Peggy K's Creator Weekly: AI tools from YouTube & Google; offer paid appointments in Calendar; TwitchCon updates
I hope you all are enjoying your summer!
This week is all about the AI with new creative tools in YouTube, Google Bard, a personal AI Notebook, video editing on Vimeo, live streaming on StreamYard and more. Twitch announced a number of upcoming discovery and community-related features. And Google Workspace Individual subscribers can set up paid appointments in Google Calendar.
Tutorial: Co-Edit Google Sites
My OnEBoard colleague Nina Trankova and I did a quick demonstration on how you can simultaneously co-edit a Google Site live with a collaborator. Nina has a write-up on how to do that, including how to co-edit with someone who does not have a Google account.
It’s a very useful option that lets collaborators more quickly brainstorm and make changes to a Site.
YouTube Video Title Suggestions
YouTube is launching a new option to help you brainstorm video titles, with automated title suggestions. Here’s how it works:
YouTube Studio desktop only
Available within a few hours of uploading the video (another reason to not publish videos immediately)
Suggestions are based on the transcript and description
No matter the suggestion, you are responsible for making sure your video title complies with YouTub e Community Guidelines
Get all the details from Creator Insider.
Google AI Tools: Updates to Bard and NotebookLM
At I/O in May Google announced a number of AI tools they were working on. Many of those are slowly becoming available.
Google is finally starting to roll out NotebookLM (formerly called Project Tailwind) in the US. What makes NotebookLM different is that it “lets you ‘ground’ the language model in your notes and sources.”
As a personal AI tool you can use it to get a summary of a Google Doc, ask questions about sources, or even generate a video script.
You can sign up for the NotebookLM waitlist here. I’m looking forward to trying this!
Google’s “creativity tool” chatbot Bard also received major new updates this week:
Bard is now available in 27 new countries, including the EU and Brazil.
Bard is now available in over 40 languages.
Upload images to your Bard chats and it will use Google Lens to understand what is in the picture
Bard will read responses out loud
You can pin discussions and see recent threads
Share your conversations
You can modify Bard’s replies by making them simpler, longer, shorter, more professional, or more casual
You can access Bard at bard.google.com
While Large Language Model “AIs” like Bard are not actually intelligent, they can be really useful for brainstorming ideas and generating drafts. The downside is having to fact check anything that vaguely resembles a factual statement.
I’ll also note that Google’s Workspace Labs has been rolling out new features, including draft text generators in Google Docs and Gmail, organization tools in Google Sheets and an image generator in Google Slides, with more features in the future. Sign up for Workspace Labs here: workspace.google.com/labs-sign-up/ (US only).
Adobe Firefly Available in More Languages
Not to be outdone, Firefly, Adobe’s generative AI image creator now supports prompts in 100 languages and the Firefly website itself is available in English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and more languages to come.
You can access Adobe Firefly at firefly.adobe.com
Google Calendar Updates: Paid Appointments and Scheduling in Gmail
Google is launching two new useful features for scheduling.
The first is a feature in Gmail on the web that lets you offer times you are free or create a Google Calendar Event while you are composing an email message.
When this feature is available, you will see a calendar icon on the email message composer. Click that to open your Google Calendar on the right sidebar to select times to suggest or to create a new Calendar event.
This will be to everyone in the next few weeks, including free personal Google Accounts and Google Workspace accounts.
If you have a Google Workspace Individual subscription with your personal Google account or an eligible Google Workspace Business or Education account, you will soon be able to offer paid appointments through Google Calendar.
Here’s an overview:
Set up Stripe for payments in the “Payments and cancellation policy” section of your appointment schedule editor.
Stripe handles the payment processing, and Google will not assist with payment or refund issues.
You can set any amount.
You can require a payment to book the appointment.
The person booking the appointment will choose their preferred time, then enter their credit card information.
For Google Workspace Individual accounts this option will be available automatically in your appointment schedule settings.
For Google Workspace Business Standard accounts this will be on by default, but can be turned off by the Google Workspace administrator.
For Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Education Plus, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Nonprofits this option will be turned off by default, and must be enabled by the organizations Google Workspace administrator.
This will start rolling out on July 20 and may take several weeks to become available.
Get more details in the Google Calendar Help Center.
Last week was TwitchCon in Paris, with Twitch announcing a number of new features in the pipeline, with more options for discovery and community building.
Twitch already lets you edit Twitch Clips into vertical videos and export to YouTube. In August they will start supporting direct export to TikTok.
There will be a new Discovery Feed with a personalized mix of Clips from different channels. They say the idea is to help people discover new streamers, not to spend a lot of time scrolling through Clips.
Starting in August streamers will be able to select Featured Clips for their channel, and Twitch will prioritize showing those, including in the new Discovery Feed.
Twitch is bucking the current trends and launching Stories in October. It will be the usual ephemeral content, with the option to share to all or just your paid subscribers. (YouTube just removed their own Stories feature).
“Streaming together” is coming to Guest Star, where up to five streamers can stream live on their own channels while streaming together. That launches in August.
Shared Ban Info can now include Shared Mod Comments, with information about why someone was banned.
There’s an Alert randomizer and emote customization options for Alerts.
Stream Events will now include IRL birthdays and first-time-you-streamed anniversaries.
More control over inserted ad breaks with the new chat countdown timer, that shows exactly when an ad will start, with options to snooze or pull ahead.
