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Creator Weekly: Gemini AI, Podcasts in YouTube Music, 2023 Trends

I hope you are staying warm! This week Google announced Gemini, its new AI model, and there are new AI features in Google and Meta products. Plus there are updates for website owners, video creators, bloggers, podcasters and more.

Top news and updates this week

  • If you are having trouble with YouTube, the official English support community is now available for questions. Review the community best practices before you post.
  • Google launched the Gemini AI model, with integration in Bard and the Pixel 8 Pro.
  • Start migrating your Google Podcasts to YouTube Music - and add new podcast RSS feeds.
  • Google Search will only show video thumbnails next to results where the video is the main content of the page. This will affect video indexing, which you can find in your Search Console reports.
  • You can now use your Pixel 6 or newer phone as a webcam for your computer.
  • Meta released their free text to image generator in the US, along with a number of other Meta AI updates.
Read on for details and additional updates!

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New Tips and Tutorials

Migrate your legacy (pre-Google) Blogger account to Google. This applies to Blogger accounts that have not been signed into since 2007. If you have signed in more recently than that, you don’t need to do anything.

2023 Recaps

‘Tis the season for annual recaps! In addition to those announced last week, here’s what you can find this week:

YouTube looked at trending topics, creators and songs for the year. Check the list to see if your fave is there (or if you, like me, missed all the popular stuff).

Your personal Reddit Recap is here - just click the banana at top right when you are signed in on desktop or in the mobile app. It shows your top comment, communities and you get a skill card based on your karma for the year.

Reddit also posted a non-personalized recap of the year with top posts and subreddits, plus predictions for 2024.

Twitch Recap will be available December 11. There will be a Recap game and a special badge for the most engaged Twitch users of 2023. And they are encouraging streamers to go live with a Recap Stream for a chance to be featured on the Together for Recap Shelf.

TikTok announced their hits and trends for 2023. Not familiar? At The Verge Mia Sato explains why TikTok’s biggest hits are videos you’ve probably never seen.

GIPHY shared their top GIFs and GIF searches for the year. Have you used the top GIF? See them all.

Instagram is predicting Gen Z trends for 2024, as is Pinterest.

Google Announces Gemini AI

This week Google announced Gemini, the “most capable and general” AI model they have built.

There are three versions, Ultra (highly complex drafts), Pro (wide range of tasks), and Nano (on device tasks). Ultra does as well or better than OpenAI’s GPT-4 across a number of benchmarks.

Google’s announcement was accompanied by an amazing video demonstrating Gemini’s “multimodal” ability to “reason across text, images, audio, video and code.”

The video has been widely criticized as deceptive, because it is heavily edited while suggesting it’s a real-time demo. The Google for Developers blog has a detailed article about the actual prompts that were used. It still seems pretty amazing to me, even if it’s not quite as slick as the promo video.

You can try a version of Gemini Pro in the Bard chatbot ( in English. Next year Google plans to launch “Bard Advanced” powered by Gemini Ultra. The promo video shows Mark Rober using Bard to plan a video creating “the world’s most accurate paper airplane.”

NotebookLM ( is an experimental AI project that lets you upload documents, and then will help summarize, organize and engage with those docs as you read and take notes. It now is starting to use Gemini Pro. NotebookLM is available in the US (18+).

The Pixel 8 Pro runs Gemini Nano (which does not require a network connection). It is powering:
  • Summarize in the Recorder app
  • Smart Reply in Gboard (currently available in WhatsApp)
  • Google is also “starting to experiment” using Gemini to power the Search Generative Experience, making it faster.
More info about Gemini:

Gemini - Google DeepMind
Learn more about Gemini

New Meta AI text to image generator

Another day, another text-to-image generator. This time it’s trained on public Instagram and Facebook images. If you have a Meta account, you can try it for free at

Note that a Meta account is not the same as your Facebook or Instagram account. If you have a Meta account you can link your Facebook or Instagram, but that is not required. Choose the “log in” option to create a Meta account with your email.

