Skip to main content

Weekly Update - May 21, 2022: Accessibility Features, YouTube Viewer Updates, Analytics Improvements

Hey all. This week was Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Google and Apple highlighted some of their new and upcoming accessibility features, which I’ve collected below. 

YouTube announced new features for viewers that make it easier to find the most interesting part of a video, plus you can now loop your video to watch it over and over again. And for creators there is a new Content tab where you can view your stats by content type.

Plus there are social media updates, new security features and more.

Intteresting in getting creator news every week? Subscribe to get the Weekly Update in your email inbox.

Free is still free (for personal use)

If you have a free legacy G Suite account that you use for non-commercial purposes, you can keep your account. Business users still need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace account. Educational institutions and nonprofits can migrate to a free Google Workspace edition. But you need to sign in to your admin account and take action as soon as possible to prevent account suspension.


This week was Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Google and Apple highlighted some of their new and upcoming accessibility features.

In general: the Google Play Store now tags Android apps with accessibility features, including screen reader-friendly, visual assistance, hearing assistance, learning disability, and motor assistance.

The Apple app store offers accessibility-focused apps (which isn’t quite the same thing).

And apparently not new, but useful, Microsoft has an accessibility checker built into Office tools like Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.

For the vision impaired (or folks with difficulty reading)

Add alt-text to images in your Gmail emails, so that people using screen readers can get a description of the image.

Chromebooks have improved voices for the “select to speak” option that reads aloud.

Braille support in Google Docs, including comments and text highlights.

YouTube Originals in English will have an audio description track. To turn on audio descriptions in the YouTube video player, click on “Settings”, then“Audio Track”, and select “English descriptive”. Note that many YouTube Originals require a YouTube Premium subscription to watch.

Android’s built-in screen reader, TalkBack, has new voice commands.

Android 13 will have built-in braille display support in the TalkBack screen reader.

Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader is adding support for 20 additional languages, and it will work with the Mac’s new Text Checker tool to find text formatting issues (like words that are not capitalized when they should be).

You can customize Apple Sound Recognition to recognize your doorbell or other sounds in your environment.

The new Apple Door Detection detects doors on arriving at a new location, and can detect if it is open or closed, and how to open the door if needed. This will be part of the Magnifier app, which is a suite of tools for blind low vision users on Apple devices. There are also People Detection and Image Description options.

Apple Books is adding new themes and customization, so you can adjust line, character and word formatting. (Really surprised this was not already available)

For the hearing impaired

A new multi-pin feature in Google Meet meetings, letting you pin multiple video feeds. For example you could pin a sign language interpreter along with the main speaker. (Of course this is useful for other purposes as well, such as watching a panel discussion with multiple speakers)

Apple will be adding Live Captions to the iPhone, iPad and Mac. It will work for phone calls, FaceTime conversations, streaming media and more.

For the speech impaired

Project Euphonia is research to help improve speech recognition for people with speech impediments. It is expanding to more languages. If this affects you, you can sign up to participate in English, French, Hindi, Japanese and Spanish.

Project Relate is a new Android app designed to help people with speech impairments interact with Google Assistant and with others. They are looking for English-speaking testers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

And more ....

Video and YouTube

There are several new YouTube video player updates to make it easier to see the content you are interested in:
  • Easily find and watch the most frequently replayed parts of a video. This is available on desktop and mobile.Learn more.
  • Video chapters are now available on smart TVs and game consoles. Chapters let you jump to specific sections of a video. The Chapters can be added by the creator or automatically added. Learn more.
  • You can now put an individual video on endless repeat with the Loop Video setting. Learn more.
  • On mobile, there is a new improved full screen mode, with an information panel and quick action buttons to easily like/dislike, comment, share or add the video to a playlist.
  • If you are a YouTube Premium customer, you can test a new feature to skip to specific moments in a video. Keep an eye on to sign up.

