Peggy K's Creator Weekly: Inactive Google Accounts, AdSense policy update, YouTube Shopping
This week there are a bunch of updates for YouTubers, Instagrammers, web publishers, writers and more. Of particular note are Google’s new policy on inactive accounts (they may delete them), AdSense Consent Management Platform requirements,
Last week, Google announced “Duet AI”, with generative AI integrated with Google Workspace products. I just got access to the “help me write” AI in Gmail and Docs. I may write it up with more details next week, but my first impression is that it’s an interesting tool, but not ready for real work (yet). You can sign up to try it here.
Creator Weekly Live
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Google will start deleting inactive accounts
Nothing is forever. This week Google announced that if an account is inactive for at least 2 years, it may be deleted, along with all its contents (Gmail, Photos, Blogger blogs, Drive files and so forth).
Google says this is (at least in part) for security reasons, as inactive accounts are less likely to be well-secured, and so could be hijacked and used for spam or scams.
You can keep your account active by signing in and using it or by using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third party app or service.
And there are some exceptions. Google will not deleted accounts:
If there is an active subscription (for example for Google One)
If it has digital purchases
If it manages a minor’s account through Family Link
And Google “does not have plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time”
There are a few more exceptions and lots more details in the official Accounts help center article.
Note that there is a separate requirement to remain active in some individual products, like Google Photos. It’s a good idea to periodically sign in to the accounts and services you want to keep.
Deletions will not start until December, and Google will send multiple email notices, to both the account and the account’s recovery email address. If you haven’t added a recovery email to your Google account, do that in your account’s security settings.
AdSense’s new Consent Management Platform requirement for serving ads in Europe
If you use AdSense or Google Ad Manager to place ads on your own website or AdMob to run ads in an app, and you serve ads to visitors from the European Economic Area and UK, you need to be aware of the new requirement for consent management.
The announcement is pretty jargon heavy, but the gist is that publishers will be required to use a Google-certified Consent Management Platform (CMP) that integrates with IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF). In the coming weeks, Google will provide a list of Consent Management Platforms that meet those requirements.
The list will be here, when it’s available (there aren’t any Google-certified CMPs listed yet).
If you are already using AdSense’s Privacy & Messaging GDPR user consent message, Google says:
We encourage publishers to consider which CMP solution is best for them. To support publishers, the GDPR user consent messages available to Ad Manager, AdSense, and AdMob publishers in the Privacy & messaging tab will be certified against the new TCF requirement. Learn more about Privacy & Messaging GDPR support and integration with TCF.
To add a GDPR user consent message, sign in to your AdSense account, click “Privacy & messaging” on the left menu, then click the GDPR card to access the settings.
It’s getting easier to Shop with YouTube
If your YouTube channel is in the YouTube Partner Program (and meets other eligibility requirements), it’s now easier to sell your products and for viewers to shop.
Connect your merch store (for example on Shopify or Spring), then tag products in your videos and Shorts. A “Shopping button” will then appear on your content to viewers.
YouTube also has a hashtag you should use:
P.S. Don’t forget to use #ShopwithYouTube when you make your tagged shopping content. When you do, you’ll join our casting call for upcoming marketing programs, invite-only events and more!
Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 18)
New accessibility features for Google products:: AI-based automated alt-text for images in the Lookout app, wheelchair accessible locations in Google Maps, Live Caption real-time captions on more Android devices (plus support for French, German and Italian), Chrome detects typos in the address bar and better tab navigation for TalkBack users.
New accessibility features from Microsoft: GPT-4-powered Disability Answer Desk in the BeMyEyes app, Xbox ambassadors with gamer stories, Blind/Low Vision access to training on LinkedIn (and Accessibility training for all), and grants to nonprofits from the 2023 Microsoft Accessibility Nonprofit Tech Accelerator.
New accessibility features from Apple: an Assistive Access interface on the iPhone and iPad for people with cognitive disabilities; Live Speech text to speech for phone calls and FaceTime; Personal Voice to use your own voice with Live Speech; Point and Speak in Magnifier and more.
YouTube and Video Creators
YouTube is reminding creators that all channels with advanced features enabled have access to Community Posts. Sending feedback or tweeting @TeamYouTube will not get you this feature.
There’s a new metric in YouTube Analytics that shows what formats your viewers watch most: Videos, Shorts or Live. Learn more from Creator Insider.
