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Weekly Update - April 23, 2022: Earth Day, YouTube channel guidelines, Spotify video podcasts

This week big tech shared their clean energy goals and appreciation of nature and so forth for Earth Day. It at least sounds like they want to save the planet.

Plus you can now organize your Meet meeting before it starts in Calendar, create commenting guidelines for your YouTube channel, create video podcasts on Spotify and more. Plus there are tips and updates for web publishers, video creators, social media mavens, live streamers, meeting attendees and more.

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Read on for all the news.

Celebrating Earth Day

Earth Day was Friday, April 22. This is time to consider how you can help the environment, learn new ways to garden, participate in a cleanup, or find out what you can do to limit the impact of climate change.

And, of course, all the big companies had to chime in.

Google explained how they are working towards a carbon-free future and making climate change data accessible to everyone. Check out Data Commons.

YouTube encourages everyone to celebrate “our non-fungible planet”. Organizations and creators teamed up with YouTube to explore unique locations and explore the environment. Click the link to watch or read participating creator interviews.

Google’s Earth Day Doodle shows time lapse imagery showing the impact of climate change on the glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Sermersooq, Greenland; coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef; and trees destroyed by bark beetles in the Harz Forests in Germany.

And Google Arts & Culture’s “Heritage on the Edge” shows how people around the world are protecting their cultural heritage against climate change.

Meta highlights their efforts towards using renewable energy. They also highlight their Climate Science Center on Facebook and environmental VR content on Oculus.

You can also create fundraisers for nonprofits in Instagram Reels, use Earth Day stickers in Stories (that bring your content to the special Earth Day multi-author Story, at least for this weekend.

Twitter announced a “climate-forward approach to ads”, prohibiting ads with misleading content about climate change.They are also aiming for zero-carbon electricity at their data centers by the end of the year. For more, follow Twitter’s Climate Change topic, and tweet your own #EarthDay2022 updates (that’s my update).

Pinterest has a new climate misinformation policy that prohibits both content and ads that deny the existence or impact of climate change, or that misrepresents scientific or public safety emergencies around natural disasters or extreme weather. They also hosted Earth Day-themed Pinterest TV programming on Earth Day itself.

Flickr is celebrating National Park Week with fabulous photos.

Watch this

If you are applying for the YouTube Partner Program, or already are a YouTube Partner, be sure to watch this video about AdSense for YouTube on the official YouTube Creators channel.

This overview covers:
  • Applying for your AdSense account
  • Entering tax information
  • Personal detail verification
  • Adding a payment method
  • Viewing your earnings
  • The payment cycle
Even if you have been monetizing your channel for years, you might learn something new.


The very first Google Workspace summit is May 4. You can register for free. The target audience is businesses, of course, but I think “unlocking collaboration for the future of hybrid work” and some of the other sessions should be of more general interest.

Video and YouTube

YouTube is expanding the availability of Channel Guidelines to more channels. This lets you write commenting rules for your own channel that people must read and acknowledge before posting a comment. Currently the guidelines are only visible in the YouTube app or on the web for Live Chat.

Creator Insider has a quick tip that shows you how to understand the YouTube Analytics notifications report. This shows how many subscribers have notifications of your new videos enabled, and how many notifications were delivered.

Spotify is opening up their Video Podcast platform to more creators. It’s now available to all Spotify Anchor creators in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States. If you already are producing audio podcasts for Spotify, you can use their bulk replacement tool to replace audio episodes with videos. And new “online recording studio” integration makes creating easier.

Twitch celebrated the mobile launch of the Creative Supercategory with a week-long live stream featuring artists, chefs, crafters, and more. There was also a sweepstakes for creators who submitted clips, but the deadline has sadly passed. Upcoming is the Gayming Awards on April 25, with a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ gaming community.

