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Creator Weekly: YouTube Creator Music (and new leadership), Instagram Broadcast Channels, Twitter Security

The big stories for creators this week: Susan Wojcicki steps down as YouTube CEO, Creator Music is available to US creators in the YouTube Partner Program, Instagram launches broadcast channels, and Twitter limits 2FA with SMS to paid accounts (you should use an authenticator app or security key instead!).

There’s also news about AI chatbots, worldwide disinformation campaigns, and more.

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Change of leadership at YouTube

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced she is stepping down. Her replacement is YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan, who has been at YouTube since 2015.

Wojcicki has been part of Google for almost 25 years, ever since she rented her garage to graduate students Larry Page and Sergei Brin and decided to join their fledgling company. Over the years she has been involved in marketing, developing image, book and video search, acquiring YouTube and ad company Doubleclick and was the Senior Vice President of Ads. She took the lead at YouTube in 2014.

She had a difficult job balancing the interests of creators, advertisers and viewers. As noted by James Hale at Tubefilter, she “led YouTube through what was by far its most turbulent and growth-filled decade of existence.”

As one social media marketing consultant noted “... while there were things that upset creators and fans alike, like demonetization videos or removing dislikes, it felt like she was steering the ship toward a North Star versus chasing other platforms or content trends.”

The new head of YouTube Neal Mohan is a long time associate of Wojcicki, has worked on the ads side of the business, and has long supported creators.

More reporting:

Chris Stokel-Walker @ Fast Company: How Susan Wojcicki quietly guided YouTube to video-sharing dominance

YouTube Liaison Rene Ritchie points to two interviews with Neal Mohan where he talks about his care for the creator community.

Nilay Patel @ The Verge (in 2021) YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan on the algorithm, monetization and the future of creators

Creator Music is Here

The new Creator Music is now available to all US creators in the YouTube Partner Program. This allows you to license music tracks for use on your long form videos.

The free music from the YouTube Audio Library is still available. But note that there is currently a bug where filtering for free songs doesn’t work correctly. The workaround is to search for “youtube audio library”.

Read the FAQ for more information on how the licensing in Creator Music works. And check out Creator Insider’s mythbusting video.

Even if you aren’t sure you will use it, check out the Creator Music page ( if it’s available in your YouTube Studio. On mine there is a promo where YouTube will pay for the first license purchase (up to $15).

Instagram launches broadcast channels

Instagram launched a new feature called broadcast channels, which allows creators to make announcements to their followers. There is no commenting, but followers can read and add an emoji to messages and vote in polls. Broadcast channels can also be limited to paid subscribers.

It is currently only available to select US creators, including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. You can follow his channel. You can find the broadcast channels you follow in your inbox in the mobile app.

You can sign up for the waitlist for this feature here. There are plans to expand the feature to Facebook and Messenger.

This seems like it will be a good way for creators to share messages that would otherwise be lost in followers’ feeds or disappear after 24 hours in Stories. And it (not surprisingly) seems like it would be a good replacement for Twitter for making announcements.

Large Language Models are not actually intelligent (but they are fun to play with)

Stephen Wolfram explains how “AI” like ChatGPT works in an accessible way (it’s still technically complex!). While the output can be very human-like, it’s not actually thinking or analyzing data or understanding “truth” or “facts”. It is just writing based on the probability of what word is likely to be the next in a sentence, which sometimes is not factual at all.

As James Vincent at The Verge notes, it can be dangerous to encourage the illusion of sentience in what amounts to advanced autocomplete software.

Local SEO firm Sterling Sky tested the ChatGPT Large Language Model to help write content for local businesses. As others have reported, the content it writes is full of incorrect information.

ChatGPT gave someone David Lee’s (public) phone number when asked for their Signal number. Apparently it picks different phone numbers when prompted.

New York Times reporter Kevin Roose had a strange conversation with Microsoft Bing’s chatbot, as did Plank CEO Privahini Bradoo. Simon Willison has more and speculates on why it’s so weird.

Even just summarizing facts from a document the Bing chatbot gets it wrong. And worse, it also seems to make up (or misrepresent) sources for what seem to be factual statements.

Microsoft’s response has been to cap the use of the Bing chat to 50 chat turns per day, with only up to 5 chat turns per session, because “very long chat sessions can confuse the underlying chat model”.

YouTube and Video

YouTube is testing the ability to create and run analytics on podcasts in YouTube Studio.

YouTube is testing the ability to add images to Community post polls on iOS. This option is already available for Android and on the web.