YouTube is also rolling out improved Analytics. The Engagement and Reach tabs are being combined into a new Content tab. On the Content tab you can easily filter the stats by content type: videos, shorts, livestreams and posts. Get all the details from Creator Insider.

YouTube Analytics now shows automatic translation metrics, so you can see what languages people are watching your videos in (and maybe add manually translated captions). You can see an overview on the Analytics Audience tab. More details from Creator Insider.

Vimeo has added SEO enhancements to their public video pages to make them more discoverable in Google Search. They also recommend adding chapters, choosing a catchy title, and adding descriptions with useful keywords.

YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan discussed battling misinformation, and being the last major platform available in Russia. He says they have not compromised how they enforce policies and Community Guidelines.

YouTube has a guide for creators creating mental health-related content.

YouTube joined this week’s Upfronts - a gathering where traditionally television networks present information about upcoming series to advertisers and the media. This is the first year YouTube participated, and it signals how mainstream streaming video has become. Fun fact: “If MrBeast’s YouTube channel was its own streaming service, it would have more subscribers than the next three most popular ad-supported streaming services. (Hulu, HBO + HBO Max, Paramount+).” Is that a relevant stat? I have no idea, but it sounds good.

If you run your own video streaming business, new metrics and insights in Google Ad Manager can help you find problems and increase your ad revenue. (Note this is for self-hosted videos, not YouTube videos)

Web Publishers

If you are still using classic Google Sites, the deadline to migrate to new Google Sites has been extended to December 1, 2022. After December 1, classic Sites will no longer be editable, and after January 1, 2023, they will no longer be viewable.

WordPress is offering a new design for subscriber emails. Looks good!

Social Media

Facebook released its latest “Widely Viewed Content Report” and enforcement report. Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today notes that a number of the top shared content was eventually removed by Facebook for policy violations - but only after having been viewed millions of times. And Casey Newton looks at the errors - both human and automated - the report highlights. Moderation is clearly difficult.

Twitter introduced a new “crisis misinformationpolicy, that appears to have come out of the complications of moderating content relating to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They acknowledge that determining whether information is true or false in a moment of crisis is very difficult, but their goal is to reduce the spread of viral misinformation. So their new policy takes several steps: as soon as Twitter has information a claim may be misleading, they will not recommend or amplify that content. Warning notices will be placed on “highly visible'' Tweets or Tweets from “high profile” accounts (like government profiles), and likes, retweens and shares will be disabled. Removal is their last resort, because they want to “preserve speech and records of critical global events”.

Twitter is trying to make Super Follows (paid following of individual Twitterers) more appealing by adding subscriber-only Super Follows Spaces.


Google Chat will now show a warning banner if someone with a personal Google account ( email) sends a malicious or phishing link.

Google's Jigsaw has a new security hub called Protect Your Democracy, with access to tools that help people and organizations at risk protect their accounts, protect sites from digital attacks, and maintain web access.

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: Sunset by pattama choomsree on Pexels. Free to use.


  1. Is it saying Mr. Beast has more subscribers than the next three most popular ad-supported streaming services?

    1. Yep. These are the stats they quote (source):
      MrBeast channel [95.4M global subscribers]; The Walt Disney Company Q1 FY2022 Quarterly Earnings Report [54.3M US, includes Hulu Live TV + SVOD]; AT&T Quarterly Earnings - 1Q FY2022 [76.8M global, includes HBO and HBO Max subscribers]; Paramount Investor Presentation 2.15.2022 [32.8M global by end of 2021].
      I feel like it is maybe isn't a fair comparison?

  2. Those 3 add up to more subscribers than Mr. Beast. Maybe I missed something?

    1. I think you're supposed to be carrying each one rather than adding them together?

  3. Maybe it means when Mr. Beast is doing a livestream he has more live viewers.

  4. The new plan:

    1. Thanks for the link! $5 per months seems pretty reasonable.


Post a Comment

Spam and personal attacks are not allowed. Any comment may be removed at my own discretion ~ Peggy