that this is currently available for Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linx, and will be coming to ChromeOS “soon”.
  • Google Slides has a new minimal presenter toolbar. It now takes less space, with easy navigation to the next or last slide. Advanced presenter tools are available via the overview menu.
  • The Google Drive Android app is getting a notifications center, so you no longer have to set up special Gmail filters or search your email for notifications. You can see the notifications in the Drive app, control which notifications you see, take actions and more.
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: Image by Gerhard G. on Pixabay (free for commercial use)