Twitch launched Alerts, which let you show animations while you’re streaming for Subscriptions, Follows and Twich-only features like Resubs, Hype Trains, Goals, Raids and more.
Twitter Blue subscribers can now upload videos up to 2 hours long at 1080p resolution on the web and in the iOS app. Subscribers using an Android device can upload videos up to 10 minutes long. And non-subscribers have a video timeline of 2 minutes.
TikTok launched new ways for creators to monetize their content: Effect Creator Rewards that pays based on usage of shared effects; the Creativity Program Beta, to earn from video views (US, France and Brazil only); and Artist Impact Program, where artists can monetize their music by licensing it to businesses.
To improve accessibility you can (finally) add alt text to images in Google Sites. This has just started rolling out, and may take a few weeks to be available to everyone.
Websites hosted at Wordpress.com have a redesigned Stats page, with a new Insights tab with highlights of things like the most popular post, the most popular time for people to read your content and more.
Instagram CEO Adam Mossari has a hot tip: take Instagram URL and add /QR at the end to get a QR code that links to that page. Most Instagram posts and pages (and profiles) also have a QR code you can access via the 3-dot menu icon for that post or page.
You can now post GIFs in Instagram comments.
Instagram Broadcast Channels allow creators to make short text posts to their followers. Now it’s also possible to invite guests to Broadcast Channels for a conversation.
Third party apps will soon be able to post to Instagram Stories.
Facebook has new creator education options on the Professional dashboard with tips and best practices. You can now also monitor whether your posts are being recommended and performance insights.
Flickr updated their terms and conditions to make it easier for users to understand what is and is not allowed.
You can now purchase special badges on Tumblr. Some are silly, but the Commissions Open badge should be useful for artists looking to connect with potential clients.
This week’s Google Workspace summit covered generative AI, a multigenerational workforce, the hybrid workplace and more (Watch the video with the keynote starting at 13:00)
Facebook hosted a “Future of Work” summit that focused on using VR and the metaverse in the workplace for training, finding new jobs, and prototyping.
Google Calendar is more interoperable with Microsoft Outlook. If you use the same email for Outlook and Calendar, you can receive Calendar invites and RSVPs in Outlook. Invites created in Calendar will create a default meeting reminder in Outlook. And Google Calendar will more accurately update non-Google Calendar recurring events. This is available now, for all accounts.
Some Google Workspace editions will have the ability to collaboratively draft Google Calendar events in Docs.
Google Docs now lets you create documents with collapsible headers, making long documents easier to read. This is rolling out, and may not be available for a couple of weeks.
Google Docs has two new timely smart chips: a timer chip and a time-of-day chip (you can add the day and a time). This is rolling out, and may not be available for a couple of weeks.
Some Google Workspace editions will be able to save custom blocks of text, tables and chips in Google Docs, to be used as reusable document components.
Some Google Workspace editions will let you automatically extract data from smart chips in Google Sheets. For example if you have a chip for a Google Doc document, you can extract the creation date and time, file owner name, and date it was last modified.
More Around the Web
From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, see a visualization of the personal information about you that can be found in data breaches. (The source is Have I Been Pwned?). For my email, the first recorded data breach was MySpace in 2008 and the biggest was NetGallery (which could have included my address and phone number). It’s eye opening, and concerning.
Visit museum galleries from your home with Google Arts and Culture-hosted Pocket Galleries from museums around the world.
You can now add a Bing AI Chat widget to your phone’s home screen. Microsoft is also enabling continuous chatbot conversations across platforms, so you can move from your phone to desktop with an ongoing chat. Microsoft seems to be really banking on AI-Bing with new integrations in Skype chat, Edge mobile app and the Swiftkey keyboard.
Science Fiction author Ted Chiang writes for the New Yorker: “Will A.I. Become the New McKinsey?”. From the article: “That escape from accountability is one of the most valuable services that management consultancies provide. [..,.] Even in its current rudimentary form, A.I. has become a way for a company to evade responsibility by saying that it’s just doing what “the algorithm” says, even though it was the company that commissioned the algorithm in the first place.”
Mike Masnick at TechDirt writes about the Supreme Court decision on Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamnah: Supreme Court Leaves 230 Alone For Now, But Justice Thomas Gives A Pretty Good Explanation For Why It Exists In The First Place
That’s all the updates for this week. Subscribe to get the Weekly Update in your email inbox or favorite feed reader every week. Miss last week’s update? Get it here.
Header image background: Sunset over mountains from Pexels via Canva. Free for commercial use.