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Weekly Update - December 11, 2021: YouTube Permissions, Google Chat callss, Meta's Horizon Worlds


As 2021 winds down, there were a slew of new features announced for YouTube (Permissions support in Live Control Room, Places Mentioned, subscription collections), Meta (professional mode for Profiles, comment moderation tools, Facebook Live features, Horizon Worlds metaverse opening), Google Chat (video and audio calls), Google Workspace tools (tables in Docs, shortcuts in Drive, Tasks in Calendar), and much more.

Plus you can get your end-of-year recaps from YouTube Music, Reddit, Instagram and Facebook. Find out where all your time went!

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More Best of 2021

If you are looking for the top 2021 trends for YouTube, GIPHY and more, check out last week’s update.

Google released their Year in Search 2021. You can dig into all the search trends around the world, or check out the top entertainment trends. Top theme? How to heal. On a lighter note: Top trending TV show? Squid Game. Top trending song? “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo. Top trending meme? Bernie Sander’s mittens.

YouTube Streamy Awards are live December 11. This year’s Creator of the Year nominees are Alexa Rivera, Bella Poarch, Dream, Dixie D'Amelio, MrBeast. Watch here.

Twitter posted their annual #OnlyOnTwitter roundup. Three of the top five Tweets related to US President Joe Biden taking office, one was an emoji from BTS 😙, and of course the official @Twitter Tweet when Facebook went down in October made the list. Check out the article to see this year’s top music, movie and sports Tweets and more.

Reddit has a recap of the top communities and posts for 2021. Most upvoted AMA? “I'm a lobster diver who recently survived being inside of a whale.”!

Check out the Year on TikTok for its top short videos. They are short and (mostly) fun, and it’s worth spending a few minutes to see what the buzz is.

Pinterest predicts the trends for 2022. Are you ready for “dopamine dressing”, “biophilic design”, “night moves”, “altbashes” and other trends? Have no idea what those are? Check it out.

Recap your year

YouTube Music users can now go to their Recap landing page to listen to their 2021 personalized Recap playlist. Or you can just listen to the Hits of 2021 playlist. 

Are you a Redditor? View your 2021 Reddit Recap to see your top subreddits, posts and comments. They liked me in r/PartneredYouTube 😃

On Instagram, if you have been using the Stories feature, you should see the option to create a 2021 Stories recap. And on Facebook there is a “Year Together” option in the app. Social Media Today has more details.

Top updates

YouTube will be launching what they call Permission support for Live Control Room” (finally!). What that means is that if you use Channel Permissions to give managers and editors access to your channel’s YouTube Studio, they can now also create, start, edit and manage live streams.

YouTube is adding a new “Places Mentioned” feature to food and drinks videos where they can detect places. The places will be added to the video description in the YouTube mobile app for Android and iOS.

You can now start or join video or audio calls from Google Chat. This is currently limited to 1:1 chats where all participants are using the latest Gmail mobile app for Chat. But it actually rings the other person, rather than just dropping a Meet meeting link, which is excellent. I’m hoping this makes its way to desktop, and soon!

AdSense has a new pdf guide and troubleshooter for User Generated Content (UGC). If you let people post comments on your blog, this applies to you. You are responsible to make sure all content on your site complies with the AdSense Program Policies, and these tips can help you make sure the UGC on your site isn’t a problem (at least not for your AdSense account).
AdSense also introduced a redesign of the in-account Policy Center, that makes it easier to monitor your account health and fix issues. May you never have to use it!

announced a slew of new Facebook creator features, including comment moderation tools, livestreaming features, “professional profiles” and more. Read on below for details. But what’s getting the buzz is that they opened “Horizon Worlds” to all adults in the US and Canada. This is a “social VR experience” that lets people explore, play games and create together -- the first steps towards Meta’s version of the “metaverse”. An Oculus Quest 2 headset is required.

YouTube and Video

YouTube shared a sneak peek at Collections for subscriptions. This is a new version of an old feature that was removed a few years ago that lets you group your subscriptions by topic. I want this!

You can now edit automatic Chapters directly within the description of your YouTube video.

The YouTube Shorts Fund expanded to 70 more countries, bringing the total to 121. If you are reading this odds are good this applies to you! You don’t need to be in the YouTube Partner Program to be eligible for a bonus payment, you just need to create popular Shorts!

