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Creator Weekly: Podcasters move to YouTube, Google Assistant feature removal, AdSense consent messages

Creator Weekly January 13, 2024

This week there are updates for podcasters, web publishers and video creators. AdSense and AdMob publishers need to make sure their GDPR consent message is set. And Google is removing a bunch of features from Assistant (boo).

Top news and updates this week

  • AdSense and AdMob publishers should make sure a GDPR-compliant consent message is set before January 16.
  • Share a link to a specific time in a Google Drive video.
  • Cast TikTok videos to your TV with Chromecast.
  • Podcasters can upload audio episodes to YouTube with their RSS feed.
  • YouTube is updating its policies to prohibit depicting victims of crimes describing their own death.
  • Google Assistant is removing a bunch of features.
  • The Verge published an article claiming “Google shapes everything on the web”. Is it a SEO hit piece?
  • X (formerly Twitter) removed NFT Profiles, has a spam bot problem, and is looking to focus more on video.
  • Share a Google Drive file directly to a Google Calendar event.
Read on for details and additional updates!

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AdSense requires consent to show ads in the EEA & UK

A reminder for AdSense (ads on your own website or blog), Google Ad Manager and AdMob: on January 16 you will need to have a Google-certified Consent Management Platform set up to serve ads in the European Economic Area and UK.

Learn more here.

To check your AdSense account and set up Google’s Consent Management solution:

1. Sign in to AdSense
2. Click Privacy and Messaging on the left menu
3. Under European Regulations click Manage
4. On the Messages tab you can set up the consent message for your monetized sites
5. On the Settings tab you can authorize Google to publish a GDPR consent message, even if you have not set one up

Note that this is not required for YouTube Partners.

The Messages tab also shows how many times the consent message has been displayed over the past 30 days and the consent rate.

Google Assistant Features Removed

This week Google announced that “underutilized features” in Google Assistant will stop working January 26. Using Assistant to guide you through a recipe got a splashy blog post back in 2017. Now it’s just one in a list of more than a dozen features that’s being removed.

Features to be removed include:
  • The microphone icon in the Google App or Pixel Search bar will now trigger voice search, not the Assistant.
  • Using your voice to send an email, video or audio message will not be supported. You can still make calls and send text messages.
  • Calls made from speakers and Smart Displays will not show up with a caller ID unless you’re using Duo.
  • You can no longer ask for information about your contacts or your personal travel itineraries.
  • You can no longer use Assistant to set media alarms, music alarms, or radio alarms. You can set up a routine instead.
There are a bunch more features being removed. See the full list of changes, which suggests some alternatives.

Video Creator and Live Streaming Updates

If you have an iPhone you can remix your long form videos into YouTube Shorts using different layouts. (On Android devices you can just remix a clip).

YouTube is updating its harassment and cyberbullying policies to prohibit “Content that realistically simulates deceased minors or victims of deadly or well-documented major violent events describing their death or violence experienced.” Read the policy. According to The Verge, this is in response to “true crime” content that shows victims narrating their own demise.This goes into effect January 16.

YouTube is highlighting first aid videos created by Mass General Brigham and the Mexican Red Cross to some search results.

Creator Insider has a great video with best practices for live streaming on YouTube (or really anywhere).

You can now add a link to a specific time when sharing a video in Google Drive. This is really useful if you are sharing a Google Meet meeting recording or you use Google Drive to share video with collaborators.

Watch TikTok on the big screen. This week was CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. Tech companies big and small use it to announce new hardware and new features. Google made a few announcements (read them here), including the new option to cast TikTok content from your phone to a Chromecast. Live content from TikTok will be available soon.

StreamYard now lets you live stream in portrait orientation.

AdSense and AdMob have updated their video publisher policy (not for YouTube videos). If you publish and monetize your own videos, be sure to read about the changes. They go into effect in April 2024.


If you are a podcaster you can now upload your audio-first podcasts to YouTube using your RSS feed. The podcasts cannot include ads other than paid promotions (like those read by the host), and those must be declared. Also note that newly imported episodes will be at the top of your channel’s Videos tab (that may change in the future). Read the FAQ and best practices. Note that YouTube does not work the other way, generating a podcast feed you can share to other platforms.

Web Publishers and Search

Stephanie Wallace at Search Engine Land has some tips for configuring the “About Us” page for your website so that it (might) show in the “About this result” information in the Google Search result

The Verge published How Google perfected the web, describing how Google’s webmaster guidelines shape the design of web pages. Some claims - like author bylines being useful for SEO - were disputed by Google. But I think the article stands up because it’s not so much what Google requires, but rather the perception of what Google requires, that influences website owners and designers.