More Video Updates
Vimeo will soon add text based video editing to its video editor. Removing words or sentences from the video transcript removes them from the video itself. You can sign up for early access to Vimeo’s AI-based editing tools here.
In the latest Ask StreamYard live video, founders Geige and Dan announced AI-powered features that will soon be available for all users including automatic background noise removal and being able to “touch up” your appearance on camera.
If you are a gamer, it’s worth checking out TikTok’s new gaming trend report. The report is aimed at brands, but it’s a useful overview of the current popular hashtags and trends.
TikTok is also apparently testing allowing users to download their own videos without the TikTok watermark. That would be great for creators who also want to upload on Instagram, YouTube or other platforms that are looking for un-watermarked content.
Twitter is allowing Twitter Blue subscribers to access Twitter Media Studio (studio.twitter.com). That includes the Producer tool for broadcasting live video to Twitter, your Media Library of all the videos, images and GIFs you’ve posted, and a video analytics dashboard.
Music and Podcasting
Spotify for Artists has new metrics to help artists understand their audience. There is a new Segments tab with stats on your current active audience, plus your “previously active” audience (listed in the past 2 years, but not the past 28 days) and “programmed audience” (streamed your music from sources like playlists, Radio & Autoplay).
There are reports that podcasts in YouTube Music are rolling out to more countries, including Canada and Brazil.
AdSense now supports Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payments in Euros for publishers in 30 European countries. Get the details here.
WordPress.com has new design “blocks” that can easily be added to a layout: the Details Block adds a section with a toggle to hide and show content, easily added footnotes, and some interface updates to make it easier to “view post”, “switch to draft” or “preview” content.
Twitter made their first ad-revenue sharing payments this week, and some users have apparently received thousands of ad revenue. The numbers sound big, but they are apparently back-dated to Twitter owner Musk’s (original announcement of revenue sharing in February (meaning 5 months of revenue). The current eligibility requirements are at least 5 million Tweet impressions per month, for 3 consecutive months.
The big winners for Twitter’s new monetization include YouTube star Mr. Beast, a number of far right wing Twitter influencers, and the Krassenstein brothers (left leaning twins who were banned from Twitter in 2019 for allegedly using fake accounts to amplify their reach). It’s been noted that the requirements would likely encourage the kinds of Tweets that get people riled up (and therefor responding and retweeting), which doesn’t seem great.
Twitter changed their DM options so that the default is now to let people who follow you message and Twitter Blue subscribers send you a message request. If you want anyone to be able to message you, you will have to update your Twitter message settings. He also posted a video sharing some “hidden gems” features.
Reddit is going to “sunset” coins and awards. If you have ever seen a popular Reddit post, you have probably noticed lots of little emoji-sized awards next to the title, along with gold (or other) coins. It can look very cluttered, but it is a unique way for Redditors to show they appreciate someone’s content. The awards themselves aren’t useful for anything other than bragging rights. So if you have Reddit coins, you can use them to gift awards until September 12. Reddit Premium members will no longer receive a monthly allotment of coins with their subscription. Meanwhile Reddit is working on “a new direction for awarding” (rumor seems to be a paid “contributor program”).
After reaching 100 million signups in four days, Threads (and Instagram) head Adam Mosseri says their team is prioritizing “obvious missing features” like a following feed, edit button and site search. He also shared a video highlighting his favorite “hidden gems” features.
Meanwhile, over on Bluesky, the talk of the app was that the site allowed handles with racial slurs to be created. Bluesky apparently has fixed it so it won’t happen any more, but people are questioning how they are handling trust and safety issues. It is puzzling to me why this prohibition wasn’t implemented in the first place. If you have been on any social media platform (or forum or comment section) there is always at least one poster who pushes the limits on what’s allowed or harasses others or just enjoys being vile.
Tumblr, currently owned by WordPress parent company Automattic, outlined the steps they are working on to grow their user base. Some of what their working on includes improving the logged out experience and SEO (for new user discovery), improve algorithmic ranking (but not remove the chronological feed), improve replies and reblogs to make them less cluttered and confusing, create incentives for users to post, and improve notifications and other communications. CEO Matt Mullenweg has noted that Tumblr is currently losing about $30 million per year, so gaining more users (without losing the site’s unique culture) is a high priority.
Communication and Collaboration
In Google Chat you can now hyperlink text, rather than sharing a URL. It seems like too much work to me, but I know some people prefer sharing links this way.
The Android Google Chat app has an improved image viewer, with the option to view all shared media in a conversation, swipe between shared images, and faster loading images.
Last month Google Meet announced new settings for how guests can join meetings, including a new “Open” option that lets anyone with the link join. Those changes begin rolling out July 17.
If you use Miro in Google Meet it will soon be easier to collaborate. There will be a new “Add ons” button in the meeting that lets you install the Miro app to allow collaboration from inside the meeting. This is currently available in limited early access.
Meta now offers real-time calling using your Meta Avatar on Messenger and Instagram. The idea is that if you don’t feel like being on camera you can use a 3D cartoon version of yourself instead.
I love visual storytelling and the story “Ancient Giants” in Nature online does a great job of combining images, videos and text to tell the story of a team of scientists trying to reach the tallest known tree in the Amazon.
Header image background: Galaxy in Space by Luminas_Art from pixabay (free for commercial use)