Meta also announced a bunch of new Meta AI-related features (some of which are still under development):
  • If you use the Meta AI image generator in Messenger of Instagram Chat you and others in the chat can “reimagine” a generated image with a short text prompt.
  • Meta AI may produce Reels in response to a question or prompt.
  • Using Meta AI to assist posting on Facebook with AI-generated post prompts, suggestions for new chats, surfacing information in Groups and more.
  • They are testing suggested replies to DMs for creators to interact with their audience members.
  • Soon there will be automatic invisible watermarks on AI-generated images.

Migrate your podcasts from Google Podcasts to YouTube Music

In September Google announced that Google Podcasts would be shutting down, but there would be an option to move your podcasts to YouTube Music. If you are in the US, that time has come.

There have also been improvements to the podcast listening experience in YouTube Music.

Here is the latest information about migrating your Google Podcasts.
  • Only US accounts can currently migrate. Google Podcasts will be discontinued in the US “as early as April 2024”.
  • You can export your podcasts as a OPML file to import into a different service or you can export your data with Google Takeout ( ).
  • You can add any podcast to YouTube music using the show’s RSS feed link (instructions).
  • You can listen to podcasts offline without a YouTube Premium subscription (more info).
  • New episodes will automatically download.
  • You can resume listening to a podcast where you left off.
  • You will soon (“in the coming months”) be able to mark as listened to.
  • There’s better integration for podcast playing with Google Assistant on wearable devices (like a watch) or car.
  • You can find more podcasts on the YouTube Music homepage podcast shelf.
More information: Migrate your Google Podcast subscriptions

Video Creator Updates

YouTube has rolled out the option to pause comments on your video. Pausing prevents people from posting comments, but previously posted comments are still visible for everyone. Learn more about comment settings.

You can now “Collab” on a Short when using the Shorts editor in the YouTube iOS app (not available for Android yet). This lets you use all or part of another video on a split screen where you can react or copy or otherwise engage the original video.

You can now get a Microsoft Copilot AI-generated summary of videos (on YouTube or elsewhere) you are watching in Microsoft Edge.

Twitch is shutting down in Korea, apparently due to the high cost of operation there. This means that creators with Korea as their country of residence will no longer be able to monetize starting February 27, and viewers in Korea will no longer be able to make purchases. Twitch is recommending Korean streamers simulcast to other platforms to start their migration off of Twitch. Streamers outside Korea may see a drop in earnings if they have a significant Korean audience.

The latest update to the Google Pixel 8 Pro uses Google Photos to upload video to Google’s cloud where it’s processed to adjust “color, lighting, stabilization and graininess”. The device also has Video Boost to enable Night Sight video, reducing noise on videos recorded under low-light conditions (including timelapses).

StreamYard On-Air now integrates with Zapier to manage webinar registrations.

Music and Podcasting

Spotify is ending its production of two popular critically acclaimed podcasts (Heavyweight and Stolen) and there are fewer big podcasting deals on other platforms. But Scott Nover at Slate reports that podcast popularity is growing, ad revenue is increasing, and the “middle class” of podcasting is doing fine. What’s hurting are big celebrity deals and, unfortunately, the support of more expensive reporting-intensive journalism.

Web Publishers and Search

Google Search Results in Video mode now only takes users to a page where the video is the main above-the-fold content. Google Search Console video indexing page may show “No video indexed”. Examples of pages that will be affected include a blog post where the video is supplemental to the text on the page or a product detail page with complementary video.

WordPress’s “State of the Word” is live on December 11. If you aren’t attending in person, you can watch live on YouTube.

The WordPress JetPack mobile app has gone through a redesign so it looks fresh and is easier to use.

The link referrer for Threads is now, rather than the previously used That way you can see in your website analytics if Threads is sending you traffic.

AdSense will be “launching support for programmatic bidding on inventory eligible for limited ads” in the first quarter of 2024. Limited ads do not collect, share or use personal data for ad personalization (this is one of the features to comply with the EU’s GDPR). Google only places cookies for invalid traffic detection. If I’m understanding correctly, this will let Google provide contextual ads from more sources (including Google Demand and Authorized Buyers). Learn more.

