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Creator Weekly: YouTube Notes, Threads API, Instagram Reels

This week I experienced some problems with international communication first hand. It was the European edition of the Google Product Expert Summit and I joined virtually from home in California. Unfortunately the shared schedule had times that were all off by one hour. I did figure it out, mostly. But it was frustrating. And it makes me more aware that I need to be clear about the time zones of events I’m promoting.

This week there are updates for YouTube, Threads, Instagram and more. Read on for details!

Top news and updates this week
  • YouTube Thumbnail Test & Compare tool is now rolled out to eligible channels.
  • YouTube is testing user Notes to add context to video claims.
  • The YouTube video editor no longer has a length limit.
  • Moderate multiple published comments in YouTube Studio
  • Use YouTube’s privacy process to request removal AI deepfakes of yo.
  • New Instagram Reels features.
  • New Substack video clip tool.
  • Google Search spam update rolling out.
  • Beehiiv adds a “Name your price” subscription option.
  • The Threads API is now available to developers.
  • Flipboard is bringing more content to the Fediverse.
  • Google Meet adds live captions and live translation in more languages.
  • Perplexity AI scrapes pages that they shouldn’t access.
  • Adobe updated their terms of use with clearer language.
  • Read: Tim O’Reilly’s take on how AI tools can fairly compensate writers.
Read on for details and additional updates!

Creator Weekly Live 🔴
Come chat about this week’s updates and tips.

Join Creator Weekly Live on Sunday, 10:30AM Pacific time (5:30PM UTC).
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Join me on Sunday at 11AM Pacific time for #OnEBoardChat on Chat Groups & Communities. The discussion will be on X, YouTube and LinkedIn. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion!

Take this week’s quiz ✅

What do you know about user Notes on posted content? Take this week’s quiz.

To Do & Try

YouTube Thumbnail A/B/C testing (AKA Test & Compare) is now available to all eligible channels. Try it on one of your older videos or your latest upload! Note it is not available for Shorts.

If you are attending this week's Vidcon in person, check to see if you are eligible to sign up for one of the Creator meetups or visit the Creator Lounge hosted by YouTube. If you aren’t attending in person, you can watch many of the presentations and shows live on the Vidcon YouTube channel. The YouTube industry keynote (June 27) features Kevin Allocca, Global Director of Culture and Trends, and Amjad Hanif, VP of Product Management for YouTube Creators (watch live). More expected highlights from YouTube.

The BBC has a huge library of recorded sound effects that you can now download. They are free for non-commercial use, but must be licensed for commercial use.

YouTube Testing User Notes

In 2021 Twitter launched Birdwatch (now Community Notes), a way for users to write a note that would appear on a misleading Tweet with relevant context. These Notes are only published if there is a consensus that the note is helpful.

Now YouTube is testing a similar system.

To start, a limited number of invited contributors in the US will be able to post notes to add context to videos. The notes are supposed to be written clearly in neutral language and cite reliable sources.

Initially notes will be reviewed by third party evaluators, but eventually it will use an algorithm that analyzes user ratings to determine which notes are shown publicly.

Even if you cannot add notes, you may see them. If you do, use the option to submit feedback to YouTube about what you do and don’t like about it.

Learn more: Testing new ways to offer viewers more context and information on videos

Video Creator and Live Streaming Updates

The YouTube video editor no longer has a length limit. Previously you could only edit videos up to 6 hours long. More information from Creator Insider.

You can now select and moderate multiple comments at once on the Published Tab in YouTube Studio. Previously this was only available for comments held for review. More info from Creator Insider.

You can now use YouTube’s privacy request process to request removal of “altered or synthetic” content that mimics your face or voice.

The Creator Insider YouTube channel has a discussion between Creator Liaison (and Creator) Rene Ritchie, YouTube VP of Creator Product Amjad Hanif and tech and science creator Cleo Abram about monetization, building a business on YouTube and using AI tools. Watch the video.

Apple released the latest version of Final Cut Pro for iPad and Mac, with “artificial intelligence-driven workflows”. Final Cut Camera is also available for professional video capture on the iPad and iPhone, and managing Live Multicam sessions in Final Cut Pro.

Instagram announced several new Reels features: share a Reel with only your “Close Friends”, invite up to 5 collaborators (the Reel appears on each collaborator’s feed), when you add music you can include animated captions, and improved editing of Templates.

Instagram now lets you add music to posts that include multiple videos or video plus photos. This mutes the audio in the video. I suppose this is a way of adding a mood to your post Carousel (I’m not a fan of music on image Carousels, so I’m the wrong audience).

Instagram also now lets you go live with just your “Close Friends”.

Substack has a new tool that lets you create short clips from longer videos uploaded to the platform. The clips can be shared in Substack Notes or on social media. But wait, I hear you thinking, isn’t Substack a newsletter platform? Sure it is, but it also wants to host your videos and podcasts, be a place to build a community and otherwise engage subscribers directly on the platform.

TikTok’s Commercial Music Library is now available in Adobe Express with the TikTok Symphony addon. Brands using Adobe Express to create videos can use this to add pre-cleared (for TikTok) music and sounds. Brands and influencers should not use the general music library offered to TikTok users as many of those tracks are not licensed for commercial use (and yes, brands could be sued).

