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Creator Weekly: Magic AI tools in Google Photos & Canva, YouTube Partner Program, X removes headlines

This week Google announced new AI editing tools in Google Photos and Canva announced a whole Magic Suite of AI editing tools. It seems like an ongoing theme. There are also updates from YouTube, Google Search and for Google Drive, Calendar, Meet and Chat.

Top news and updates this week
  • Google announced the new Pixel phones and new Google Photos editing tools.
  • Canva launched Magic Studio, a suite of generative AI image, video, presentation and text tools.
  • Patreon now allows all creators to include free members and use the Commerce platform to sell audio, video and other digital files. Plus it has a blobby blurry new logo.
  • Is it still worth it to share links on social media? Traffic from X (Twitter) and Facebook to news sites has plummeted and X is no longer showing link previews.
  • Google Earth projects are now stored in Google Drive, accessible from all of your devices and available for collaboration.
  • Google’s Bard AI is being built into Google Assistant.
  • More updates for YouTube, StreamYard, Instagram, and Google’s Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, and Chat.
Read on for details and additional updates!

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New Photo and Video Tools in Google Photos and the new Pixel 8 Pro

This week was Google’s annual hardware announcement, with new phones (Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro), smart watch (Pixel Watch 2), and Pixel Buds Pro, new Android 14 features and new Google Photos editing options.

Here are some highlights for creative work:
  • The Pixel 8 Pro Camera lets you manually adjust shutter speed, focus and ISO.
  • Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro Camera use Dual Exposure to take two images simultaneously, one optimized for low light, and the other with high dynamic range for clear vivid videos in lower light.
  • The new Pixel 8 Pro camera offers Night Sight Video and HDR+ Video by offloading some of the processing to the cloud.
  • If you use a Pixel 6 (or higher) or Pixel Tablet to take RAW format photos, it is easier to open them in your favorite RAW image editor.
  • There are new AI-powered Google Photos editing features the Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro:
    • Best Take lets you choose the best expression for everyone in a group shot that has multiple takes
    • Magic Editor lets you reposition and resize people and objects and improve the lighting and background
    • Magic Audio Eraser lets you easily remove background noise from video.
    • Zoom Enhance fills in gaps between pixels in zoomed in images (Pixel 8 Pro only)
    • Improved Magic Eraser uses generative AI to remove larger “distractions”, including their shadows. (Pixel 8 Pro only)

Canva Magic Studio launches with AI image, video and presentation editing

Canva announced Magic Studio, a suite of generative AI tools. Most require a paid Canva Pro account, but some are available to free accounts.
  • Magic Design takes your uploaded content and creates designs, presentations and videos. (Free)
  • Magic Design for Video takes your video clips and images and creates a “short shareable” video with music. (Free)
  • Magic Switch converts your content from one form into another, such as a slide deck into a blog post or reformatting an image design for different platforms. This is an “upgrade” of the old Magic Resize tool. (Paid Pro account)
  • Video Background Remover: cut out the main subject of a video (Paid Pro account)
  • AI Photo Editor with Magic Grab to move around the main subject of the image, Magic Expand to expand your image (for example fill in the background to turn a landscape image into a vertical image), Magic Morph to transform text or shapes with written prompts, Magic Edit an image with written prompts. (Only Magic Edit is available with free accounts)
  • Magic Media in Canva Apps generates short videos or images from a text prompt. This is still rolling out. It appears it might be available for limited use for free accounts (with “credits” to use).
  • More generative AI apps, including AI text to image generators Imagen (from Google Cloud) and DALL-E (from Open AI). There are apps for text, music, images and more.
  • Magic Animate automatically animates still graphics in images, videos and presentations. (Paid Pro account)
  • Magic Write writing assistant, which has been available since 2022. (Available to free accounts)

Canva Shield is Canva’s trust and safety features around their generative AI products, including safety reviews, automated moderation and reporting tools.

They do not use Canva Creator content or private content for training, unless the account opts in. Creators who do opt their content in for training will be eligible for royalties.

And they say “We’ll soon be open-sourcing the bias steering model we’ve developed in-house to help other companies build more inclusive representation in generative AI tools.”

More Video Creator Updates

YouTube’s first AI Shorts filter turns you into flowers. This is available on Android (iOS soon) outside the EU and UK. (via Creator Insider)

The YouTube Partner Program’s new lower eligibility requirements for fan funding is now available in more countries. See the full list of countries here.

YouTube has a brief guide to getting started as a YouTube Creator.

YouTube is testing a posts-only Community Posts feed on the Home tab on mobile.

YouTube shows how to select your Shorts thumbnail.

StreamYard now lets you add video backgrounds. This is the background the video feed tiles and other content are on top of. It is not for background replacement of your own video feed.

TikTok’s Creativity Program, offering payouts based on watch time, has expanded from the US to Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the UK.

Music and Podcasting

Spotify has tips for setting up your new Artist Profile.

Web Publishers

Google Search released their October 2023 spam update to reduce the visible spam in the search results.

An article in Wired claimed that Google invisibly modifies search queries to generate queries that “monetize better”. Google says they are confusing the ad keyword matching system with the completely separate organic search results. (“Flat out false”)

Newsletter platform Beehiiv acquired newsletter ad platform Swapstack. Sounds like a good match. More information about the new Beehiiv Ad Network.

