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Weekly Update - January 14, 2023: YouTube Partner Program, WordPress Newsletter, Meet Reactions


2023 is off to a running start, with updates for video creators, social media, newsletters, video calling and more.

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YouTube Partners: Start earning from your YouTube Shorts

Back in September 2022, YouTube announced there would be new monetization options in 2023, and here we are. Starting February 1, channels in the YouTube Partner Program can start earning from Shorts as well as longer videos.

If your YouTube channel is currently in the YouTube Partner Program, you need to agree to the new terms and conditions. Learn about the new terms.

Sign in to YouTube Studio on desktop (studio.youtube.com) or in the YouTube Studio mobile app. You should see an “Action Required” banner prompting you to review the new terms.

The new terms are now modular. There are base terms that everyone must accept and a separate set of “Watch Page terms” for monetizing your long form videos with ads and YouTube Premium, and a Commerce Product Addendum to enable fan funding features.

The big change is the new Shorts Monetization option. Shorts monetization is relatively complicated, compared to running ads on your content. Ads run in the Shorts feed between videos, and ad revenue is pooled, minus money YouTube pays to its music partners. Money in that Creator Pool is then split between monetizing creators based on Shorts views in each country. YouTube has a detailed breakdown of how that works.

So what do you need to do?

Shorts ad revenue sharing starts February 1, so if you are already monetizing your channel accept the new terms before then to start earning.

You must accept the new terms by July 10 to remain in the YouTube Partner Program.

If your channel is not yet in the YouTube Partner Program, you need to meet the eligibility requirements, either with long form video watch hours or Shorts views.
  • 1000 subscribers
  • 4000 valid public watch hours in the past year (for long-form videos on demand)
    OR 10 million valid public Shorts views in the past 90 days
Check your monetization settings in YouTube Studio (studio.youtube.com/channel/UC/monetization) to see your channel’s eligibility.

Once your channel is in the YouTube Partner Program, you can monetize both longer videos and Shorts.

Video

YouTube Creator Insider (video) announced updates to YouTube Analytics, including subscribers by format, filter “content your audience watches” by format, and thumbnails display in Advanced Mode to make it easier to identify your videos.

Richard Nieva at Forbes took a look at short form video at YouTube and its competition with TikTok. YouTube has two advantages: the ability to create in both long and short formats and (the big one) monetization.

YouTube is currently testing hashtag suggestions in Shorts titles. If you are in the test you will see the suggestions based on your channel’s content during upload.

Tumblr launched live streaming in the US. It’s currently only available on mobile, but will be coming to desktop (and more countries) in the future. You can designate trusted viewers as “bouncers” to moderate your stream. And you can stream anything “as long as you keep it clean.” And there is monetization by being gifted Diamonds that you can cash out. Engagement is encouraged by giving everyone a Viewer Level that can be ranked up by watching streams, sending Diamonds, and helping streamers rank up. More in the Tumblr Live FAQ.

On TikTok you can now see a few reasons why a video was recommended to you.

Facebook really wants people to create Reels. It now lets you create a “ready-made” Reel from your Stories, photos and videos.

Eligible creators can now upload video directly to Patreon and create a sneak peek preview of patron-only videos. This is available at “no additional cost” through 2023.

Web Publishing

Newsletter platforms like Substack (and many others) give your newsletters each their own landing page and comments, very much like a blog. So the launch of WordPress.com Newsletter doesn’t come as a surprise. It includes all the usual newsletter features, including unlimited email subscribers, scheduling, and customizable layouts.

If you build WordPress sites for others, there is now a site preview link that you can share with clients or your team.

Presentations

Google has made several improvements for presenting with Google Slides:

Conversations

Google Meet has finally launched in-meeting reactions. 🦀 🎉 Originally announced for fall 2021, and then spring of 2022, it’s now available for the web and iOS, with Android getting the feature soon. If you have a personal Google account, it should be available now. Google Workspace accounts will have the feature soon.

Google Chat has made it easier to create group conversations. You can now use the same flow as starting a one-to-one conversation.

Social Media: Fediverse

The Medium blogging platform’s new-ish CEO Tony Stubblebine is embracing Mastodon. There is now an official Medium Mastodon instance (me.dm), meant to be a “valuable home base” for Medium’s writers. It will be interesting to see how that works. Unlike Twitter, Facebook or other social media, companies (or individuals) can own and manage their own Mastodon server. Each server has its own local feed, in addition to the federated feed with posts from other servers. That means this maybe can really be a community for Medium’s writers.

