Peggy K's Creator Weekly: Adobe ToS, Cara social for artists, YouTube Posts

This week’s updates keep the focus on photographers and artists, with discussions of the new Adobe Terms of Service and growing pains for the anti-AI artist social network Cara. YouTube opened up Posts to almost all channels and is testing an inspiration tool. Plus there are updates for Instagram, X, the Fediverse and more. 

Top news and updates this week

  • YouTube’s experimental AI-powered Inspiration tool

  • New features and wider availability of Google’s NotebookLM

  • Artist social media platform Cara is going through some expensive growing pains. 

  • Adobe has creatives concerned with its latest Terms of Service update.

  • YouTube is expanding Community Posts to (almost) everyone

  • YouTube is testing sorting Shorts comments by topic.

  • Twitch moderators can use Chat Warnings.

  • Google will only crawl sites with its mobile Googlebot.

  • X now officially allows porn for adults (with a warning).

  • Instagram says that if you’re trying to farm engagement, they won’t recommend your content.

  • Instagram announced new features for Broadcast Channels.

  • BridgyFed bridges communication between the Fediverse, Bluesky and websites.

  • Substack really wants account holders to use the platform to Chat with subscribers.

  • Google Chat now lets you share a link to a Space, and when people click the link, they can ask to join. (Google Workspace and Workspace Individual only)

When presenting in Google Meet, you can zoom and scroll the shared page from inside Meet.

Read on for details and additional updates!

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Tips and Tutorials

I tried out YouTube’s experimental AI-powered “Inspiration” tool to create an outline and thought it was useful. Why? It generates customized suggestions on what your audience and YouTube viewers are interested in. This can now be accessed by most creators, except in Europe (EEA, UK, Switzerland) and India.

To Do and Try

Google’s NotebookLM is a research tool that lets you upload your own source documents. It’s expanding to 200 countries and has new features: add Google Slides and URLs as sources (in addition to PDFs, Docs and text files), inline citations jump directly to the relevant passage in the source document, and you can generate FAQs, Study Guides and other types of documents and you can ask questions about images, charts and diagrams. Try it at

Cara, Social Media for Artists, has growing pains

Jingna Zhang is a well-known fashion and portrait photographer, who successfully won a plagiarism case in Belgium where a copy of her work was entered into (and won) an art contest. She has also noted how dehumanizing it is to have her name and likeness frequently used as a prompt to generate images on MidJourney.

In late 2022 Zhang and a team of volunteers launched Cara, a social media and portfolio platform “by artists and for artists”, informed by her own experience as an artist.

Cara does not allow AI-generated works, and actively prevents them from being included in portfolios. It also offers users the Glaze tool, which makes changes that prevent generative AI models from copying the image’s style, but are generally imperceptible to people.

Over the last week Cara has had a viral moment, growing from 40,000 to more than 650,000 users. That’s in part because artists and photographers are fed up with how sites like Meta (and more specifically Instagram) and Deviant Art are using artists’ work for AI training, and how they are handling AI-generated content.  (I’ll note that if you are in the EU or UK, you can opt out of Meta’s use of your content for AI training, but no one else has that option.)

But that sudden spike in user sign-ups has caused some growing pains. The site has crashed multiple times and Zhang was surprised by a $96,000 increase in the site’s hosting bill (which was previously around $2000). 

Up until now Zhang has been funding Cara out of her own pocket. There are no ads, no venture capital investment (or its demands for growth), no “pro” subscriptions. They have added a Buy Me a Coffee donation link, but that doesn’t seem likely to generate enough revenue to sustain the site.

Would users pay a small monthly fee to keep the site running? That’s unclear. 

I’m rooting for them, because there should be more options for creatives to share their work without the expectation it will be exploited.

Should you be concerned by Adobe’s updated Terms?

One of the big topics of discussion this week has been Adobe’s “new” Terms of Service. The changes appear to have been made in February, but some users have recently seen a pop-up requiring them to accept the terms. 

The biggest point of concern is wording that "clarified that [Adobe] may access your content through both automated and manual methods, such as for content review", and that Adobe will use content for generative AI training in some circumstances. 

The good news is that you can (mostly) opt out of having your content used for AI training in your account’s privacy settings in the “Content analysis” section. 

But there are some exceptions. For example if you submit your content to Adobe Stock it may be used for “machine learning.” And, I think a bit more concerningly, Adobe says

Additionally, if you use features that rely on content analysis techniques (for example, Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop), your content may still be analyzed when you use those features to help improve that feature.

It does seem unlikely that Adobe will access people’s private projects, particularly if they are not uploaded to Adobe Creative Cloud. 

But overall this has been managed poorly, and users don’t trust Adobe to do the right thing. Plus, as Jonathan Bailey at Plagiarism Today points out, having a single set of terms for Adobe’s wide array of products and services adds to the confusion. 

