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Weekly Update - January 22, 2022: Meet Companion Mode, YouTube earnings, Live Control Room management

Welcome to the first weekly update for 2022! This first edition of the year is later than planned, as it turned out I really needed a longer break than I originally expected.

My commitment focus for 2022 is “Reflection” and that is part of what I’ve been doing the past few weeks. I’ve realized that I feel most creative when I have a chance to work on projects away from home. In the Before Times I often went to the library or a cafe or other comfortable space to work on things. But with COVID, that hasn’t been a practical option. I’m still working out what will work best, but I feel like just trying to work that out is a step in the right direction.

I’ve also set aside some time for a couple of personal projects that had fallen by the wayside. That means less time for blogging, but it’s been good for my spirit.

As I write this I’m feeling more mentally energized than I have for several months, so it’s been a good thing. And now I’m back for your weekly updates.

Onward into 2022! There are updates for YouTube, Meet, video, audio and more.

Reminder: If you want the Weekly Update in your email inbox, sign up for my newsletter.

This Week’s Top Updates

Google Meet now has “Companion Mode”, which is designed for hybrid meetings. If you are in a meeting room or using a Nest Hub Max smart home display, Companion Mode lets you share your screen, raise your (virtual) hand, participate in Polls and Q&A, and use other features. It can also be used as a second screen to view presentations or live captions. You will be shown in the meeting participant list, but your microphone and camera will be off. To join in Companion Mode just go to or click a meeting link and select the option under “Other Joining Options”. Note this is not yet available on mobile devices. Learn More.

If you are using Channel Permissions to allow Editors and Managers access your channel’s YouTube Studio, they can now manage live streams and moderate live chat in Live Control Room. People with Viewer access can monitor created streams and view all stream settings other than the stream key.

Starting in March, YouTube and other AdSense earnings will have separate payments profiles. This change will happen automatically, and you will not have to re-enter your payment method for the new YouTube payments profile. The downside? Your YouTube earnings and other AdSense earnings will have to separately meet the payment threshold. Learn more.

Stay in the know: You can now subscribe to YouTube updates by email, depending on your interests:
Webmasters hosting podcasts and other media take note: Google has introduced a new robots tag: indexifembedded. If you are self-hosting your podcast, for example, you may not want the stand-alone media page indexed by Google. This new tag allows the content to be indexed only if it is embedded on another web page.

Another major upcoming change: Google will no longer support the G Suite legacy free edition starting May 1. To continue to use those accounts, users will have to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace account. For those who choose not to upgrade, the accounts will lose access to Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Meet, but should retain access to non-core services like YouTube, Google Photo, and Google Play Store purchases.

If you have a paid Twitter Blue subscription, you can now link a crypto wallet to use any of your non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a profile image. The NFT profile images display in a hexagon, rather than a circle, and link to more information about the image. Aside from being speculative assets, verifiable cross-platform avatars are one of the features touted for “digital collectables”. Reddit is apparently testing a similar feature. Learn more.

What I’m watching

Creator Insider: Use YouTube Analytics to Understand How Your Channel is Doing in 4 Easy Steps!

More creator news

YouTube and Video

YouTube shared a preview of a new creator Media Kit. This is an extension of YouTube’s Brand Connect (formerly Fame Bit), that lets creators create a sharable channel summary in YouTube Studio to pitch to brands. It is currently only available to a limited selection of channels.

YouTube is going to stop producing most YouTube Originals, and will only fund programs that are part of the YouTube Kids fund and Black Voices fund.

Instagram now lets you “remix” any new public video, rather than just Reels. You can disable this for individual videos, or disable the option for all your videos in your Instagram Settings.

TikTok lets you add a short text intro to your live streams, so viewers who stumble on it can see what it’s about.


Now all Twitter Spaces hosts can enable recording on Android or iOS. Recordings are available for 30 days and can be downloaded.

Medium is testing automated text-to-speech audio. A “Listen to this story” button at the top of blog posts will read the story using a computer-generated voice.

Clubhouse introduced an improved “Share” button, that lets you “Share on Clubhouse” to your followers, as well as to other sites. And along with that, anyone who clicks the shared link can listen to a Clubhouse room on the web without signing in.

LinkedIn is beta testing Audio Events, along with Video Events, set to roll out in the coming months.

Web Publishers now offers full site editing using Blocks. This is currently available in beta for new sites created by English-speaking users.

Social Media

When Instagram detects a post or story may contain bullying or hate speech it will show lower in your Feed.

Instagram introduced Subscriptions. Creators can offer exclusive content to their subscribers, and subscribers will have a special badge display when they comment. This is currently only available for a few popular US creators.

Twitter is testing reaction videos, so you can retweet with your video reaction.

Reddit has improved the way blocking works, so that you not only stop seeing the content posted by the person you blocked, but they also now will not see your content.

Facebook has a new account Privacy Center, where you can learn about your privacy options. This is initially available on desktop in the US.


Automatically translated captions in Google Meet are now available to meetings organized by Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Google Workspace for Education Plus customers. Translation is from English to French, German, Portuguese or Spanish.

Google has been snarking at Apple about its lack of support for RCS. Ryne Hager at Android Police explains. A quibble: Hager calls RCS in “Google’s Chat”, when it’s actually “chat features in Messages”. It matters because that maybe helps it from being confused with Google Chat, which is an entirely different thing. (And yes, Google should get someone to come up with better names.)

Google Chat on the web has improved text formatting with a new A text editor button.


Google will add a bright warning banner when you open a suspicious file in Google Drive.

Gmail Product Expert Somnath has a helpful tutorial on how to free up storage space in Gmail.

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: Snow background by 1200219 on Pixabay. Free for commercial use, no attribution required.


  1. Nice to have you back but only blog if you feel like it. You can do a bi-monthly blog.

    1. Thanks Craig. I actually enjoy keeping myself up to date weekly. I just needed a bit of vacation. 🙂

  2. I'm glad you took time to rejuvenate. We all need that sometimes. Welcome back.

    1. Thanks Nathan. I feel like done of the cobwebs are cleared.


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