Social Media

According to Axios and Digiday traffic from Facebook and X (Twitter) to top news sites has “plummeted” over the past 3 years. Will this finally convince news organizations to improve their own news sites, rather than relying on social media? Hopefully so.

X stopped showing article titles in the preview of shared links. All you see now is a big image with an overlaid domain name. It doesn’t obviously appear clickable, and people who don’t describe the content of the shared link make it hard to know what’s being shared. And yes, people are posting articles about Musk with fake headlines.

Apparently Musk also wants to remove most interaction numbers (comments, re-posts, etc) on X posts, leaving only “views” (impressions). He says it’s for “readability”, but it’s been pointed out that views are both inflated and easier to game than other metrics. 1000 views looks more active than 1 comment and 2 reposts.

X is also apparently showing click-baity ads that aren’t posts (you can’t like or reshare or report or block) that aren’t labeled as advertisements.

Washington Post online culture columnist Taylor Lorenz’s new book Extremely Online is out, and she has been doing media interviews talking about the creator economy, being a journalist online and social media. Check out her interviews with Platformer (especially on how journalists should use social media) and Mozilla (especially how Tumblr saved her life).

Instagram announced new features, including birthday effects, connection reminders, audio clips and selfie videos in Notes group chats, sharing Stories with specific groups, and new music features.

Meta and TikTok are considering offering ad-free paid subscriptions. Why? The Washington Post and Matt Navarra speculates it has to do with EU regulations that require offering an opt-out for tracking. People will have the choice of a paid account with no tracking or a free account where their tracked, and many will choose the latter.

Reddit has improved search, including a new media search tab.

Privacy and Security

This looks interesting if you are in the US: How to Take Back Control of Online Data With Apps Like Consumer Reports' Permission Slip

More AI Updates

Google is building Bard into Google Assistant. It will summarize your emails, write a social media post about an image, or answer your questions. It’s currently being tested and should become more widely available in the next few months.

Blogs on Gmail demonstrates using Bard with Google Workspace.

Generative AI wallpapers will be coming to Android 14, starting with the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Zoom AI Companion has new features: generate a meeting summary, write email messages, generate ideas in Zoom Whiteboard, with smart recordings divide meeting recordings into chapters.

The Mary Sue reports Authors Guild Issues Open Letter To AI Leaders Asking Them To Stop Stealing Writers’ Work

Communication and Collaboration

Google Earth has been updated so that projects reside in Google Drive, making them available from all of your devices and open to collaboration.

Google has a quick tutorial for adding emails to your Google Tasks.

Gmail has new requirements for bulk senders (sending 5,000+ emails per day to Gmail accounts)) including authentication, easy un-subscription and an enforced spam rate threshold. If you send bulk messages to Gmail accounts, be sure to review Google’s guidelines. Changes go into effect in February 2024.

There are now emoji reactions in Gmail.

Google also has a quick tip for building a habit tracker in Google Sheets.

New Google Docs documents will have new buttons that let you quickly insert “building blocks” templates (for example for an email, meeting notes or other formats).

There is a new Activity tab on the menu in Google Drive that lets you see pending access requests, new comments on files, and approvals on one page.

The new Chromebook Plus devices have AI-powered tools to enhance all video calls (on any platform), including canceling background noise, improving lighting and background blur.

Google has added two new features to Appointment Scheduling in Google Calendar: appointment slots as short as 5 minutes and the option to hide appointment schedules in Calendar view on the web. This is available to both Google Workspace accounts and personal Google Accounts.

Google Chat has improved search: “machine learning models will use the search term(s), most recent Chat conversations in direct messages and spaces, and other factors to help you find more accurate and relevant Chat message results.” You can toggle between “relevant” and “recent” search results order.

Meet meeting recordings will have clearer presentations. Maximum resolution of shared content is now 1080p (the maximum resolution of the video feeds is still 720p). This is only available to Workspace accounts with recording enabled.

Zoom announced Zoom Docs, an “AI-powered workspace” coming in 2024. You can use the AI Companion to summarize and populate information in the documents, and they can be edited collaboratively. It’s built in to Zoom, so you don’t need a separate window while you are in the meeting.


Filed under “this seems bad”: Bing Is Generating Images of SpongeBob Doing 9/11

Patreon is rebranding. It has a new logo (a vaguely P-shaped animated blob) and wordmark (in a blurry font). This is part of bigger changes to make Patreon a creator’s home base. Now all creators can have fans join for free, use the Commerce tools to sell audio, video and other digital files to anyone (even non-patrons); member profiles and group chats; and the new home page makes it easier for fans to find updates from their favorite creators. Creators are skeptical.

Wired reports Epic Games’ Sale of Bandcamp Has Left the Artist-Friendly Music Platform in Limbo. Importantly the sale included all it’s assets but not Bandcamp’s unionized staff.

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 the September 30 edition here.

Image: JillWellington on Pixabay (via Canva), free for commercial use.


  1. "The Israel-Hamas War Is Drowning X in Disinformation" Yes, I have seen a lot of this disinformation on X.

    1. It's really not good. The disinformation gets shared more than real information (which tends to be more cautious).

  2. I'm not sure what you mean by content in this context? Can you share more details?


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