You can now buy Twitch gift cards to redeem for bits, subscriptions and gift subscriptions to support your favorite streamers.They are available from Amazon in Australia, Canada, UK and the US. Here’s the US Twitch Gift Card purchase page (that’s totally an affiliate link and I might get a cut if you click and then buy something on Amazon).

The hype around social audio like Clubhouse is dying down. Sam Gutelle at Tubefilter reports that Meta (Facebook Live Audio Rooms) and Spotify (Greenroom) are letting their copycat versions just sort of fade away. Twitter does seem to be still promoting their version (Spaces). Maybe they will be the last platform standing.

Video Meetings

There’s a useful update for Google Calendar that lets you set up your Meet meeting in advance. That means the host can turn meeting safety features (like present lock and chat log) on and off, designate co-hosts, and set up breakout rooms before the meeting starts. Note that co-hosts and breakout rooms are only available to limited types of paid Google Workspace accounts.

The Zoom Chromebook PWA now supports background blur and virtual backgrounds.

Social Media

Now all Instagram users in the US can add product tags to feed posts. Tag a brand, then tag a product. Your followers can click the tag to learn more about the product.

In addition to product tags, Instagram is also introducing Enhanced Tags (that let you label yourself, e.g. as “photographer”) and improving ranking to promote original content. CEO Adam Mosseri says “Creators are so important to the future of Instagram, and we want to make sure that they are successful and get all the credit they deserve.”

Meta shared tips for using their safety tools on Facebook and Instagram. If you use either of those platforms regularly, it’s useful to review.

You can now add music clips to your comments on Facebook.

Snapchat is unexpectedly booming with a growing user base that is now larger than Twitter’s. According to Big Technology’s Alex Kantrowitz the take home lessons are: messaging is more important than Stories; creating a solid Android app helped drive international use, Gen Z prefers intimate group chats to broadcasting their lives, and AR is fun.

Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today explains how Elon Musk’s idea of free speech is probably different from your own, and why that matters for Twitter.

Web Publishers

Google Search Central has a new Lightning Talk video where you can learn to grow your WordPress site with Site Kit. Get Google’s Site Kit WordPress plugin, which includes Google Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, Analytics and AdSense.

WordPress’s VideoPress got a few nice updates: higher resolution videos, adaptive streaming, resumable uploads, and support for captions and chapters. VideoPress is available for self-hosted WordPress sites or at with the WordPress Pro subscription plan.

If you blog on Tumblr, you can now manually set your blog’s top tags. These appear on the Popular Tags and Blog Archive page.


Google is updating the cookie consent banners you see if you are in the European Union to comply with regulators. Soon, if you are in Europe, you will see new options if you access Google Search or YouTube while signed out or in Incognito mode that lets you easily Reject All or Accept All cookies.

Mozilla is suggesting a digital spring cleaning, where you delete any accounts you aren’t actively using. They have instructions for deleting Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Google, Amazon, Venmo, Tiktok and Spotify.


Google shares useful (and fun) features in the official Google mobile app: copy the text in your handwritten notes (if your handwriting is good enough), find a song by humming a tune, follow your interests, see creators and objects in AR and more.

Motherboard tried Google Docs new “assistive writing” feature. They found the AI-driven warnings and suggestions for wording changes were “annoying as hell”. It looks like many of the suggestions were bad: words aren’t just interchangeable. And it isn’t clear what the system is doing when it suggests an alternative word is more “inclusive”.

If you use a Chromebook, be on the lookout for the new Featured and Established Publisher badges in the Chrome Web Store. Those highlight extensions that follow technical best practices and developers with a verified identity and a positive track record respectively.

What I'm Reading

Karen Hao in Technology Review reports on “a new vision of artificial intelligence for the people”. In a remote rural town in New Zealand a couple is using AI to help revive te reo, the Māori language. And they are working to make sure any benefits derived from this data are passed back to the Māori people. “Data is the last frontier of colonization.”

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: The Earth. Image by Maiconfz on Pixabay. Free for commercial use, no attribution required.