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Creator Weekly: Google Photos AI editing tools, YouTube Shopping, Google Vids AI video creator

This week it’s all about AI, with new AI features in Google Workspace, Google Photos AI features available to everyone, the new Google Vids AI-powered video generator and more.YouTube also announced Shopping Collections and a new Affiliate Hub for creators.

Plus a few short tutorials and lots more updates.

Top news and updates this week
  • Google Vids AI powered video creator coming in June
  • AI features for Google Meet and Google Chat
  • Google Photos AI editing tools available to everyone
  • YouTube Shopping Collections and Affiliate Hub
  • Substack is rolling out new features for podcasters, including Sync to Spotify
  • Lyrak is a new social platform for news, with monetization options and (soon) Fediverse support
  • Beeper is a new messaging app with one inbox for 14 platforms
Read on for details and additional updates!

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Google Cloud Next: AI Everywhere

This week was the Google Cloud Next conference for business and education users and developers. The theme? AI in all the things.

Watch the Google Cloud Next '24 Opening Keynote
Google Cloud Next 2024: Gemini and generative AI updates
Compare Google Workspace Gemini Add-Ons

Google announced generative AI features in a number of Google Workspace products and services. Here are the highlights:

Google Vids

Google Vids is a new “AI-powered video creation app for work”. It can generate a storyboard, then create a draft video with stock videos and background music. There are also synthetic voice-over voices.

This will be available in Google Workspace Labs in June. You can sign up for Workspace Labs with your personal Google Account here (note that there may be country restrictions).

Google Meet and Google Chat

The new AI Messaging and Meetings add-on for Google Workspace is a paid subscription for access to Google’s AI tools for Google Meet and Google Chat.

Meet meeting AI features include:
  • Generate backgrounds
  • Studio Look, Studio Sound and Studio Lighting
  • Real-time translated captions
  • “Take notes for me” (coming in June)
  • “Translate for me” with automatic language detection (upcoming feature)
  • Screen-share watermark to discourage unauthorized sharing (upcoming feature)
Google Chat AI features include:
  • “Translate for me” with automatic language detection (upcoming feature)
  • On-demand conversation summaries on the Home tab (upcoming feature)
Google Chat also is increasing Space capacity to 500,000 and there is now general availability of interoperability with Slack and Teams (via Mio). Note that these are Google Workspace features.

Learn more: Introducing the AI Meetings and Messaging for Google Workspace add-on
Note that some of those Meet AI features are available to personal Google Accounts with Workspace Labs.

Gmail, Docs and Sheets updates
Some new features are AI based, and others are not. None of these features is available yet.
  • Gmail: Voice prompting for “help me write” AI tool
  • Gmail: Convert rough notes to a complete email with one click
  • Gmail: Block more spam!
  • Sheets: Template building blocks and conditional notifications
  • Docs: Add a full bleed cover image to your document
  • Docs: Organize information with tabs

Google Photos AI editing tools available to everyone

Google Photos AI-powered editing tools were originally launched recent Pixel phones and users with a Google One subscription. Now those tools will be available to everyone -- with limits -- starting May 15.
  • Magic Editor lets you move, erase or resize parts of your photo
  • Magic Eraser lets you easily remove objects or people from a photo
  • Photo Unblur makes your blurry images sharper
  • Portrait Light lets you adjust the position and brightness of light in portraits
If you are not using a Pixel device and you do not have Google One premium (2TB+), you will be limited to 10 Magic Editor saves per month.

Technical requirements

Your Android device (including the Pixel tablet): Android 8.0 or higher, 64-bit chipset, at least 4 GB RAM

Your iOS device: iOS 15 or higher, 64-bit chipset, at least 4 GB RAM

The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have additional editing features, including Best Take (combine group photos so there is the best version of everyone), Video Boost and Audio Magic Eraser.

YouTube Shopping Collections

YouTube is launching new shopping Collections.

Shopping Collections let eligible creators assemble a group of their own or other brands’ products for sale. You can view the collection on its own page (example), and find it on the channel’s product list, Store tab and video description.

There’s also a new Affiliate Hub where creators eligible for Affiliate Shopping can find products, promo codes, and even request samples.

Channels in the YouTube Partner Program can enable Shopping to sell their own products from integrated platforms and retailers (Fourthwall, Spring, Shopify and more), and tag products across all videos in bulk.

Eligibility requirements for Affiliate Shopping include:
  • Channel in the YouTube Partner Program
  • At least 15,000 subscribers
  • In the United States
  • Not Made for Kids and not an Official Artist Channel
  • No active Community Guidelines Strikes
Currently Shopping Collections can only be created in the YouTube Studio Mobile app. Learn more.

