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Weekly Update - January 29, 2022: YouTube plans, Data Privacy Day, Lunar New Year

This week YouTube shared their plans for 2022, Google and Facebook explained how they keep your data private (really!), new backgrounds and stickers help you celebrate Lunar New Year and more.

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Year of the Tiger

You can celebrate Lunar New Year (beginning February 1) with the Year of the Tiger background in Google Meet. Note that holiday-specific backgrounds are usually only temporarily available. Detailed instructions for changing your background in Google Meet.

Also try searching Google for “Lunar New Year”, “Chinese New Year” or Year of the Tiger for a surprise.

Instagram has Lunar New Year stickers and a special AR effect to help you celebrate.

Top Updates

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki posted her first “letter to creators” of the year, looking back at 2021 and forward to YouTube’s priorities for 2022. What to look forward to:
  • Podcasting is expected “to be an integral part of the creator economy”
  • YouTube wants to help creators “capitalize on emerging technologies”, specifically mentioning NFTs (?!)
  • YouTube is reviewing policies, and will be providing creators more details about policy violations
  • YouTube is investing in Shorts, Music, Gaming and Shopping
  • YouTube is working on improving live streaming, particularly live stream discoverability and more chat features
  • Combining two top priorities, YouTube is working on making it easier to create gaming-related Shorts
  • Coming this year: Gifted Memberships, Shopping available to more creators and brands, new product features to connect viewers to educational content.
Google and Facebook celebrated Data Privacy Day with an overview of some of the privacy features they offer. It’s a good time to review your account’s settings.

More Creator News

YouTube and Video

YouTube has launched a new guided resolution flow for Community Guidelines violations.

Creator Insider has a new video showing you how to use YouTube Analytics data to decide what to make next.

YouTube announced the latest recipients of the #YouTubeBlack creators fund grants, which includes 135 creators from the US, Canada, UK, Brazil and Africa.

YouTube lost three top executives this week: head of gaming Ryan Wyatt, senior director of creator partnerships Jamie Byrne, and VP and global head of product partnerships Heather Rivera. Wyatt and Byrne have new positions in “web3” (think blockchain and NFTs). TubeFilter has the story.

Instagram will now display scheduled livestreams on creator profiles.

Are newsletters just a new type of blog? Newsletter platform Substack has a new feature (currently in private beta) that lets you upload and record videos in a Substack post. If you have a Substack newsletter, click the link to learn how you can request access to the feature.

Vlogger, author, science communicator and long time video creator Hank Green posted an explosive video explaining why TikTok’s creator payment model sucks, and other TikTok creators agree (for example SuperSaf earned £112 for 25 million views). Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today explains.

Web Publishers

WordPress released version 5.9 “Josephine” (after Josephine Baker). It includes full site editing, and a new default “block” theme, plus more improvements.

Google now offers .day domains. The idea is to use them for memorable URLs, such as by World Jewish Congress. It’s a neat idea, but the domains are hundreds of dollars a year, which is pretty spendy.


Google Chat now shows an indicator when a message is deleted in a Space.

Facebook/Meta Messenger  has added a number of new features, including end-to-end encryption for group chats, replies in end-to-end encrypted chats, typing indicator, message forwarding, and video editing.


Google Drive has improved navigation that lets you quickly “skip to main content” or access keyboard shortcuts from the URL bar.

You can add a text watermark to Google Docs and imported MS Word files will have any text watermark preserved.


Merch site Topatoco has launched a crowdfunding site - TopatoGo - for independent artists and makers. Some folks are considering it as an alternative to Kickstarter,  whose announced plan to move to a blockchain has creators concerned.

From TechCrunchWeb3’s early promise for artists tainted by rampant stolen works and likenesses

Image: Red paper lanterns by mentatdgt from Pexels. Free to use, no attribution required.

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.


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