Peggy K's Creator Weekly: Adobe Firefly AI, YouTube Monetization, TikTok Ban

This week YouTube clarified its monetization policies; new features with Adobe Firefly in Photoshop, Premiere Pro and the web; TikTok banned in the US; Ghost in the Fediverse and more!

This week the For Immediate Release podcast talked about my post about finding a new online home after the shutdown of Google+. Did it resonate with you?  Listen to FIR #402: Your Favorite Social Network Just Shut Down. Now What? 

Top news and updates this week

  • Adobe announced Firefly Image 3 and new generative AI features on the web and in Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere Pro.

  • Thumbnail A/B testing may be coming to YouTube as soon as this summer.

  • YouTube clarified the Reused Content policy for the YouTube Partner Program.

  • The US requires ByteDance to sell off TikTok or have it banned - but that may not happen for a year or longer.

  • StreamYard’s acquisition by Bending Spoons is complete, and the new parent company wants to know what is important to StreamYard users.

  • YouTube shared more information about Podcasts on the platform.

  • Google is delaying the phase-out of third party cookies in Chrome.

  • Ghost blogging and newsletter platform is building support for ActivityPub.

  • The Google Search March 2024 Core Update is complete.

  • Studio by is a new platform to develop WordPress sites locally. (Mac only at the moment)

  • Beehiiv newsletter platform updated its plans, pricing and implemented the option to create multiple subscription tiers for painting subscribers.

  • Photo-sharing site EyeEm will license users’ photos for AI training unless you remove them from the platform.

  • Threads lets you hide posts from your feed and search based on keywords, phrases or emojis.

  • You can link your Pinterest account to Instagram for auto-sharing and attribution.

  • Google Keep reminders will soon be integrated with Google Tasks.

  • FTC bans non-competes in the US.

  • In this week’s interesting reads and watches: The Man Who Killed Google Search; how Amazon is flooded with garbage ebooks; a look at Disney Imagineering’s Holotile floor and more.

Read on for details and additional updates!

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AI at Adobe Max

This week was Adobe Max in London, and — no surprise — AI was at the forefront. 

Adobe’s Firefly Image 3 Model is available in beta. You can try it on the web (, or in Photoshop or InDesign. It is better at understanding long text prompts, can take reference images into account, can better add text to images, and produces higher quality images in general.

The new Generative Expand tool ( ) lets you upload images and then expand them, with a brush to remove or add objects.

Photoshop also has Firefly built in, with text-to-image, including: 

  • Generative Expand: including the option to include a reference image with the prompt

  • Generate Similar: create a new image similar to a generated image

  • Generate Background: remove and replace the background

  • Enhance Detail: to create sharper images

Other Photoshop updates include:

  • Adjustment Presets: combine multiple adjustments into non-destructive filters. Click the link to download some sample presets.

  • Adjustment Brush: combines selecting, masking, and applying an adjustment (such as brightness) into a brush that lets you adjust the image non-destructively

  • Improved Font Browser

Subscribers can try the beta app now. 

InDesign also has text-to-image powered by Firefly. Additional new features include improved access to cloud documents and new accessibility features (to create accessible documents, not accessibility of the InDesign interface).

Finally Premiere Pro, Adobe’s professional video editing suite, also has new Firefly-powered generative AI tools. 

  • Generative Extend: adds frames to the beginning or end of a video clip

  • Object Addition and Object Removal: AI smart masking and tracking allows adding or changing moving objects

  • Generative B-Roll: Use text prompts to create video clips

Adobe notes that because their AI model was trained on licensed and public domain content, it’s safe to use for commercial content.

Video Creator and Live Streaming Updates

When will thumbnail A/B testing be available on YouTube? It looks like it will be this summer. Hopefully.

If your YouTube channel is currently in the YouTube Partner Program (or you hope it will be), watch this interview with YouTube’s director of creator monetization Thomas Kim about “reused content”. There’s an updated FAQ and more detailed examples in the YouTube Help Center.