Discord Stage channels - designed to run events on the platform - are getting live video, screen sharing and text chat. Community servers that use video in Stage channels can hold up to 50 people, with up to 300 people on servers boosted to Tier 3.

TikTok is launching a live trivia series with cash prizes. The catch? It’s only in the US and as it is sponsored by the movie “John Wick Chapter 4”, that will be the trivia theme. It will be interesting to see if this is the start of more interactive live events (on TikTok and further to YouTube, Instagram and so on).

Instagram is removing live shopping in March. Creators could tag products for live streaming for fans to purchase. Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today points out that live shopping is very popular in China, but hasn’t caught on in the west, and this may be a problem for TikTok’s revenue in the US.

Twitch streamers can now tag other channels in their stream titles to “share the love”.

Pinterest now allows creators to upload videos up to 5 minutes long as Idea Pins.

Social Media: Twitter

Twitter announced that as of March 19, you must subscribe to Twitter Blue to use SMS for 2-factor authentication (2FA). The reason given is that “bad actors” “abuse” phone-based 2FA (maybe they are generating a lot of SMS fees?). In any case, I think it is important to have 2FA enabled, which means switching from SMS as the second factor to an authenticator app (like Google Authenticator) or a security key. There are instructions here. Once you have 2FA set up, be sure to print out your backup code!

Security expert Rachel Tobac notes that only 2.6% of Twitter users have 2FA enabled, and the vast majority of those who do use text messages as the second factor. That is a lot of less secure accounts! Google’s approach is to automatically enroll accounts in two-step verification with your mobile device as a security key.

One of the benefits of owning your own social media platform is that you don’t have to be at the mercy of the algorithm. Reportedly Elon Musk was so displeased that President Biden’s Super Bowl tweet got more engagement than his tweet that his cousin (who works at Twitter) called in a team of engineers to pull an all-nighter to “fix” it so that Musk’s tweets were boosted. Zoe Schiffer and Casey Newton report that after these changes flooded people’s “For You” feed with Musk’s tweets, settings were adjusted to reduce the boost a bit (but not remove it).

While the data clearly shows a big spike in impressions on Musks tweets last Monday, Musk claims the report is “bogus”, that there was a bug that’s now fixed (maybe related to how blocking affected the algorithm), and says he will be taking legal action against the person he thinks leaked the information. Schiffer and Newton stand by their reporting.

Related: BlocktheBlue has a blocklist of all 268,000 Twitter Blue paid subscribers, if you would rather not see tweets from blue checks in your Twitter feed.

Social Media Services

With developers losing access to the free version of the Twitter API, some social media services are removing Twitter-related services.

Social media monitoring service Mention has removed Twitter as a crawled source in their free plan.

Social blog site Tumblr has removed the option to link a Twitter account, which was used for automatically sharing new post links and automatically displaying recent Tweets on your blog.

Possibly related, Hootsuite is eliminating their free plan entirely in March. Their least expensive paid plan is $99 per month, which is quite a jump from free.

Buffer (which still has a free plan with Twitter posting), now lets you schedule posts on Mastodon.


Google Meet now offers 360 degree video backgrounds on mobile devices.

There is better integration of Google Contacts in Gmail on the web. You can now create and edit contacts without having to open

Reminders from Google Calendar and Google Assistant will automatically be migrated to Google Tasks later this year. If you have a personal Google account, you will be able to voluntarily migrate starting March 6. Reminders created in Keep will not be migrated to Tasks, but will no longer be displayed in Google Calendar.

The info war

Google’s Jigsaw ran a “prebunking” experiment to counter disinformation campaigns against Ukrainian refugees. You can watch the videos they ran on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok in Czechia, Poland and Slovakia. Results were mixed, but ultimately “the share of viewers who could correctly identify these misinformation tactics increased by as much as 8 percentage points after viewing one of these videos.”

Meanwhile in an office building in Israel, Team Jorge runs cyberattacks and international disinformation campaigns for money. Haaretz has an in-depth report, as does The Guardian. They use software called AIMS (Advanced Impact Media Solutions) to create tens of thousands of phone verified accounts on different platforms on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Amazon, Netflix and more. It’s troubling that it seems so easy.


In this week’s special issue of Science, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the transistor, the journal includes a condemnation of co-inventor William Shockley as “a charlatan who used his scientific credentials to advance racist ideology” and “part of a cadre of physicists who advanced ideas outside of their area of expertise to promote a right-wing agenda.” They include an acknowledgement that they should not have given him a platform and they should do better.

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: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels (free for commercial use):