Skip to main content

Weekly Update - September 17: YouTube Live Redirect, Canva Visual Worksuite, Google Photos Memories


As we head into autumn, leaves will start changing, the weather will turn cooler, and tech companies will start pushing out the updates to get them done before the end of the year. I expect the coming weeks will be interesting!

This week there are new features coming to graphic design platform Canva, updated shareable Google Photos Memories and collage creation tools, new YouTube features, updates to Google Chat and Meet, and more.

Want weekly updates in your email inbox? Subscribe to my newsletter.

Join #OnEBoardChat about Presentations and Webinars

I’m hosting this week’s #OnEBoardChat, and the topic will be dos, don’ts and tools for presentations. If you have ever given a presentation, joined a webinar, or watched a lecture, please join in the discussion!

It starts Sunday, September 18, at 11AM Pacific time on Twitter. Follow me (@PeggyKTC) or the #OnEBoardChat hashtag for updates. And if you can’t join live, comment when you can. I hope you can join us!

News in online design

Figma, the popular collaborative interface design tool, was acquired by Adobe for $20 billion. Figma says they will continue to operate autonomously.

Canva, the (mostly) graphic design platform, used their first global event - “The Future is Visual” - to launch their new “Visual Worksuite”. They announced:
  • Canva Docs: to-do lists, communication with collaborators, plans, designs and so forth
  • Canva Websites: “turn your documents, presentations, and even PDFs into simple, responsive Websites”
  • Whiteboards
  • Remove background in video (paid accounts only)
  • Recreate your existing presentation by importing a PowerPoint, Illustrator, PDF or other file
  • Present from anywhere or create a recorded Talking Presentation
  • Text to Image app using the Stable Diffusion AI image creation tool
Canva also launched Canva Creators for template designers, and a new App Marketplace for developers.

More information about the Currents to Spaces migration

As Google+ shut down for personal accounts in 2019, Currents was launched as the replacement for G Suite (Google Workspace) users. In July 2020 all remaining Google+ content was migrated to Currents.

Currents didn’t make it into Google’s “home for work” centered on Gmail, so it did not come as a surprise Google announced that Currents would shut down in 2023. 

But the content will not vanish, not entirely. Some Currents content and communities will be migrated to Google Chat Spaces.

This week Google Workspace had a webinar with more information about the transition from Currents to Spaces. It will be complicated!

I also wrote up a brief overview of what content will (and will not) be migrated from Currents to Spaces. Notably no Google+ (pre-July 2020) content will make the move.

Learn more.

Google Photos Offers More Memories

Google Photos has a major update to Memories, those automatically generated collections of images you see at the top of the screen on mobile and desktop.
  • Memories include more video, including automatically selected snippets
  • Cinematic Memories include moving 3D-like images
  • Photos will add instrumental music to some Memories
  • New Styles add graphic art backgrounds to photos in Memories
  • You can now share Memories with friends and family in Photos
Plus there is a new and improved collage editor rolling out now.

YouTube and Video Updates

Lots of YouTube updates this week:
  • Piloting “Touch Captions” on some English channels. These allow viewers to suggest changes to captions. (Learn more)
  • OBS (version 28 or higher) users can stream to YouTube in HDR, which is higher contrast and shows more colors. (Learn more)
  • Channel pages will have separate Videos, Shorts, and Live tabs (Sneak peek)
  • Live Redirect - redirecting your live stream audience to another channel with a live stream or premiere in a “raid” - now has an “Allow All” setting, If you are a live streamer, you can choose to let anyone direct their audience to you, or limit that to subscribers.

TikTok Now is a new TikTok feature that prompts people to share a photo or brief video of what they are doing at that moment. It uses both the front and back camera simultaneously so that the people you share with can see both you and what’s happening around you. Dual cameras are the latest thing, and were recently launched on Instagram and Snapchat. The “take a photo right now” prompts were first popularized in the BeReal app

Google Ads now offers vertical video ad templates and automated reformatting of landscape video ads to vertical videos. See the article for tips on making video ads with the Shorts “vibe”.

Web Publisher Updates

Google Search Console has a new HTTPS report. This will show how your site’s pages loaded over HTTP versus HTTPS, and will indicate why pages are not served over HTTPS.

Google Chat and Messaging Updates

Google Chat now lets you select up to 20 images or videos when sending a message. Currently available on iOS devices, and available soon on Android devices.

Google Chat now offers Smart Replies in Spanish, French and Portuguese, in addition to English.

Meta is expanding “Community Chats” to more Facebook Groups. This integration between Messenger and Facebook Groups allows group members to easily participate in text and audio chats in real time.

Google Meet Updates

In Google Meet you can now pin up to three participants video tiles on Android and iOS, in addition to on the web. Learn more.

If you are able to add co-hosts to your Google Meet meeting, you can now share “meeting artifacts” (recordings, attendance tracking,poll data, etc) directly with your co-hosts. Note that this only applies to co-hosts added to the meeting’s Google Calendar event and Google Classroom co-teachers.


Google announced 31 new emoji characters, new animated emoji (get them in Google Fonts), and color changing emoji (if you use Gboard keyboard on your mobile device) .

NASA and Google teamed up to let you explore the solar system in 3D (and AR!). To check it out try searching for “Moon” and scroll down to the 3D model on the right panel and click “View in 3D”. Mobile devices can view the planets, moons and NASA spacecraft in AR.

WTF? Ellie Hall writes for BuzzFeed News: Twitter Data Has Revealed A Coordinated Campaign Of Hate Against Meghan Markle. “83 accounts [are] responsible for approximately 70% of the negative and often hateful content.”

Tech news site The Verge has undergone a major redesign. In addition to an eye-watering new logo, the site's redesigned home page now has "old school blogging", in addition to more in-depth articles. I think I like it? I am getting used to it.

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: by Skitterphoto on Pexels. Free to use.