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Weekly Update - April 2, 2022: new Meet features, Calendar booking pages, YouTube mentions

Happy April all! And Ramadan Mubarak. This week’s top updates include upcoming Google Meet and Chat features, expansion of YouTube @mentions to all channels, Calendar booking and appointment scheduling, and more. 


Google Search for Ramadan to access Google’s Ramadan information portal, find prayer times, or use Google’s Qibla Finder map tool.

Meta is celebrating #MonthofGood with creator highlights and Ramadan AR effects, Messenger sticker packs and Instagram stickers.

April Fools

April Fools' Day passed with few of the joke posts from tech companies that seemed ubiquitous just a few years ago.

I agree with Andy Baio here:
There are some examples in that thread, and more April foolery rounded up by Matt Navarra.

For April Fool’s 2017, Reddit launched r/place, a collaborative canvas. It is open again until April 4, so go place a pixel. The screenshot above is how it looked at 11:30pm April 1. It will look different today.

Top Updates

Google Publisher Policy now prohibits monetization of content that "exploits, dismisses, or condones" the war in Ukraine. This includes AdSense, Google Ad Manager, AdMob and the YouTube Partner Program (which requires following AdSense policy). 

New features are coming to Google Meet in the coming weeks:
  • In-meeting emoji reactions 👍 (learn how they were developed)
  • Meet inside Google Docs, Slides and Sheets for easy real-time collaboration.
  • If you are using Chrome, picture-in-picture will let presenters and multitaskers see meeting participants while viewing another browser window.
  • Companion Mode for hybrid meetings or classes will let you add your own personal video tile.
  • Optional end-to-end encryption of meetings (coming later this year)
Later this year Google Meet meeting hosts will be able to live stream directly to YouTube. Before you get too excited, Meet’s in-organization live streaming is currently only available to G Suite Enterprise and Education Plus customers. It would not surprise me if YouTube live streaming is limited to those organizations as well.

Google Chat Spaces is adding in-line threading, to let people respond to specific comments and have easy to find side conversations.

Google Calendar is expanding availability of appointment scheduling with booking pages. This was first available to Google Workspace Individual accounts (a paid personal account with added features). This will be available to most Google Workspace customers. Note that this is not the same as appointment slots. People do not need a Google account to book from your publicly available booking page, and you can control the meeting type, appointment times and information you collect.

YouTube @ mentions will soon be available to all YouTube channels. Currently only channels with at least 500 subscribers could mention or be mentioned. You can turn off mention notifications in your channel settings.

You will now see a red ring around a YouTube channel’s profile photo if they have a new Story. This is similar to the ring that appears when a channel is Live.


has a new Creator Tips tab in the help center, where you can learn how to get started, build your community, develop a content strategy and more.

YouTube and Video

YouTube is testing timed reactions. This feature lets you add an emoji while a video is playing, which then displays when the video is played back. Get a sneak peek.

Instagram has updated the editing process in Reels, making it easier to trip and reorder clips.

You can now share YouTube videos to Snapchat Stories on iOS and Android devices. The video appears as a tappable YouTube sticker.

Web Publishing

Google Search Console is adding more context to error messages for structured data issues.

If you monetize your AMP site with AdSense ads, you can now show Anchor auto-ads.

Tumblr is rolling out blog-level tipping for iOS and web.

Social Media

Twitter Professional Accounts are now open to everyone. A free Professional Account is for businesses, creators, publishers, developers or anyone using Twitter for commercial purposes. A Professional Account provides access to Twitter advertising, and future features like Professional Profiles and Twitter Shopping. If you switch to a Professional account, you can switch back to a personal account if that doesn’t work out for you.

Instagram launched several new messaging features. You can see who is online and available to chat, reply to messages while browsing (so you do not have to open your inbox), and easily share posts with your Instagram friends. You will also soon be able to share 30 second music previews and create polls in group chats.

Facebook Messenger is introducing new shortcuts, mention @everyone in a group, use /silent (or @silent on Instagram) to prevent a notification of your post, send money with /pay, and express yourself with /tableflip and /shrug.

LinkedIn has new creator tools: new profile and post analytics, content alerts (ring that bell), profile video tools, and new ways to feature your LinkedIn newsletter.

LinkedIn notifies users if someone shares a screenshot of one of their Tweets. That seems like it would be a useful feature if implemented on more platforms. Maybe on Twitter itself?

Finding Accurate Information

Google will soon start labeling “Highly Cited” news stories in the Top Stories section of search results. That will be available on mobile in English in the US initially, then roll out internationally. That can help you find the original story that is quoted or republished by other news outlets.

Google’s Fact Check Explorer lets you find reliable information about hot news stories. If you have a website that

Google explains how they use the AI Multitask Unified Model (MUM) to improve Search, by reducing spam, detect “personal crisis searches” (for example, related to domestic violence), and prevent unexpected shocking results.


Google Docs
can now autodetect Markdown syntax as you type. Once you enable this feature, you can format your text as you type (for example **bold text** or ## Heading 2). It’s supported in many places across the web, so you’ve probably used it before. The bad news? Docs only detects Markdown as you type, so it doesn’t work for pasted text.

Google Docs has added new assistive writing features that offer tone and style suggestions (word warnings, word choice, conciseness, inclusive language, active voice). These tools are only available to some Google Workspace editions. They are not available to personal Google accounts.

Chrome version 100 is here, with new Chromebook features, including an updated Launcher, improved voice editing, and the ability to create a GIF using the built-in camera (like the image above).


Worrisome: Apple and Meta (Facebook) gave hackers user data in response to forged emergency legal requests. The requests were emailed from hijacked law enforcement accounts, so appeared legitimate. Some of the data included user addresses, phone numbers and IP addresses. Discord responded to similar requests.

More Reading

Isabella Cueto at STAT: How a basement hideaway at UC Berkeley nurtured a generation of blind innovators. A story of how “genius is forged by community, in the sharing of information, tools, and resources”.

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: Emoji reactions in Meet and YouTube are coming. Smile! Emoji images can be used for personal or commercial use.


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