Peggy K's Creator Weekly: Currents migration to Spaces, Twitter Subscriptions, YouTube Posts
This week there are updates for Currents communities; Twitter, YouTube and Instagram creators; Blogger bloggers; and more.
Creator Weekly is Live!
As an experiment, I will be live streaming the top creator updates on Sundays at 10:30 AM Pacific Time (17:30 UTC). Head over to YouTube to set a reminder or watch. Join me if you have questions, comments, or want a quick recap.
Watch last week’s surprise edition. I confess that knowing no one was watching made it easier.
Currents (formerly Google+) is in the final stages of migration to Chat Spaces
The migration of communities from Currents to Google Chat Spaces has begun. This process will be completed by the end of June, and Currents will shut down on July 5.
I’ve written up an overview of the latest timeline and migration details.
Note that the migration will only include communities and community members active starting in July 2020. This will not include any personal Google accounts.
It will be interesting to see if the big communities survive the process. Notably Spaces can only have Space Managers from a single Google Workspace domain, which I imagine limits collaborative moderation.
This week Google added new Space features and published a timeline of new features that will be available soon.
There is a new option rolling out now to create an Announcements-only Space, where posting is limited to Space Managers. Note that you must have a Google Workspace account to create an Announcements Space.
Google Chat on the web is getting a Material Design update.
Coming soon: Post view metrics
Coming soon: Full Chat API
Coming soon: Google Groups sync with Spaces for membership management
Coming soon: Space management tools in the Google Workspace admin console
It will be interesting to see what happens once the migration is complete. Will Google implement publicly discoverable Spaces? I suspect not. But we’ll see. I’ve been wrong lots of times before.
Twitter adds features for Blue subscribers and lets more creators monetize
This week Twitter renamed “Super Follows” to “Subscriptions”, and opened up the monetization option to more creators. To be eligible, your Twitter profile must have at least 500 followers and have Tweeted at least 25 times in the past month. It’s also only open to over-18s in the United States.
Subscribers can have access to subscriber-only Tweets and Spaces.
For the first year, Twitter will not take a cut of the proceeds, which means that all revenue (less the cut taken by payment processors or the app store) will go to creators.
The catch is that to access the latest creator features, you have to pay for a Twitter Blue subscription.
This week Twitter Blue subscribers can Tweet up to 10,000 characters(!) and use bold and italic for formatting. Blue subscribers can also upload videos up to 60 minutes long.
Will people shift to writing and video sharing directly on Twitter?
It seems like it’s not a great blogging platform, with few features for formatting and likely limited discoverability if you don’t pay for Twitter Blue. And it’s not clear that people on Twitter are interested in reading long posts, let alone pay for access to exclusive content. Maybe celebrities (like CEO Musk) will make it work.
But to compare: A blog on WordPress.com with a custom domain is only $4 per month (including paid subscriber tools). A blog on Blogger.com with a custom domain is free. And you should be able to take your audience with you if you move to a different platform. On Twitter, not so much.
More Twitter updates
A Twitter Circle is meant to be a way to share Tweets with just a limited group. Over the past couple of weeks, they have been having a problem where private Circle tweets are appearing in the “For You” feed of people who are not in the Circle. This is bad!
Twitter has - as promised - turned off automated tweeting using the API. That affects useful accounts like the National Weather Service, transit updates, and more. Interestingly San Francisco Bay Area’s BART service updates had their API access suspended, then apparently reinstated after they complained. Maybe other clearlynnon-spamming accounts will get the same treatment.
US public media NPR and PBS have stopped posting on Twitter because of the Government-funded Media label added last week. Previously only Government-controlled media was labeled. Now media that receives any government funding at all gets labeled, lumping together pure propaganda platforms with organizations that get a small percentage of their funding from the government, but retain editorial control. (Similarly tagged BBC had their label changed to “Publicly Funded” after they complained). NPR noted that less than 2% of their traffic came from the platform.
Twitter is partnering with eToro to show real-time prices for stocks and cryptocurrencies, as well as providing a button to the eToro site where you can trade. Twitter CEO Musk has said he wants to make Twitter a financial services platform, which seems to fit with this update.
Customer service platform Intercom has dropped Twitter integration, due to the increased cost of using the API.
YouTube and Video
YouTube update: Now if you share an upcoming live stream or premiere link in a Community Post, there’s a “Notify Me” button, right on the post. That way people don’t need to click the video link to set a reminder. (learn more from Creator Insider).