This week the US government passed a law that says ByteDance must either sell off TikTok or it will be banned. What does that mean? Nothing will change for at least 6 months, and probably longer, as TikTok says they will challenge the law in court. It isn’t clear if this would also ban ByteDance’s video editing platform CapCut (which I’ve been using). If you are active on TikTok, it’s worth downloading an archive of your data and making sure fans can still follow you on other platforms (create an email list or simple website, at the least!).

TikTok is not banned yet! It is running a STEM (science technology engineering math) content competition for students and teachers. Share your STEM-explainer video with the #StemTok hashtag before May 31 and you could win a Google Pixel and special recognition. Learn more.

Substack introduced native video uploads to its Notes social feed (limited to 5 minutes), and people have been trying it out. I feel like this is an odd pivot to social. I wonder if Substack readers participate in Notes, or if this is authors posting for each other?

Live streaming platform StreamYard has been acquired by Milan-based Bending Spoons. Over on YouTube they have posted (on the StreamYard channel) for feedback from users about what they want to see in the future. Go comment if you have any thoughts.
Some history: StreamYard was founded in 2018, then was acquired by UK virtual event platform Hopin in 2021, which was flush from the surge of pandemic virtual events. That didn’t last. In 2023 it sold its virtual events business to RingCentral. Hopin moved to the US in February, then sold its “audience engagement tools” (StreamYard, Streamable video hosting and Super Wave community tools) to Bending Spoons in the first week of April. That deal just closed. Bending Spoons also acquired local in-person activity site Meetup (which was also struggling post-COVID) in January. Are they moving into the events business? Or will they just bleed those businesses dry? We shall see.

Podcasting and Audio

YouTube Creator Insider features a discussion between YouTube Creator Liaison Rene Ritchie and YouTube’s Chief Product Officer about podcasts. The most interesting question? Will YouTube generate a RSS feed for podcasts so that people can listen in their favorite podcast app, rather than YouTube Music? The answer to that is no. (Not a big surprise, but disappointing) 

Spotify has a new guide for understanding your audience using the Segments tab in your Spotify for Artists. They also have tips for using playlists to expand your audience.

Google has been slowly phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome. This is a big deal, because some of those third-party cookies are important for website features. For example some third party commenting systems for blogs and websites use third party cookies to see that you are signed in. Now Google says the timeline for this phase-out is delayed. Google says “We recognize that there are ongoing challenges related to reconciling divergent feedback from the industry, regulators and developers, and will continue to engage closely with the entire ecosystem. [. . .] we will not complete third-party cookie deprecation during the second half of Q4.”

Ghost is an open source blogging platform that lets you publish on the web and by email newsletter. They announced that they are building an ActivityPub feed into Ghost. That means that you can follow profiles that use ActivityPub (like Mastodon or Threads) and they can follow your Ghost posts. You can currently sign up for early access if you use the Ghost platform. 

The Google Search March 2024 Core Update has finished rolling out. Barry Schwartz has a recap of the changes at Search Engine Roundtable. I did see a drop in search traffic, so it looks like I’ll have to do a site review (including ad placements).

Studio by is a free open-source platform for developing and designing on WordPress locally. It’s currently available for Mac and will be available for Windows soon (early access available now). It uploads demo sites to so you can share your in-progress work.

Beehiiv just updated its plans and pricing. The free tier now includes audience segmentation, custom domains and API access. There is a new, cheaper, middle tier ($39/month) and a new upper tier. Beehiiv says that “nearly 70%” of current users will either have access to more features at the same price, or pay less. I am guessing that free users make up a substantial percentage of their user base, so take that with a pinch of salt.

If you have a Beehiiv newsletter with paid subscriptions, you can now create multiple subscription tiers at different price points and with different perks.

