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Weekly Update - October 15, 2022: YouTube Handles, AdSense Accounts, Future Office

This was a big week for updates. 
  • YouTube introduced @handles as unique channel identifiers (for everyone) and expanded the Community Tab to many (most?) channels. 
  • YouTube Partners were alarmed by an AdSense payments account closure notice, and AdSense launched an improved “Brand Safety” tab and the option to enable first-party cookies. 
  • Google, Microsoft, and Facebook shared their vision of the future office, plus lots of updates available today for video meetings, chat, and productivity services.
You may not be able to get through this week’s edition in one sitting. But I think the information is worth it.

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Unique handles for YouTube channels

YouTube announced that every channel will have a unique handle. If you have an existing YouTube channel, you will be able to add a handle by November 14 (at which point YouTube will assign handles).

You can add any available handle that meets YouTube’s policies. And if you don’t like it, you can change it. Maybe it’s time to rebrand?

Learn how to choose a handle for your YouTube channel.

AdSense payment account closures

If you are a YouTube Partner, and you currently only use AdSense for your YouTube channel, you may have received a notice that your AdSense payment account was closed. This will not affect your YouTube channel’s monetization.

The back story is that over the past few months, AdSense accounts have been updated so that there are two payment profiles. One is for AdSense, AdMob, and other ad products, and the other is for YouTube. If you are only using the YouTube payment account, you don’t need the “AdSense” payment account.

Finalized AdSense earnings of at least $10 (or equivalent) will be paid out within 90 days.

Learn more from my Short or article.

Future Office

Google, Microsoft and Meta all had conferences last week that highlighted their company’s vision for the future workplace. There were announcements big and small, with newly launched features and technology still under development.

Google’s vision is Project Starline, a “magic window” for video calling, where you can talk with a life-size 3D person who might be thousands of miles away. In contrast, Meta and Microsoft are teaming up for work and meetings in Meta’s metaverse, where everyone is an avatar.

I expect most of us will still be video calling on our laptops and phones 5 years from now, but maybe they will be a bit more immersive.

It’s been pointed out that the loser may be Zoom, as businesses tighten their belts and opt out of paying for Zoom if they are already paying for Google Workspace or Microsoft Teams. For more background from Google’s point of view, read “Chips, canvases, and chats: Google Workspace’s plan to crush Office” in The Verge.

Here’s an overview of what was announced this week:
At Google Cloud Next ‘22 there were new features announced for Google Meet video meetings, Google Chat, and other Google Workspace services. Plus more on Google Cloud networking, security, databases, data analytics and more. Here are the updates for hybrid work:

Google Meet
Google Chat
  • Custom emojis (later this year)
  • Inline threaded conversations (coming this month)
  • Broadcast-only spaces (early 2023)
  • Chat integration with AppSheet (low code and no code apps)
  • Chat and Spaces API allows third party apps to initiate messages. Asana is using the API to allow users to act on Asana tasks in Chat.
Smart Canvas
At Microsoft Ignite there were updates for Teams, Microsoft 365 and more. Some highlights:
  • Mesh 3D avatars for Microsoft Teams, for meetings in and out of the metaverse (in private preview)
    • Updates to meeting hardware, with Intelliframe individual framing, updated “Front Row” layout, and improved in-meeting chat layout.
    • PowerPoint Live in Teams, with Cameo integration of your live camera feed into presentations, Magnifier to let the audience zoom in, closed captions on embedded videos. That is in addition to easy presenter controls, and audience options to scan through slides and slide translations.
    • Excel Live in Teams, so all attendees can edit an Excel file inside a Team meeting
    • Updated Teams channels experience
    • Smart suggestions in Teams chat, plus video clip replies, more Teams emojis, mention @everyone, and delete unneeded chats
    • Updated Loop for project collaboration and coordination
    • AI advancements in Microsoft 365: Tone suggestions, conciseness suggestions, and summarization in Microsoft Editor, with an extension to bring suggestions across the web. There’s also a new Personal Toolbar in Word, Excel and PowerPoint and ContextIQ for in-content suggestions.
    • Advanced Virtual Appointments
    Then there was Meta Connect, showcasing the state of the metaverse. There were updates on gaming, of course, but also a lot about work in VR.
    • The Meta Quest Pro is a new (expensive!) all-in-one VR headset, designed for “collaboration and creation.” It offers “full color mixed reality” using outward facing cameras, self-tracking controllers, and (optional) Natural Facial Expressions.
    • Updates to Meta Horizon Workrooms (in the metaverse), with updated solo Workrooms, breakout groups, and soon joining Workrooms via Zoom.
    • Workrooms updates Meta is “working on” include the ability to work with 3D models, and the “Magic Rooms” mixed reality experience.
    • Microsoft Teams “immersive meeting experience” in Workrooms, Windows and Microsoft 365 for Meta Quest, and the future possibility of supporting both Meta and Microsoft Avatars in Teams.
    • Meta is testing the ability to record video in Horizon Worlds and share to Facebook and Instagram as Reels (of course).
    • Meta Quest YouTube VR co-watching in your “Home”, and working on the ability to bring YouTube into other apps.
    • Meta Avatar Store will soon be available in VR, and they are working on avatar legs.
    It seems like a waste of VR technology to use it to join a meeting in a virtual conference room, or to work at a virtual desk on a virtual computer to edit spreadsheets or write up a document. Those aren’t a great experience in real life, let alone in a simplified VR version that requires wearing a headset for hours.

    YouTube and Video Updates

    Now any YouTube channel will have access to advanced features will have the Community tab and be able to make posts. The catch is that not every channel has advanced features. Previously 500 subscribers were required to have access to Posts.

    YouTube is rolling out an update to the YouTube Studio mobile app with a “bold, more modern look”. . Learn more from Creator Insider.

    At TikTok World (TikTok’s summit for brands and advertisers), they announced updates to the TikTok Creator Marketplace to help connect creators and brands, Shopping Ads, and Showtimes on TikTok (for movie studios to share a trailer with ticket sales).

    TikTok now offers “enhanced” video editing tools, a slideshow-like “Photo Mode” for still images and the option to write longer video descriptions.

    Web Publishers

    AdSense has made it easier for publishers to navigate ad-blocking options. The Blocking Controls tab is now called Brand Safety, and includes a site search.

    AdSense has added a new control to allow publishers to enable first-party cookies for ad personalization. The first-party cookies will not track users across the web, and will serve personalized ads based on the user’s behavior on only a single publisher’s website. You can change the setting now, but it will not go into effect until November 10.

    Google Surveys will shut down November 1, and data will only be available at until December 1. Not surprisingly, Google Opinion Rewards for Publishers will no longer serve new surveys to websites as of December 1. Note that the Google Opinion Rewards App for consumers will not be going away..

    Google Search results on mobile now show the website name, along with the web page title, and larger favicon. Ads are also more clearly labeled as “Sponsored”. If you are a website owner or developer, Google Search Central has information on how to use structured data to make sure your preferred site name is displayed. This update is available in English, French, Japanese, and German, with more languages soon.

    Google’s Webmaster Guidelines is now called Search Essentials. It has been reorganized into Technical requirements, Spam policies, and Key best practices, with clearer explanations and more examples.

    Facebook will be shutting down Instant Articles in April. That’s one more step away from supporting news organizations and publishers. What is there instead? Short form TikTok-like videos.

    The default Tumblr theme is getting an update. This includes more consistent links to features like gifting, tipping and messaging. There’s also an updated blog URL: instead of, it is updated to

    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: Photo of clouds by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay. Free to use, no attribution required.