YouTube released their first copyright transparency report. Key takeaways: 99% of copyright actions were automated Content ID claims and less than 1% of Content ID claims are disputed. When they are disputed, 60% of claims are resolved in favor of the uploader, rather than the claimant.

Pinterest acquired Vochi, a video creation and editing app, with the goal of bringing more quality video content to the platform.

Meta for Creators

Facebook now offersprofessional mode” for profiles, which offers tools previously only available to Pages. That includes monetization tools, and post and profile insights. When enabled, your follower setting is “Public”, but you can still post privately to friends. Professional mode is currently being tested with a limited number of US creators.

Facebook is adding comment moderation controls, including improved blocking of users and keywords, and hiding comments. That includes improvements to Facebook Live comment moderation, including a community moderation option (now being tested).

Facebook is also making it easier to comment from notifications and in Live Audio Rooms, and new comment ranking features decrease visibility of spammy comments.

Facebook is rolling out new livestreaming features, including Featured Links (adding 3rd party links to your broadcast), Polls on mobile devices, going “Live With” up to 3 guests, live broadcasts in Stories, Badges for loyal fans, and a “front row” section during a broadcast showing the most devoted fans.

Spotlight Conversations is a new Facebook post format where comments are split into a “Spotlight” tab for the host and guests, and “Other comments” for the audience.

Facebook is expanding “Stars” features. Stars are purchased by fans, then bestowed on their favorite live streamers. Now top Stars senders will have a special badge and be shown on a leaderboard, and fans giving Stars at the same time can activate a “Stars party” with a bonus for the creator. And to get you to try Stars, Facebook is giving away free Stars, and running special live streams and bonuses this month.

On Instagram you can now reply to comments with a video Reel, and the comment will appear as a sticker.

Also on Instagram you can now customize the text and color of link stickers on your Stories.

Instagram is trying to create a more positive experience for teens, by limiting recommendations of potentially sensitive content, preventing people from mentioning or tagging teens who don’t follow them, and by encouraging teens to “take a break” or view a wider variety of content. More tools for parents and guardians will be available next year.


Twitter is launching the option to record audio Spaces in the iOS and Android app, at least for some creators. And you can listen to Spaces recordings now on both mobile and the web.


Google Photos has a new People and Pets widget for Android, so you can see the people and critters you love best on your phone’s home screen.

Google Photos is also rolling out improved Cinematic photos. That turns a photo into a more dramatic 3D-ish video clip. And now “Machine learning fills in parts of the background behind the subject, allowing the virtual camera to move more freely as it finds the best framing…”

Flickr announced the winners of their LEGO Build & Capture photo contest. I especially like all the creative LEGO in Nature shots. If Flickr is your photo platform, check out their post on what’s ahead for 2022.


Access your Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Slides, Photos and Calendar from Google Chat, with context-specific actions. Just click the + icon next to the text box for options. This is rolling out on the web and iOS over the next couple of weeks.

Google Meet hosts (and co-hosts) can now lock participants’ audio and video off when using an iOS device. Previously this was only available on the web. This should be available on Android devices in early 2022.

There is now interoperability between Google Meet and Cisco Webex hardware and meetings. Join Webex calls on Meet hardware and join Meet calls on Webex hardware. See the linked article for more information about supported devices and technical limitations.

WhatsApp now lets you set default disappearing messages, and you can choose how long they stick around, from 24 hours to 90 days.


Googlers shared their favorite Chrome extensions and Chromebook apps.

Tables in Google Docs have gotten some much-needed new features: Pin a header row to repeat on each page, prevent a row from splitting across pages, easily add and arrange columns and rows, sorting, and a new table sidebar to manage properties. I have a few docs with tables that have been needing these features!

In 2020 Google Drive launched shortcuts to simplify its file structure. Files can only exist in one location, but you can use shortcuts to have multiple pointers to a file in different folders. Files that exist in multiple locations will be migrated to shortcuts. That was going to happen in 2021, but has been postponed until 2022. Soon you will start seeing a banner notice in Google Drive shortly before this change. Recent improvements to shortcuts include seeing details about who has access and the location of the original file.

Google is rolling out the option to set Tasks to repeat from Google Calendar. I’m hoping this option will also be coming to Google Chat.

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: Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels. Free to use, no attribution required.


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