Peggy K's Creator Weekly: EU Digital Services Act, YouTube AI, Creators' Guild of America
It’s almost September and it’s back to learning. This week you can view - for free - WordPress’s Wordcamp US and Google Cloud Next sessions. Plus “Very Large Online Platforms” make changes to comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act, YouTube is collaborating with the music industry to make sure everyone is happy with AI-related changes, the Creators Guild of America is open to members, and WordPress has a new 100 year plan.
And there’s updates for web publishers, video creators, podcasters, and more.
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Google Cloud Next
Google Cloud Next is August 29-31, and you can attend virtually for free. This is Google’s annual conference aimed at business users, with sessions on generative AI, productivity and collaboration tools (like Google Meet meetings and Google Chat), data analysis, security and more. There’s even a session on “revenue streams at the intersection of Web3 (blockchains) and AI”.
Once you have registered, you can create playlists of the sessions you are interested in. Session recordings will be available on-demand after the event.
If you are interested in Google’s integration of generative AI into its productivity tools, you can’t miss this.
European Union Digital Services Act: Chronological Feeds Everywhere
The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) requires online platforms to have processes for flagging illegal content and “trusted flaggers”, options for users to appeal moderation decisions, transparency in recommendation algorithms, providing data to researchers and more.
Very large online services must be compliant by August 25, so there are new updates and a few new options. These are updates from companies that qualify as being “Very Large Online Platform” (VLOP), which is defined as having at least 45 million monthly active users in the EU. The Verge has a list of the 19 companies considered to be VLOPs, and more information about compliance.
Google (information): Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Google Search, YouTube
Google notes that many of these features were implemented years ago.
Priority Flagger Program (formerly Trusted Flagger Program)
YouTube creators can appeal video removals and restrictions
No personalized advertisements for users under 18
Expanding the Ads Transparency Center
Increasing data access for researchers
New Transparency Center where you can find all Google’s product policies, reporting and appeal tools
Other recent changes that may (or may not) be related to these new requirements:
If you turn off your YouTube watch history, features that require watch history to make recommendations are turned off (so, for example, there are no videos on the YouTube Home page).
All AdSense, AdMob, and Ad Manager publishers that serve ads to website visitors from the EU and UK must use a Google-certified Consent Management Platform by January 2024.
Meta (information): Facebook and Instagram
Teens aren’t shown personalized ads.
In June they launched a site explaining how AI affects ranking on Facebook and Instagram.
There is a new Meta Content Library and API for researchers.
Easier to access the tools for reporting illegal content.
European users will be able to “view and discover content on Reels, Stories, Search and other parts of Facebook and Instagram that is not ranked by Meta using these systems”. An example given is viewing Reels only from people you follow, shown in chronological order.
European users will be able to view non-personalized search results.
TikTok seems to be limiting its updates to European users, rather than everyone.
European users have new option to report illegal content
More information about moderation decisions for European users (such as why a video is ineligible for recommendation)
European users can turn off personalization, with a chronological Following and Friends feed
These updates may only apply to “EU Members” of LinkedIn.
Providing users more information about moderation decisions and an easy way to appeal.
Global Ad Library to view ads served by LinkedIn.
More information on the “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature.
View a non-personalized version of your feed on desktop or mobile.
Visitors who are not logged in can report content.
Qualifying researchers have greater access to public data
Users in the EU can opt out of personalization in Discover and Spotlight.
Notify users why content was removed and provide an easy way to appeal (first available in the EU then more broadly).
Integration with the European Union’s Transparency API.
No personalized ads for under-18s in the EU and UK.
Users in the EU can tap “Why am I seeing this ad?” for more information about why they are seeing an ad.
Library of EU-targeted ads.
Twitter (when it was still Twitter) stated they were committed to complying with the DSA, but it does not appear they have shared any details.
Update your Links on YouTube
On August 31 links in the description or comments on YouTube Shorts will no longer be clickable. And the link icons on the YouTube channel banner have already been removed.
Instead there are new Channel Links that you can add that will be prominently highlighted on your channel. Those became publicly visible on August 23.If you haven’t reviewed the links on your channel recently, set them up today!