Photos and Image Design on the Web

TechCrunch reports that EyeEm, the Berlin-based photo sharing community, is licensing user photos for AI training. The only way to opt out is to delete your photos from the service. The platform was recently acquired by Freepik after filing for bankruptcy.

Social Media

Threads now lets you create a list of words, phrases and emojis to hide posts across the site, including your For You feed and the search results.

You can now link your Pinterest account to your Instagram account. That gives you three benefits: if someone shares your Instagram content to Pinterest, it’s automatically attributed to your Pinterest profile.  You can track the stats for Pins with your content. And you can auto-post your Instagram posts as Pinterest Pins. (via Lindsey Gamble)

Social Media Today reports that Instagram is rolling out several new creator features: stats on engagement on stickers, expanding the subscription-only Story teaser display (with paid subscription button), and more tips and information on the creator dashboard.

Richard MacManus at The New Stack writes about work towards being able to use a single identity across Fediverse platforms.

Reddit mobile apps now have faster loading and easier-to-navigate comments.

Reddit also shared information about several new features it is working on: moderation tools, accessibility features (including automatic video captioning and font resizing), bringing back Awards, a redesigned “AMA experience”, and expanding their Developer Platform. The comments are, shall we say, skeptical.

Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today: Elon Musk’s push for free speech shows clear bias towards his own interests. Any journalist that writes Musk is some kind of free speech absolutist should be whacked on the nose with a newspaper.

Communication and Collaboration

Reminders set in Google Keep will soon be added to your Google Tasks. Tasks is integrated with Calendar, Chat Spaces, Docs, and other Google Workspace apps. This update means you’ll be able to see and manage the tasks with Calendar, Tasks and Assistant. Why use Keep? See Ten Cool Google Keep Features 

You can now easily transfer your Google Meet meeting between devices. When you transfer from your phone to desktop, for example, it closes the meeting on your phone automatically. Note that in-meeting chat does not transfer between devices, so you won’t see chat posted before the transfer.

You can now use CloudFuze to migrate from Slack to Google Chat. Learn more.

More AI Updates 

Thorn and All Tech is Human have created a set of Generative AI Principles focused on child safety and the creation and spread of AI-generated child sexual abuse material. It has been adopted by Amazon, Anthropic, Civitai, Google, Meta, Metaphysic, Microsoft, Mistral AI, OpenAI, and Stability AI, which covers all (or most all) of the big companies working on generative AI models.

Google writes: 3 things we learned from professional creatives about their hopes for AI. No surprise that creators want to use AI for non-creative tasks or to assist creativity, not replace it.

More Reading (and watching)

Read this! What people are talking about: Media writer Edward Zitron wrote about The Man Who Killed Google Search, based on internal Google emails released as part of the US Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Google. It’s “a dramatic story about how Google’s finance and advertising teams, led by [Prabhakar] Raghavan with the blessing of CEO Sundar Pichai, actively worked to make Google [Search] worse to make the company more money.”  Google told Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable that the article was incorrect. Zitron has rebutted that vague rebuttal.

This is a really interesting article by Josh Dzieza in The Verge about people who help keep the global internet running: The Cloud Under the Sea: The invisible seafaring industry that keeps the internet afloat 

Marques Brownlee visited Disney Imagineering to try out their 360 degree Holotile “infinite floor”, designed by legendary inventor Lanny Smoot. This looks like the future!  Watch his video.

This week the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banned non-compete clauses. This has been the law in California for many years, but should now apply across the country. Will this be good for creators? Maybe so, as brand deals often include non-compete limitations.

Meta is opening up their mixed reality operating system (Meta Horizon OS) to third party hardware developers and opening up their app store to more app developers. It will be interesting to see if this expands interest in Meta’s version of the “metaverse”.

Finally, this week I learned about the Barnum Effect (“a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them, yet which are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people”, especially when flattering), used by psychics, astrologers, personality tests, fake psychologists, scammers and businesses trying to sell you things. For some reason that seems particularly relevant to these times.

Thanks for reading! 🌼