You can now download your YouTube Shorts and videos to your mobile device from inside the YouTube Studio app.
YouTube has a new video explaining how best to start creating with a TV audience in mind. The first step is uploading 4K video for the big screen. That’s a big ask, as 4K video files are huge (on the order of 5GB for a 15 minute video).
Twitch announced Unity Guild Leaders for the new Black Guild, Women’s Guild, and Latinx/Hispanic Guild. Twitch Partners in the US and Canada who identify with one (or more) of those groups can apply to join. In addition to help build community, perks include event invites, the Guild Discord, and "priority consideration for being featured in Twitch marketing opportunities."
Instagram has launched several Reels updates for creators: easily find trending music and hashtags to use, improvements to the Reels editor in the mobile app, watch time metrics, notifications of new followers from Reels, Gifts available to creators in more countries (adding Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, New Zealand, UK).
Substack CEO Chris Best sat down for an interview with The Verge’s Nilay Patel to talk about the new Notes social feed, how it’s not “social media” (even though it looks that way), and last week’s kerfuffle with Twitter. What’s got people talking is how Best dodged answering questions about how they will handle content moderation in the new Substack Notes. They have not placed many limits on what newsletter writers publish, but as Patel points out, Notes is an algorithmic feed where people do see posts from authors who they do not subscribe to. At some point Substack will need to decide how to handle this.
Author Analee Newitz writes for New Scientist: “How I found a new home online at Mastodon, after giving up Twitter”. (Subscription required)
LinkedIn is offering new free identity verification options, including CLEAR (for US people), Microsoft Entra, or by using your work email.
Parler, the “uncancelable” conservative social media platform has been purchased and shut down, with the possibility of a future redesign and relaunch. New owner Starboard, which runs conservative news sites, said "No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more”.
Google Search update: video thumbnails will now only show in the search results if the video is the main content of the page. Google says that in experiments the change had minimal impact on engagement.
Google released their annual Webspam report for 2022. Their AI based SpamBrain is faster and better at detecting link spam and hacked sites.
Blogger Product Expert Adam explains advanced use of blog post labels to create pages or feeds using AND and OR searches.
Medium has a new topic directory to help finding and exploring content.
Google gave an exclusive interview with Gizmodo about the Privacy Sandbox and their “plan to kill the cookie.”
Google Sites has a few new features: align your buttons, use a page frame, adjust the page width, and see when a collaborator is editing text on the Site (similar to what you see in Google Docs).
Google Workspace has released a timeline for upcoming Google Meet meeting features. Upcoming improvements include: better audio and video with low bandwidth connections, 1080p video using the AV1 codec; spatial audio, stereo music and echo cancellation for browser tabs; self view in Companion Mode; adaptive framing and check-in for Meet meeting rooms, and more Meet hardware devices. Watch the video starting at about 11:54.
Microsoft Teams has teamed up with Snap to integrate Snapchat Lenses for Teams. This includes silly AR filters and creative backgrounds.
The PhotoPea.com web-based alternative to Photoshop now lets you create 100s of versions of a mock-up automatically.
Google is converting Assistant and Calendar Reminders to Tasks. If you have a personal Google account you may have voluntarily migrated already. If not, they will be automatically migrated soon. Click the link for the timeline for Google Workspace accounts. As part of this “upgrade” reminders in Google Keep will still be available in Keep, but they will stop showing on your Calendar.
To make organization of files easier, the location picker in Google Drive is getting an upgrade, including suggested folders and improved navigation.
Bing’s AI Chat is now integrated with the SwiftKey mobile keyboard for Android and iOS, as well as Skype chat groups, and the Microsoft Start news and content app.
Douglas Eck, senior research director at Google, explains “generative AI” (including Large Language Models like Bard) for the layperson. He likens them to drum machines: “The drum machine generated a rhythm that was different from what human drummers sounded like, and that fueled entirely new genres of music.” You can find information about the latest updates to Google Bard at bard.google.com/updates
Nate Rodgers at The Ringer: Dril Is Everyone. More Specifically, He’s a Guy Named Paul.
Mike Masnick has a detailed policy report published by the Copia Institute and CCIA Research Center on “The Unintended Consequences of Internet Regulation”. He writes “Overbroadness and poor targeting of many of these policies can both drive compliance costs up and make benefits hard to measure.”
Header image background: Poppy blooms on a hillside near Lake Elsinore, California (2021) by Angelica Reyn on Pexels. Free to use, no attribution required (License). https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-and-green-mountains-under-blue-sky-7126367/