Google Business Profile websites will be turned off in March 2024. They will redirect users to the business’s Google Business Profile until June, and then the redirect will end. The site creator launched in 2017 as an option for small businesses without a website to easily create a web presence outside of social media. Google recommends businesses create their own website on their own domain (which probably should have been the recommendation in the first place).

Substack has removed a few (literal) Nazi accounts from its newsletter platform, but not all of them. And they still support those other white supremecist and Nazi-adjacent authors. Several Newsletters with a large following are leaving the platform, including Casey Newton’s Platformer (they will self-publish using Ghost) and Ryan Broderick’s Garbage Day. Broderick notes “Ghost, a Substack competitor, has almost no real moderation to speak of, but no one seems to care. You know why? Because it’s not trying to jam all of its users into one feed to compete with Twitter or whatever. Substack, meanwhile, has insisted on adding more social features over the last three years, instead of making their email product better.”

WordPress is leaning in to Data Liberation, and are asking the community to help create resources for the export of WordPress content to other platforms and import from other platforms to WordPress.
Photos and Image Design on the Web

If you use Flickr be sure to check out your personalized “My Flickr Year 2023”.

Look for your Google Photos personalized 2023 collage in the mobile app. You can switch the individual images.

Social Media

X posted an overview of their “transformational” plans for 2024. The article is aimed at advertisers and businesses, so that likely influenced the plans they are highlighting. They are apparently a “video-first” platform now “with people watching video in 8 out of 10 user sessions”. In the coming year they plan to launch peer-to-peer payments, incorporate AI in more places, and create original content (including “exclusive shows hosted by former CNN anchor Don Lemon, former congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard, and former Fox Sports host and current sports radio personality Jim Rome”, who are all controversial).

Despite claiming to be totally for free speech, X still bans people seemingly at owner Elon Musk’s whim. The latest was the banning of a number of journalists, authors and podcasters, at least some of whom were publicly critical of the Israeli goverment. Most of those accounts were reinstated after a far-right account called it out publicly.

Do you remember NFTs? Way back in 2022 they seemed to be everywhere. Twitter even added a way to set your favorite NFT as your profile image, which was hexagonal, rather than round. X has now quietly removed that feature. It’s no longer possible to link your NFTs to your account. You can still add them as a profile image the old fashioned way (by uploading the image file).

Meanwhile, there are currently tons of “verified” spammy bot accounts on X, some promoting crypto scams. It seems like paying for the blue check mark is just part of doing business.

On Facebook ads for social issues, elections and politics will have to disclose when images or audio are digitally created or altered or created by AI.

Threads is working on improving its “For You” algorithm so people see less “borderline” content.

Meetup, the platform for organizing events and, of course, meetups, has been acquired by Bending Spoons. Bending Spoons is an Italian company that has recently also acquired FiLMiC (video recording), Evernote, and mobile app developer Mosaic Group. For those acquisitions the original staff was laid off, and the product development brought in-house. And Evernote removed features for free accounts last month. So expect the same: Meetup staff fired and fewer options for free users.

Artifact, a news-sharing social platform launched by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (co-founders of Instagram) a year ago, is shutting down. They wrote “We have built something that a core group of users love, but we have concluded that the market opportunity isn’t big enough to warrant continued investment in this way.”

Communication and Collaboration

You can now share a Google Drive file directly to a Google Calendar event. You will get a prompt asking whether you want to share the file with meeting attendees.

The Gmail Basic HTML interface is going away in February.

More Reading

Author Chuck Wendig writes Just Say No to Artificial Intelligence In Your Creative Pursuits, Please, JFC, WTAF. This is a follow up to his Threads post that states: “The allure of AI entices those people who fetishize ideas but dismiss the work. [...] But the WORK is everything. The work is how a thing happens, where it's made, where skill is put to work. AI in creativity is for the people who have no skill, no work, no effort, noethic. They just want to push a button."

Twitch is laying off about 35% (500) employees and Discord is laying off 17% of its employees. Google also laid off a significant number of employees. At least people kept their jobs through the holidays.


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 January 6 edition here.

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


  1. > Asking for information about your contacts. You can still make calls to your contacts.

    That stinks. I use this feature all the time and it's very convenient. "Hey Google, when is Mark's birthday? Hey Google, how old is Barbara? Hey Google, what is David's address?" If they're taking that away, that's yet another nail in the coffin for me. Siri can handle these requests easily. Why would this functionality be removed?

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure if they have plants to replace that or not. I hope so.


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