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Weekly Update - November 6, 2021: AdSense, Google Business, Facebook


As we move into November, tech companies are starting their last push of new features before the end of the year.

This week AdSense announced improvements to its in-account Policy Center; Google My Business is now Google Business Profile, with new management tools in Maps and Search; and Facebook announced it’s shutting down its facial recognition system (but Meta is not). Plus there are updates for web publishers, Instagrammers, Twitter Spaces hosts, Facebook Group owners, NaNoWriMo writers, online shoppers and more.

Upcoming

November 7: I’ll be hosting the #OnEBoardChat Twitter chat on Sunday, November 7 at 11AM Pacific time. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion. Follow me or the #OnEBoardChat hashtag for the latest. The topic will be autumn, and how that relates to your creative and business activities. That will be followed by the Premiere of OnEBoard’s collaborative Autumn movie.

November 12: Deadline to apply for the Google Black and Latinx Publisher’s Summit. The Summit is December 7. “This virtual event is open to Black or Latinx-led digital businesses looking to start monetizing their site, grow their monetization business, or network with others in the industry.”

Top Updates

  • Google My Business” is now “Google Business Profile”, and is shifting away from requiring small business owners to use a dedicated website and app. Business owners can now claim and verify a Business Profile in Google Search or the Google Maps app. And once a Business Profile is verified, owners can message customers directly from Search or Maps. There are more changes to come.
  • AdSense, AdMob and Ad Manager publishers can now access an improved Policy Center in their account. The Policy Center lists pages and sites with policy violations or publisher restrictions, and lets you request a review after you have fixed any issues. New features include an account health summary, better filtering and search to find current issues, and a more comprehensive issue list. It will also show ad requests in the past week to help understand the impact of each issue.

    To access the Policy Center in your AdSense account, sign in to AdSense, click Account on the left menu, then Policy Center. Hopefully you don’t see anything there. Note that YouTube Partners can find similar information on the Content page in YouTube Studio.
  • Now when you share an Instagram link on Twitter, a preview image will display. This feature has been missing since shortly after Facebook’s purchase of Instagram in 2012.
  • Facebook announced they are shutting down their face recognition system. People will no longer be automatically recognized in photos and videos. And Facebook says they will delete more than a billion facial recognition templates. While that’s great, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, says this does not apply to their “metaverse”.
  • Microsoft announced its own multiverse platform, Microsoft Mesh. This lets people use 3D avatars for regular video calls and in virtual offices and other spaces. Mesh is coming in 2022. I’m a bit surprised Google hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet.

YouTube and Video

Social Audio

Social Media

  • Facebook is launching new features for Groups: create a custom greeting message and group rules; customize colors, fonts, post backgrounds and reaction emojis; member community awards; create subgroups (including paid subgroups); talk in community chat; recurring events; add an official shop and more. Plus Facebook is working on sharing features between Pages and Groups to make community management easier.
  • Facebook announced new monetization features, including paid subscription links that bypass the Apple app store’s 30% cut, special subscriber badges for livestreams, and a bonus program for select creators.
  • Instagram launched a new “Add Yours” sticker for Stories, which prompts people to create a Story in response.
  • Twitter is rolling out a profile search button, making it easier to find old Tweets from a specific account.

Web Publishers

  • This week was the Chrome Developers Summit. The Chrome team is working with other browser vendors to improve browser compatibility. Other updates: bringing more applications to the web, developing new privacy-preserving technology, improving Core Web Vitals with new metrics, new courses to Learn design and CSS, and more. Learn all about the announcements at web.dev.
  • Google Search is bringing page experience ranking to desktop, beginning in February 2022. Core Web Vitals metrics are currently used for mobile site ranking, and that is expanding to desktop ranking. There will be a Google Search Console report that launches before this change that will help publishers understand how their site’s pages are performing on desktop.

Productivity

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: Mums - November’s flower - by saifullah hafeel on Pexels. Free to use (license).

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