Web Publishers and Search

Google Search is rolling out the June 2024 spam update. This is not a change to Google’s Policies or related to the implementation of the Site Reputation Abuse core update.

Beehiiv (which is what I use for the emailed version of Creator Weekly) has had paid subscriptions as an option from the start. They have now added a “Name your price” option, which lets readers pay what they want. They note this could be used as a “tip jar” for free newsletters. Beehiiv does not take a cut of the revenue. So what’s holding me back from trying it? It requires a paid account, starting at $39 per month. I’m thinking about it though.

If you host a WordPress meetup, you can host your meetup site for free (with Creator plan features) on

Social Media

The Threads API is finally available to developers. Third party tools using the API can allow users to post, comment and see metrics. This is already available in tools from Hootsuite, Sprinklr, and Sprout Social.

Instagram Creators posted a Reel with tips on how to best use hashtags on the platforms.

Meta apparently has poor user support for hijacked and terminated Facebook and Instagram accounts. Engadget reports: How small claims court became Meta's customer service hotline. Seems like if this really caught on it would be cheaper to pay for support staff than attorneys, but filing these cases takes time and money (one person had to fly across the US to California), so paying their lawyers is probably a better deal for them.

Flipboard is bringing more content to the Fediverse by federating 9 US media sites, including Bloomberg, Salon, Time and Vox.

TikTok is launching a new photo sharing app called Whee. The twist is that you only share with your friends, not the public. Android Police and Social Media Today have more.

Communication and Collaboration

Google Meet has expanded live captions to 87 languages and live translation support for 67 languages. They also note that starting in January 2025 live translated captions will only be available to Gemini for Google Workspace customers.

Microsoft Teams has added AI-powered 3D avatar creation from your photo. You can use this in Microsoft Mesh, an “immersive” virtual environment. (It appears to be the “metaverse” without using that term).

More AI Updates

Read this! Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media has an interesting and thoughtful article about a future where AI, journalism, and publishing can co-exist. AI companies need to respect copyright and creator preferences, and they should pay for the output, not the training. When publishers make a deal to allow their content to be used for AI training, that’s a one time thing. And it’s the output that actually matters. It’s not just talk, that’s how the company is developing “O’Reilly Answers”, which is based on their published works. It pays authors based on how much of their work was used to generate an answer, which sounds like a good way to do it.

Last week, Forbes reported that Perplexity AI’s “Pages” seems to work as a plagiarism tool (more about Perplexity’s plagiarism from Alex Ivanovs at Stackdiary). This week web developer Robb Knight and Wired reported that Perplexity is scraping sites that have blocked its bot in their robots.txt file. In response Perplexity has claimed that this was a third party web crawler that they use to gather data, which seems to me to be just as problematic. And Anthropic (Claude) and OpenAI seem to do the same thing.

Adobe updated their terms of use making it much clearer what they will (and won’t) do with user content. Each section now has a “what it means” description in plain English. That now states clearly: “This license does not give us permission to train generative AI models with your or your customers’ content. We don’t train generative AI models on your or your customers’ content unless you’ve submitted the content to the Adobe Stock marketplace.”

TikTok is now offering AI-powered “Symphony Avatars” to create ads. These are based on paid actors, creators or brand spokespeople. They use AI-dubbing to make them talk in multiple languages. Brands will likely have to disclose the avatar use in ads to not run afoul of truth in advertising policies.

Google DeepMind announced their progress on AI video-to-audio technology. They say it can be paired with text-to-video models like Veo “to create shots with a dramatic score, realistic sound effects or dialogue that matches the characters and tone of a video.” They are still working on better lip sync for speech.

Luma DreamMachine
lets you generate video from text or an image. People have been using it to animate popular meme images (somewhat creepily). You can sign up to try it right now.

This rant by data scientist Ludic Mataroa is making the rounds: I Will Fucking Piledrive You If You Mention AI Again.

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 June 15 edition here.

Cover image: via Canva. Free for commercial use, no attribution required.

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  1. This post is really nice. The less content I see about artificial intelligence, the happier I am.

    1. Ha, I do try to get the other updates, but all the tech companies are AI AI AI these days.

  2. I saw that Mataroa article in some other feed. Pretty funny stuff. I've found AI to be very useful in very specific cases but it has clear limitations right now and maybe always will.

    1. I think that's it, but companies need to push their AI tools so hard they get suggested for things they can't actually do.

    2. I think I am in favor of not every company using artificial intelligence. I always support freedom. I think artificial intelligence harms originality. And I was disgusted to see all the Artificial Intelligence news. I'm not saying this to insult you. I just want to stay away from AI for a bit.

  3. Regarding the Threads API, I wonder if we're going to get full RSS support. Mastodon offers RSS feeds natively for each user. If Threads fully integrates to ActivityPub, will it too? I suppose technically Mastodon's offering of RSS is seperate from ActivityPub functionality through, as far as I understand it.

    1. That's a great question, and I think people have been discussing the possibilities (I can't find the links now). I'm a RSS feed fan, so I hope it does.


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