YouTube is also starting to roll out what they call Related Video Links on Shorts. If you have advanced features enabled on your YouTube channel, this will eventually be available to your channel.
You will initially only be able to add the Related Video links in YouTube Studio on the web, but that option will eventually be available on mobile.
YouTube is working with the music industry as it develops AI tools
YouTube has launched a Music AI Incubator.
YouTube is working with the Universal Music Group and their talent (including artists, songwriters and producers) to “help gather insights on generative AI experiments and research that are being developed at YouTube”. They say they plan to work with other music partners in the future.
The increasing popularity of generative AI is giving YouTube the “opportunity to reimagine and evolve again” its Content ID system
And finally, they are actively updating their trust and safety systems to combat issues with manipulated content spreading misinformation, spam, copyright and trademark issues.
Sir Lucian Grange, CEO of Universal Music Group describes it as an “artist-centric approach to AI innovation.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as I’m fairly certain that Grange’s “artist-centric” goals are primarily music industry interests.
Commentary from Nilay Patel, Editor-in-chief of The Verge: Google and YouTube are trying to have it both ways with AI and copyright
Creators Guild of America
On August 24, the Creators Guild of America officially launched. This is a non-profit that is designed to “protect and promote the interests of digital creators. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply as a Media, Marketing or Maker creator.
Media creators include bloggers, gamers, celebrities and the like, and the requirements include at least two of the following:
15K followers across 3 or less platforms
25K or more monthly active website visits
1 verified platform (excluding Twitter)
Paid activations valued over $15K (1 year or less)
5 confirmed creative credits
There are separate criteria for Marketing (including graphic designers, social media managers, photographers) and Maker (including founders, developers, producers) members.
Membership is $99 per year, and benefits include resources (like sample contracts), business opportunities and members-only events. And members can register their completed works, creating a public record of creative works, including work done by those behind the scenes.
Those who don’t meet eligibility requirements can join as an associate, join events and get the newsletter (I’ve signed up for that).
Who is behind this effort? CGA’s board includes Justine Ezarik (iJustine), Paige Kaplan (an entertainment attorney at Greenberg Traurig), Nick Rizzuto (former head of business development at Linktree), and Wil Schroter (founder and CEO of Startups.com).
The article about this launch on Tubefilter notes that a previous similar organization, Hank Green’s Internet Creators Guild, shut down in 2019 after running out of funding.
More Video Creator Updates
YouTube Creator Liaison Rene Ritchie interviewed Director of Shorts Product Management Todd Sherman to answer creator questions about the Shorts algorithm (no, you should not delete your Short, then repost ,to try to get more views). Check out the video here.
YouTube is running an experiment that lets users hum a song or record a song being played to find content with that song (the official music video, Shorts and so forth). This is a limited test for some users in the YouTube Android app.
You could win $1000 in Vimeo’s Tongue Twisting Tourney. This is a promotion of Vimeo’s video creation tools, and so you create your tongue twister with their AI video script generator, record the 1 minute video using their recorder with built-in teleprompter, and then edit the video. Submitted videos are judged on “creativity, confidence and comedy.” The deadline for submission is September 16. Watch the showcase of entries.
YouTube is testing a new feature that I think could really improve the subscription feed: bundling together multiple uploads from the same channel within a short amount of time. That way a prolific uploader doesn’t monopolize the feed.
X seems to be massively over-inflating “views” of videos, Mashable reports. The “views” on a video post are “tweet views”, which seem to be the same as “impressions” on most other platforms (if someone scrolls past it, it’s a view). Video views are not displayed publicly, but they are supposedly counted if someone watches for at least 2 seconds (yes, seconds), and “watching” is considered having more than 50% of the video player visible on the screen.
So at the time the article was written, the post sharing the video of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Donald Trump was “viewed” more than 236 million times, but it only had 14.8 million video views (people who “watched” for at least 2 seconds).
The Editing Podcast explains (YouTube link) why the Streamy Awards should better highlight nominated video editors, who aren’t even credited on the Streamy website. Or weren’t, until this video was posted.
Music and Podcasting
Podnews reports on updates coming to podcasts on YouTube in the near future: ingestion of RSS feeds for podcasts (which are converted into video), global roll-out of podcasts in YouTube Music, plus new analytics and discovery options.