Mozilla (parent company to Firefox) will be testing its own publicly accessible Fediverse instance at Mozilla.Social. Their goal is to “contribute to the healthy and sustainable growth of a federated social space that doesn’t just operate but thrives on its own terms, independent of profit- and control-motivated tech firms.”

Social Media: Twitter

Twitter has been going through a lot of changes, even over the holidays. The company is downsizing, closing data centers and offices (reportedly employees were kicked out of the Singapore office because Twitter didn’t pay the rent). New features are launching (sometimes for just a short time). It’s a roller coaster.

As an update, Twitter’s ban on links to other social media platforms, noted in the December 17 weekly update, was lifted and all reference to it in the Twitter help center was removed. I think the new policy lasted maybe 3 days? It’s hard to keep track.

Twitter has made view counts visible on posts. “Views” are from logged-in users anywhere on Twitter (Search, Profile, Home and so forth). It does not include views from Tweets embedded on other sites. It’s an odd thing to see how little engagement most posts get, even with thousands of impressions. And depressing to see how few impressions my Tweets get. It’s been noted that it seems to be discouraging threads and replies, so I’m not sure what the goal is.

Instead of a “Home” and “Latest” feed, you can now switch between the new “For You” and “Following” tabs. This is currently available on iOS and the web, and will be coming to Android. As a frequent switcher between the algorithmic and chronological feeds, I think this may be good.

If you pay for Twitter Blue, you can now upload videos up to 60 minutes long. Everyone else still has a 10 minute limit. Do people watch long videos on Twitter?

Twitter is launching a new paid gold checkmark for brands, along with “affiliate badges” on the profiles of employees. You can see what that looks like on Twitter manager Esther Crawford’s announcement Tweet. (She has a “verified because the profile is an affiliate of Twitter” blue checkmark and a Twitter icon). Also of note, businesses now have a square avatar, rather than a round one.

Yesterday a number of third party Twitter apps, such as Tweetbot and Twitterrific, started having trouble connecting to Twitter. It’s not clear whether this is a temporary problem, or Twitter made changes to its API to block these services.

More Social Media

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri says that their focus for 2023 is “Inspire people to be creative, help people discover things they love, spark connections between people”. Along those lines, navigation will be changing in February to “make it easier for people to share and connect with their friends and interests.” (which sounds a bit Google+-in-2015). I like the announced change, with the content creation button being moved front and center, and the Instagram Shop tab removed. But it’s not clear Instagram really knows where it wants to go.

Facebook is shutting down its Creator Studio, and having creators migrate to Business Suite. Business Suite has analytics, scheduling and messaging, and sounds like it has more, rather than fewer, features.

According to Search Engine Journal, LinkedIn has a number of new features planned for 2023, including automated captions on videos, post scheduling, content analytics, and more accessibility and job search options.

The Amazon app has a new “Inspire” button with a personalized feed of videos and images from brands and influencers. You can “like” content and, of course, there is a prominent buy button. This is rolling out to users in the US on the iOS app.

What else I've been reading

There’s still a few days to enter a video for the Internet Archive’s Public Domain Day celebration. Winners will be announced and have their video shown at the in-person celebration in San Francisco on January 20th. A lot of works entered the public domain in the US on January 1, including The Complete Sherlock Holmes, movies like Metropolis and the Jazz Singer, pop hits from 1927 and much more. Need ideas? Check out The Home Movie Scenario Book.

Author Catherynne Valente wrote a personal piece about the rise and fall of online communities: “Stop Talking to Each Other and Start Buying Things: Three Decades of Survival in the Desert of Social Media”. It’s about Twitter (of course), and also Prodigy and the Russian government’s purchase of LiveJournal, and building community and more.

Linda Codega @ Gizmodo reported “Dungeons & Dragons new license tightens its grip on competition.” This could affect even small creators. And EFF’s Kit Walsh has a legal analysis of D&D’s Open Gaming License.

Apple wants businesses on Apple Maps, Wallet and other apps, and is encouraging businesses to claim their location with Apple Business Connect.

Flickr Print Shop is a new way to purchase prints of photos from Flickr creators. Currently there is a small group of photographers testing this, but it will be opening up to US users with a Pro account soon.

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.
 
Header image background: Rain by Markus Spiske from Pixabay (free for commercial use): https://pixabay.com/photos/rain-stoppers-water-window-pane-1461288/

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