Photos and Image Design on the Web

The latest Pixel update includes new “AI model enabled” features in Google Photos, including Balance Light to improve lighting in portraits, and Unblur for cats and dogs.

Social Media

LinkedIn is updating their newsletters with the option to duplicate a draft to edit and post (like using a template), better preview before posting a draft, and enhanced analytics.

Meta’s Threads may start launching to European users December 14. If you are in Europe, search for the term Ticket on Instagram, and if it will be available to you soon you’ll see a ticket icon to click to get a countdown.

Threads now supports lined topic tags (with or without the #). In a departure from Instagram, a tag can include multiple words or an emoji, it can only be inserted using the post editor and you can only add one to a post. Check out the Tech Threads tag which tech folks are using to introduce themselves, or just browse some food. Instagram and Threads CEO Adam Mosseri said “the hope is this design focuses tags more on communities and less on engagement hacking”.

Bluesky will allow users to opt out of having their posts visible to not-signed-in viewers.

Tumblr has new badges you can purchase to use to decorate your blog. And they are testing Communities (see Tumblr Labs’ post if you are interested in testing this).

More AI Updates

Microsoft Copilot is being updated to use GPT-4 Turbo (OpenAI’s latest model) and updated DALL-E 3.

Meta announced the AI Alliance, a new international group with the goal of “fostering an open community and enabling developers and researchers to accelerate responsible innovation in AI while ensuring scientific rigor, trust, safety, security, diversity and economic competitiveness.”

The AI Alliance includes more than 50 AI companies, companies with AI teams, universities, science agencies, AI benchmarking tool creators, hardware and infrastructure companies, and “the champions of frameworks that drive platform software.” Notably not included: Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Adobe.

Communication and Collaboration

If you experienced the Google Drive bug that made your files disappear, there is now a fix. Follow these instructions.

You can now use your Pixel 6 or newer phone as a webcam for supported laptop, desktop or other device with USB Video Class (UVC) support. Learn more.

Google Chat now has an improved search results page with highlighted matching text and will only show the part of the message that matches the query.

Google Chat also is rolling out the option to mute a conversation or space. Muted conversations will not appear in Home, will be dropped to the bottom of your conversation list and will not generate notifications (unless you are @ mentioned).

Meta is launching end-to-end encryption by default in Messenger. They are also separating Facebook and Instagram Messenger, after years of pushing for those to be connected.

Smart Compose in Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings can now do math. Type out an equation, ending with = and you can see the answer as suggested text. Note that this will take several weeks to roll out.

You can now add a placeholder chip in a Google Doc document. For example, you could have a “Date” chip that just says Date. You can click it to enter a specific date.

It will soon be possible to limit Google Forms to specific individuals. If you are using a personal Google Account, with or without a Google Workspace Individual subscription, you can sign up for early access here.

Ars Technica explains how Gmail’s AI-powered spam detection is its biggest security upgrade in years .

eSignature is now generally available (not in beta) for Google Workspace Individual subscribers. This lets you request a signature on a Google Doc document. The feature is in beta for some Google Workspace editions.

More Reading

Annalee Newitz @ New Scientist: Trust and safety – the most important tech job you’ve never heard of
Emily Baker-White @ Forbes: Who Is @BasedBeffJezos, The Leader Of The Tech Elite’s ‘E/Acc’ Movement?
Jonathan Katz @ The Atlantic: Substack Has a Nazi Problem
And just for fun at the NY Times: Dancing With the Stairs: From Vaudeville to TikTok

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 December 3 edition here..

Image via Canva. Free for commercial use, no attribution required.


  1. Were files not backed up to Google Drive then? It seems to indicate that if you have no other backups you may be out of luck.

    1. My understanding is that this is a problem for some users who had it set up for their desktop to sync with Google Drive. So if those files are lost and there's not another copy somewhere then yes, they might be out of luck.

  2. I always keep multiple backups. People in the Microsoft OneDrive community are always complaining about OneDrive and files getting lost so it's not just Google Drive experiencing issues.

    1. That's a good idea for anything that's important. People get confused when I say that OneDrive and Google Drive aren't really backups.


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