Audio ad tech company Triton Digital also announced a data analytics partnership with YouTube, so that views of podcast episodes on YouTube will be added to Triton’s Podcast Metrics tool. This allows podcasters to compare their metrics across platforms.
This weekend is Wordcamp US, the big annual WordPress conference. You can watch livestreams of most of the sessions, no registration required. If you are a WordPress user you may want to at least tune in to the “future of WordPress” presentations on Sunday.
WordPress has announced a new 100-Year-Plan to secure your legacy online.That includes 100 year domain registration, multiple backups, submission to the Internet Archive, top tier hosting and 24/7 support. And, of course, “enhanced ownership protocols” to help facilitate smooth ownership transfers (since it’s likely that there will be more than one owner over the course of a century). You need to contact their sales team for more information. Will WordPress exist 100 years from now? Will the internet-as-we-know-it? I doubt anyone reading this right now will know.
WordPress Domains now offers domain forwarding. That means you can use a unique domain for a new project, for example, and have it redirect to a page on your main site.
Members of the Medium Partner Program have a new Stats page, where they can see claps, responses and lifetime earnings for their articles. There’s also more detailed data for “reads” and other engagement stats.
Meta’s Instagram Threads is now available on the web at www.threads.net. In this initial version for the web, you can post, reply and repost; share photos and videos; search for profiles and see your notifications. Will this increase activity? I do suspect most businesses and prolific posters are more likely to use the web interface.
Bluesky made several updates, including notifications on Android and iOS, a only-visible-to-you Likes tab on your profile (Likes are public, the tab is not), an emoji picker in the web composer and @ mention suggestions when viewing someone’s profile.
X (formerly Twitter) plans to remove headlines and snippets from shared link previews, so all you will see is a big image with an easy-to-miss domain URL overlay. If this is implemented, I’d expect fewer clicks on shared links, as the image doesn’t appear to be clickable. It also means the text description in the Tweet/Post could misleading describe the content, as not even the headline would show.
X had a bug that prevented images from displaying on Tweets posted before 2014. It also affected the t.co redirects for shared links. That was finally fixed after several days.
LinkedIn has improved its Newsletter editor and you can now host up to 5 newsletters (rather than just one). And now when someone subscribes to your LinkedIn Newsletter, they will follow you on LinkedIn as well. I’m not a LinkedIn user, so I may be missing something, but the “Newsletter” just seems to be a longer formatted post, with readers limited to other LinkedIn users.
LinkedIn now lets you add a Brand Partnership tag to posts to help provide transparency for paid content.
Privacy and Security
For added security, you will now have to reverify it’s you to make sensitive changes in Gmail, including changing filters, forwarding or IMAP access. Google evaluates the session, and if they determine it’s risky you will get a verification prompt that requires you respond to a prompt on your phone, enter a 2-step verification code, or otherwise verify yourself with a second trusted factor.
More Generative AI Updates
Meta released Code Llama, a code-specialized version of Meta’s Llama 2 large language model (LLM). If you want some coding assistance, give it a whirl.
Gmail Google Product Expert Somnath has a helpful tutorial on how to use the “Duet AI” generative AI to write in Gmail.
Bing Chat is now available in the Chrome browser and there is expanded access in SwiftKey without being signed in to a Microsoft account.
Communication and Collaboration
Google Keep (my favorite note-taking app) is adding rich text formatting (bold, italic, underline, headings). This will be available on Android devices within the next few weeks.
When a Microsoft Outlook user invites a Google Calendar user to a meeting event, the Outlook using organizer is shown as the meeting organizer in Google Calendar.
In Google Meet co-presenters of a Google Slides presentation can view the speaker notes. This is available to select Google Workspace editions and Google Workspace Individual accounts.
Did you know you can edit images right in Google Slides? Here’s a quick overview video.
Casey Newton on Platformer: Why note-taking apps don’t make us smarter.
Ronan Farrow’s latest investigative piece for the New Yorker: Elon Musk’s Shadow Rule (frustrating reading)
Header image background: Purple leather texture by Akuptsova on Pixabay (free for commercial use)