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Weekly Update - September 11, 2021: YouTube, Google Chat, Twitter

Today is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. I was fortunate. I didn’t lose family or friends and my life was minimally disrupted. But I will never forget. 

Reminder: you can get the weekly update in your email inbox by subscribing to my Creator Weekly newsletter

This week’s top updates

  • YouTube is expanding Community posts to all channels with at least 500 subscribers. Community posts can include multiple images, polls, text or videos, and can be scheduled in advance (learn more). The Community tab replaces the Discussion tab, and with this rollout the Discussion tab will be removed from all channels on October 12.
  • Google Chat’s Rooms are now Spaces. Spaces are designed for collaboration and are integrated with Meet, Calendar, Drive, Docs and Tasks. New features that will be available in the coming months include tools for content moderation, in-line topic threading, enhanced search, and discoverable Spaces within an organization. Google hasn’t indicated if any of these new features will be available to consumer users, or if they will only be available to Google Workspace customers.
  • Calling is coming to Google Meet. Currently the only way to invite someone to a Google Meet meeting is to share the link with them or invite them to a Calendar Event. “Soon” it will be possible to call someone with a notification sound and everything. This will first be available in one-on-one Chats in the Gmail mobile app.
  • Twitter launched Communities. Tweets in a Community are “narrow casted”, meaning that while they are publicly visible in the Community, they do not appear on your profile or the feeds of your followers. Anyone can quote-Tweet a Community post to put it in front of more eyeballs. Communities also have moderators to enforce the rules.
    Currently only a handful of invited creators have created communities. For example, take a look at Matt Navarra’s Social Media Geekout Community (on iOS and desktop, invite only). If you want to create one of your own, you can submit an interest form to Twitter.
  • Facebook collaborated with Ray Bans to launch smart sunglasses that let you listen to music, take calls, and snap photos and videos. They are not as dorky looking as Google Glass, but they come with similar privacy concerns. There is a small LED light that turns on when the glasses are taking a photo or video, but testers have shown it’s easy to cover it, and even uncovered people don’t notice that the light is on. And Facebook doesn’t have great track record when it comes to privacy.
More of this week’s updates:

YouTube and Video

  • There is a new YouTube India Help Community in Hindi and English.
  • YouTube now shows Trending Hashtags on the Explore tab for US mobile app users. Trending hashtags show the fastest growth among users in various categories like gaming and sports
  • YouTube is expanding automatic Chapters to all videos on the platform. Until now it has only been added to newly uploaded videos. You can allow or disallow automatic chapters using bulk editing in YouTube Studio. The setting is also available during the upload flow and you can turn it off for your channel entirely.
  • YouTube Partners can now appeal videos with “yellow $ icons” (“not suitable for all brands”) in the YouTube Studio mobile app.
  • Twitch’s new Creator Goals lets creators publicly display their sub and follower goals, and progress will update in real time. Twitch will also helpfully suggest goals to add.

  • Vimeo now supports Dolby Vision with “ultra-vivid picture, brighter highlights, darker shadows, and incredible color.” Dolby Vision is supported on iPhone 8 and above, 2nd generation iPad Pro and above, Mac, and Apple TV 4K (if connected to a Dolby Vision TV).

Web Creators


  • Flickr is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Creative Commons. They highlight some popular accounts sharing photos under a Creative Commons license (lots of space and science), and favorite CC licensed photos.
  • Google Photos now offers more options for printing your photos.You can get photo prints in 7 different sizes delivered to you (if you are in the United States), or same day pickup at multiple locations in the US and Japan. There are also multiple sizes of canvas prints, photo books, and the premium photo print subscription for monthly prints.


  • Google Meet is starting to roll out a new Visual Effects panel on desktop for Google Workspace users to make it easier to select background blur, images or styles. Filters and styles are currently available on mobile devices.
  • Companion mode in Google Meet will be available starting in November. This gives participants in a conference room the same features and tools as remote participants.


  • Houseparty, the social network video chat app, will be shut down in October. Houseparty was a pivot by the team that developed the Meerkat live streaming app. It was acquired by Epic Games - of Fortnite fame - in 2019. They will be “working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family.” (“Metaverse” is the current favorite buzzword).
  • Twitter is continuing to update Spaces, it's live audio conversation platform. Now there is an informative end card when the Space is over listing the host and speakers (and giving you the option to follow them).


Image: Image of the spiral galaxy NGC3254 taken by the Hubble space telescope. Shared by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence (CC by 2.0).