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Weekly Update - April 24, 2021: Google Meet, Facebook Audio, YouTube Mobile

Happy last week of April! This week there are lots of new features for audio and video creators. Facebook announced it is going all-in on social audio, with creator tools, audio rooms and podcasts. Google Meet has a new improved desktop design. And YouTube channels on mobile are getting a new “About” tab design.

My top update this week is a slew of major improvements coming to Google Meet on the web in the coming weeks.
  • Redesigned navigation bar, now black instead of white, and with repositioned buttons. All the controls are now along the bottom.
  • See your presentation while you are presenting, either large or as part of the tile grid.
  • Your own video feed can be a tile in the grid, a smaller floating picture that can be resized and repositioned, or turned off entirely
  • Pin multiple video feeds.
  • Automatic light adjustment for participants that are underexposed.
  • Video backgrounds (distracting?)
  • Autozoom, which keeps you positioned in your feed, even if you are moving around. This feature will be for Google Workspace accounts only
In another major update, Facebook announced a number of social audio features launching soon.
  • Audio creation tools, including mixing audio tracks and use of Facebook’s Sound Collection.
  • Soundbites, a new format for “short-form, creative audio clips”
  • Discover and listen to Podcasts.
  • Turn live conversations into Podcasts.
  • Live Audio Rooms in Facebook Groups, for public figures and in Messenger.
  • Closed captions on audio content
  • Monetization options for creators, including “Stars” and pay-to access.
And there is more audio news: Reddit launched “Reddit Talk”, it’s own social audio offering. And Twitter’s Spaces is getting new features, such as hosts can now mute speakers.  Plus Apple is now letting Podcasters charge for subscriptions.

It looks like it’s maybe time to dip a toe into audio creation.

Read on for more of this week’s updates and tips for video creators, webmasters, ad publishers and more.


  • Sundays Join OnEBoard’s weekly Twitter Chat about communication, social media and more. I’ve hosted two #OnEBoardChats and it’s always been an interesting conversation.
  • April 26-28 2021 Nobel Prize Summit, "Our Planet Our Future. “The first Nobel Prize Summit brings together Nobel Prize laureates, scientists, policy makers, business leaders, and youth leaders to explore the question: What can be achieved in this decade to put the world on a path to a more sustainable, more prosperous future for all of humanity?”
  • May 6 If you are interested in Web Stories, apply now for Google’s upcoming Web Stories Workshop.

YouTube and Video

  • Two new improvements for YouTube on mobile: upload your channel banner in the app and a redesign of channel “About” tabs. These are coming in the next few weeks.
  • YouTube’s Creator Insider has an overview of what determines how many impressions your videos get. Learn how personalized recommendations, video performance, and external factors play a role.
  • There are 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. Each of those videos is transcoded into multiple different formats and resolutions. That used to take days for large 4K videos. To improve that YouTube has designed its own “Argos” server chips for more efficient video processing. Ars Technica looks at why that’s so important, and that saves YouTube money.
  • YouTube has clarified how their ad placement tool works in response to reports that it could be used for hateful terms, and that advertisers could not run campaigns targeting social justice-related content. While such content can be monetized, YouTube also says: “ At times, we may block terms, even temporarily, that seem counterintuitive, but it is done to protect our creators, our community, and promote user safety.” The hateful terms were apparently never actually available for ad placement.
  • Video of the presentations from StreamYard’s Success Summit are now available on demand. Some talks, like Seth Godin’s “Finding Your Voice, Empathy and Your Live Audience” are only available to summit attendees.

Websites, Blogs and Publishing



  • Google Fi has a new, less expensive, “Simply Unlimited” plan that includes unlimited calls in the US, and unlimited data and texting in the US, Canada, and Mexico. This is great for families (as it’s cheaper for groups of at least 3 people), and includes privacy, security and family features. What it does not include is hotspot tethering, international data abroad, or the Unlimited Plus plan’s free international calls. If you don’t use much data, the Flexible plan is much cheaper, where you only pay for the data you use (that’s the plan I’m on).


Social Media


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 of trees by gryffyn m from Pexels