Video Creator and Live Streaming Updates

Facebook is discontinuing support of the Facebook Groups API on April 22 (which I reported back in February). That means you won’t be able to stream to your groups directly using streaming software. StreamYard has shared some options for continuing to use the platform to live stream to your Group.

Streamlabs now lets you live stream to TikTok directly, without the need for a stream key. If you have a paid account, you can simultaneously live stream to TikTok and other platforms. Learn more.

If you are an audio or video podcaster on Substack you can now “Sync to Spotify” to distribute free or paid episodes (or both) on Spotify.  Also new for podcasters: video podcasters can upload an audio track and free preview, upload your own transcripts (rather than using automatic transcripts), new layouts, inline player on video posts and fans can share a link at a specific time stamp or download a clip to share on other social media sites. If you have a podcast and you aren’t using Substack, they have a guide to moving there from Megaphone, Art19 and other distributors and monetizing your content. It seems like Substack is getting further away from being a simple newsletter service.

Web Publishers and Search

Substack wants to be the home for your publication (in addition to your podcast). They have added new themes and layouts (for the web page version of your newsletter) and improved search of post archives. Plus tools to find publications from around the world.

Now when you embed a Google Drive file in a Google Site, you will be prompted to fix any sharing permissions issue.

Medium now has more than a million paid members.

Social Media

A couple of weeks ago X automatically added the “verified” check mark to large accounts (based on the number of “verified” followers). This week X announced that the verified check mark can no longer be hidden. Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today has an overview of what’s going on. Like many things relating to X, it’s full of stupid.

Hutchinson also points out that Musk continues to amplify misinformation on X.

Matt Navarra reports that LinkedIn has a new “Contribute Expertise” button in the post editor to encourage you to contribute to collaborative articles. It looks like contributing collaborative articles still requires an invite from LinkedIn to participate, so not every user will see that button (my completely dormant account does not have it).

Anuj Ahooja has a detailed recap of using Threads in the Fediverse. His experience was mixed, but the ability to choose an app for using Mastodon makes that a nice entry point.

Flipboard has made 11,000 curated Magazines, and 400 creators visible in the Fediverse.

Instagram is making its Notes text update feature more visible in the app. Plus they are adding “Cutouts”, a way to cut out people or objects in your photos to use them as stickers.

Instagram creators are really unhappy that an unexpectedly low percentage of their followers see their posts. Adam Mosseri has been trying to explain, without much luck. Many of the folks complaining have a reach that’s much larger than their followers, and they presumably want that in addition to having their followers see most posts, so I don’t think everyone will ever be happy.

Lyrak is a new “real-time social platform”. Its focus is news and real-time conversations and soon it will have ActivityPub support for availability in the Fediverse.. Only verified journalists and “carefully selected creators” can share to the home feed. There are three ways to monetize: if you post original content, you may be eligible for a 50% revenue share from the ads appearing with your posts, you can choose to require payment to view your posts (anywhere from a penny to $99) and you can add a tip jar.

Communication and Collaboration

Meta’s Messenger now lets you create shared albums, add connections with a QR code, and send files up to 100MB from your phone.

There’s now nudity protection in Instagram DMs. Plus more protection from scammers and teen protections.

Beeper is a new messaging app that was just acquired by Automattic (WordPress’s parent company). It pulls together chat conversations from 14 different platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Slack, SMS/RCS, Instagram, Discord, Signal, Telegram and so forth, but not iMessage, yet). It’s now out of beta and available for everyone.

More AI Updates

The race for AI: Report: OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and Meta Stole Content at Scale to Train AI

PetaPixel rounds up all the photo platforms that have made deals to provide user-uploaded content for AI training.

Bloomberg reports Adobe’s AI Firefly Used AI-Generated Images From Rivals for Training

Spotify has a new AI Playlist tool that’s in beta. Spotify Premium users in the UK and Australia can use the tool to create playlists from text prompts.

On Hard Fork, filmmaker Paul Trillo talked about his experience using OpenAI’s text to video generator Sora.

Lindsey Gamble reports that the paid version of ChatGPT now links to sources in its responses.

More Reading (and watching)

The big non-Google launch this week was the Humane AI Pin. The device has a mobile connection, camera, and can answer basic queries. Sort of. PetaPixel has a round up of reviews, and the verdict seems to be that the $700 pin just isn’t ready yet.

Shira Ovide at the Washington Post writes about YouTube: This is the most consequential technology in America: It’s the most popular social app and music service, the healthiest economy on the internet and AI training fuel.

Thanks for reading! 🌼

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 April 6 edition here.

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