Adobe has responded with some clarification, which may or may not ease some concerns. They have confirmed that they do not train Firefly with consumer content and they do not assume ownership of a customer’s work, and they may review content stored on their servers for illegal or abusive material. 

I’ll note that I do use Photopea, which is a free web-based Photoshop alternative. It is frequently updated (latest update is importing MKV and WEBM files with each frame converted to a layer so it can be exported as a GIF or MP4 file.)

Video Creator and Live Streaming Updates

YouTube is expanding access to Community Posts.  Previously a channel needed to have access to Advanced Features to be able to make Posts. Now Posts are available to everyone, except channels that are “Made for Kids” or that use a supervised account. Learn more about Posts and the mobile Posts feed. (via Creator Insider).

YouTube is adding Breakout Videos to the Inspiration tab in YouTube Analytics on mobile and desktop. These are “videos from similar channels that have performed exceedingly well. The goal is to give creators more holistic understanding of channels similar to them and what content is resonating with their audience.” See the announcement on Creator Insider.

YouTube is testing the ability to sort large comment sections on Shorts by automatically-determined topic.  This will be available in the YouTube mobile app. This is already available for English language long-form videos.

Hank Green explains the difference between being a creator on TikTok and YouTube. On TikTok, you don’t choose what you watch, instead it’s an algorithmic feed of the most popular content. That means even much-watched creators there have trouble selling merch or hosting a meetup because people don’t see that posted content.

On Twitch moderators can use the new Chat Warnings to send an anonymous message to live chatters to let them know what rule they have broken.

Starting July 5, Google will only crawl sites with the mobile Googlebot. Google says the majority of the web is already being crawled that way, so it’s unlikely to affect most sites in Google Search.

The official Google Search Central account is now on LinkedIn. It’s good to see official Google accounts on platforms other than Twitter/X.

Ryan Broderick at Fast Company: Inside Medium's decade-long journey to find its own identity. Interestingly Medium now boosts content using human curation, not algorithms.

Beehiiv has a new Creator Accelerator program, for 5 “top tier” creators with a promising newsletter idea. Successful applicants get assistance with design, editing and writing, marketing, tech support and more. Unlike Substack’s Creator Studio fellowship program which is aimed at bringing video creators (especially on TikTok) to the platform, Beehiiv seems to be looking for any sort of content that might be successful.

Two nice Beehiiv updates: embedded audio and (for paying users) the option to offer a “lifetime” paid subscription, rather than just monthly or yearly.

Social Media

X now officially allows consensual adult nudity and sexual content, as long as it’s properly labeled. It should be all behind a content warning, and not available to under-18s. X, and Twitter before it, has allowed pornographic content, but this is the first formalized policy. Will people now confuse videos on X with X Videos (which is an entirely separate porn site)?

Instagram says “If we believe your content explicitly asks for engagement through shares, comments, tags, or other actions, then we won’t recommend it.”  As an example, then mention asking people to comment with a specific word or emoji.

Instagram also announced new features for Broadcast Channels: go live exclusively for channel members, add a custom theme and image to your channel, select which emojis channel members can use, share a QR code link to your channel. Broadcast channels are available to select accounts with at least 10,000 followers.

Lindsay Gamble reports Instagram now lets you create a carousel of photos with different dimensions. 

Bridgy Fed is a new “non-commercial open-source” service that bridges Fediverse accounts with Bluesky accounts and websites. TechCrunch has a user-friendly explanation of how it works. What can it do? This Threads post was shared to the Fediverse, then bridged to Bluesky here

Substack adds new Chat features, including video sharing and link previews. Every month it becomes more like a “social” platform than a newsletter service.

Anuj Ahooja explains why Patreon belongs in the Fediverse.

Communication and Collaboration

When you are presenting in a Meet meeting, you can now zoom and scroll the presented content from inside Meet. That way you don’t need to have to switch between windows.

If you celebrate Pride this month, try one of Meet’s special augmented reality digital effects. Or if you use Teams, one of their Pride backgrounds.

Google Chat now lets people request to join a Space when they click on a shared link. This is available to Google Workspace customers (where only requests from inside the same organization can only be approved) and personal accounts that have a Workspace Individual subscription.

You can now easily switch between Commenting mode and Viewing mode in Google Slides.

Google Workspace users can set conditional notifications for significant changes to a Google Sheets file.

More Reading (and watching)

Kyle Chayka in the New Yorker: The New Generation of Online Culture Curators 

Om Malik writes about a post by Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify. It was a tone-deaf post about the “cost of creating content being close to zero” and musing about “shelf life” of content. He later clarified that he was “far too vague” and he was just musing on the “staying power of the most creative, the most thought-provoking ideas”. 

Thanks for reading! 🌼