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Weekly Update - October 23, 2021: Pixel 6 Features, Instagram Updates, Web Creator Portal

New this week: See how the new Pixel 6 uses machine learning for cool image, audio and video features,; post to Instagram on desktop, learn how hijackers take over YouTube accounts, and check out the new Google (Web) Creators portal.

Plus there is news and updates for improving your productivity, social media, and more.

Pixel 6's AI-Driven Features

This week Google announced the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones. You can get all the specs here. It uses Google’s own Tensor chip that allows state-of-the-art machine learning and AI that drives some of the unique Pixel 6 features. Will it convince Apple users to switch?
Here are some of the tools I’m excited about:

Top News

  • Google has launched a new Google for (Web) Creators portal. Among the features are guides for creating content and building an audience, upcoming events, and Google’s tools. Check it out!
  • Google’s Threat Analysis Group has published an overview of recent phishing campaigns targeting YouTube creators. Scammers offer fake collaboration opportunities that require a software download (such as a VPN). That malware steals web browser session cookies, which gives the hijacker access to the account without having to actually sign in. The stolen YouTube channels are often used for cryptocurrency scams. Read the article to see the lengths the hijackers go to to be undetected and appear legitimate.
  • Google Meet is rolling out new host control features: Audio Lock and Video Lock. This lets the host turn off the microphone and camera of other participants, who will not be able to turn them back on unless the host unlocks them. This will be available to G Suite Basic and Business and all Google Workspace customers. On mobile devices participants must have Android M (6) or higher or iOS 12 or higher, and participants with unsupported devices will be kicked out of the meeting when audio or video locks are enabled.
  • There are also exciting new features from Instagram this week.
  • The most exciting: you can now post to Instagram on desktop! Note that you will still need to use the mobile app to edit your posts.
  • They are testing co-authorship of Feed Posts and Reels. Collaborative content appears on both profiles.
  • There are new tools to help connect creators and brands. Creators can add a preferred list of brands they want to work with, and communicate using “partnership messages” DMs.
  • There are new analytics for creators and small businesses that show insights into engagement and audience reach.

More updates

Web Creators
  • Google has published an overview of how their search quality rater guidelines are used. Google wants to help define high-quality content that demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) on a topic. Quality raters help confirm that search results are meeting the guidelines. You can read the guidelines yourself here (pdf) and check the changelog at the end to see what’s changed over time.
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.

Image: “Buzzwords” by Aimee Baldwin, Logan Austeja and John Daniel. The colorful lanterns are inspired by wasp galls. Photo by me, all rights reserved.