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Creator Weekly: Google Bard, YouTube Shorts, Spotify Royalties

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I am thankful for so much, including my readers here.

This week is a bit light on updates, probably because of the holiday, but even so there’s news for YouTubers, music artists, website owners, and, of course, generative AI users.

Read this newsletter on the web

Top news and updates this week
  • Reminder: Google will start deleting inactive accounts in December.
  • YouTube Studio now separates long form videos from Shorts on the Create tab.
  • Google’s Bard AI can better understand YouTube videos.
  • Google Meet can detect when you raise your actual hand to raise your virtual hand.
  • Spotify has updated their policies to (hopefully) improve royalties for legit artists.
  • OpenAI has been through a lot this week, ending up with the original CEO, but a new board.
Read on for details and additional updates!

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Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Google: 7 ways to celebrate Native American Heritage Month with Google

Flickr: Honoring Tradition and Culture: Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Google Will Start Deleting Active Accounts in December

Back in May, Google announced they would start deleting inactive accounts in December. And now the time has come.

If there is an account you haven’t signed into for at least 2 years, now is the time to do that.

Google has sent email notices for accounts slated for deletion, but that is only helpful if you are monitoring that email. So I recommend spending some time thinking about any old accounts you might have.

Exceptions, that make an account “active” even if you haven’t signed in.
  • Purchase of a Google product, app or subscription that is current.
  • Purchase of digital content like a book or movie.
  • A gift card with a monetary balance in your account.
  • Your account uses Family Link to manage an active child’s account.
  • Your account owns a published app or game with financial transactions associated with it.
  • According to the original announcement, Google “does not have plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time”.
How to recover your Google Account.

Bard Understands YouTube Videos

Bard, Google’s AI chatbot, now has better understanding of the content in YouTube videos.

You’ll need to enable the YouTube extension in Bard (

Then do a search for video content. Once the results load, you can ask about specific content in the videos provided in the first response.

The example provided by Google: “For example, if you’re looking for videos on how to make olive oil cake, you can now also ask how many eggs the recipe in the first video requires.”

You can access Bard at
Learn more about Bard Extensions.

Video Creator Updates

Your YouTube channel content in YouTube Studio ( > Content) now separates Shorts from long for Videos, making your content easier to manage. (This is great!)

Twitch is organizing #TogetherForGood, encouraging all streamers to host a charity stream between November 28 (“Giving Tuesday”) and December 3. Affiliates and Partners can set it up so members of their community who donate are eligible for a “soon-to-be-revealed, exclusive chat badge.”

Now anyone can download your Instagram Reels unless you disable that option (it’s on by default if you are over 18). The downloaded Reel will be watermarked with the Instagram logo and the uploader’s Instagram handle.

TikTok launched a new mobile effects editor, which lets creators make interaction-based special effects on their mobile device.

TikTok lets you customize your “For You” feed by conversationally entering what you would like to see more or less of.

Music and Podcasting

Spotify is updating its royalties policies to reduce the impact of “artificial streaming” and other factors on royalty payments.
  • Along with improved artificial streaming detection technology, they will begin “charging labels and distributors per track when flagrant artificial streaming is detected on their content.”
  • Tracks will have to have at least 1000 streams in the previous year to generate recorded royalties. This will stop tiny amounts being accrued by tracks that will never receive a payout, and let that money be distributed to tracks that are listened-to.
  • “Noise” (white noise, nature sounds, etc) tracks will have to be at least 2 minutes long to earn royalties. That prevents the system from being gamed by creating multiple short tracks.
Save songs you hear on TikTok to your Spotify Liked Songs playlist without switching apps. This is available to Spotify users in the US and UK (Free or Premium).
Web Publishers and Search

Google is deprecating the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool in Search Console on January 8. They are also setting the minimum crawling speed to a lower rate “comparable to the old crawl rate limits”. launched staging sites in May as a way to test new themes and plugins. You can now sync your staging site with your live site. This is limited to Business or Commerce sites.

Photos on the Web

Flickr has launched improved stats for Flickr Pro accounts. They have expanded the data shown to 36 weeks (9 months), you can download your stats as a CSV file (which can be imported into a spreadsheet), and the stats page has been redesigned.

Social Media

According to Social Media Today, LinkedIn is touting their Collaborative Articles as its “fastest-growing traffic driver”. LinkedIn posts an AI-generated prompt, then calls on users it thinks are “experts” to write about that topic. Frequent contributors get a special badge. And apparently people are reading those posts.

X will be adding back web page titles to the image on shared URL cards.

There are more reports that X at least occasionally displays ads next to problematic content (racism, antisemitism, misinformation, dangerous conspiracy theories). Amidst those reports (and X’s angry rebuttals), X has “opted out of independent auditing by Ernst & Young for its Media Rating Council (MRC) brand safety credentials.” Many big advertisers (Apple, IBM, Disney, and more), have stopped advertising on X, and it doesn’t seem like anything is being done to try to bring them back.

Mastodon is testing reminders when interacting with a stranger or an old post in the Mastodon for Android app as an attempt to “curb unnecessary negativity”.

Bluesky is about to launch a public web interface. This will let people view posts without being logged into an account. While they have always made clear that posts are public, this is going to increase post visibility, for better or worse. There’s more information in the Bluesky User FAQ.

Threads has a new toggle that prevents posts from appearing on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s also now possible to delete your Threads without deleting your Instagram account.

On Instagram you can set the audience of your Post or Reel to just your Close Friends.

More AI Updates

OpenAI has been going through some interesting times. In the past week, their CEO Sam Altman was fired by their non-profit board, then had an interim CEO, who was replaced by former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. Microsoft announced Altman would head up a new AI division, and then Altman was reinstated as OpenAI CEO with a new board. The head of the new board? Bret Taylor, who previously was the chairman of Twitter, leading the board as it forced Musk to complete the purchase of the platform.
Here are some of the articles I’ve been reading to try to make sense of the weirdness of it all.

Communication and Collaboration

Google Meet can now detect when you raise your actual hand to raise your virtual hand. This is web only and is off by default (enable it by going to More (3 dot icon) > Reactions > Hand Raise Gesture). This is rolling out to most Google Workspace users, including Google Workspace Individual.

The updated Google Drive Android app has an updated and improved interface to use your camera as a scanner.

More Reading

Angie Wang @ New Yorker: Is My Toddler a Stochastic Parrot?

Google has launched a fully updated Chrome Web Store with a new design, new extension categories, and improved navigation. Check it out at

Lauren Goode @ Wired: Del Harvey Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety “Finally Breaks her Silence”

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 November 18 edition here.