Peggy K's Creator Weekly: Meta Threads, YouTube Posts, Blocking AI Access
This was a short holiday week for folks like me in the US, but the buzz around Instagram Threads and other launches more than made up for it.
Updates this week include Meta's new Twitter-like Threads social media platform, YouTube Community Posts on tablets, Live Reminders stats in YouTube Analytics, and Google thinking about how publishers can signal whether they allow AI access to their content and more.
Don’t lose access to your Google Account!
Once you have set up 2-step verification on your Google Account, save a copy of your account backup codes in a safe place. Here’s how to find them::
Be sure to accept the new YouTube Partner Program terms
In January YouTube announced new YouTube Partner Program terms. The new terms are modular with base terms that every Partner must accept, and separate terms for different monetization options including watch page ads, Shorts Feed ads, Supers, Memberships and Shopping.
The deadline to accept the terms is July 10.
If your channel is in the YouTube Partner Program you must accept at least the base terms by deadline to continue monetizing. If you do not accept the terms, your channel will be removed from the YouTube Partner Program, and you will have to re-apply to monetize in the future.
You can confirm that you have accepted terms on the Earn tab of YouTube Studio.
So Many Socials: Find Me Across the Web
I am apparently a social media junkie. I’ve signed up for a lot of different social platforms over the past 9 months or so.
Is it too much? Yes, indeed.
I’ll probably stop using some of these, but I haven’t decided which. So, for now, if you are on any of those platforms, look me up!
But what about Threads? Read on.
Twitter Profiles Still Private
In last week’s news roundup, I noted Twitter made itself invisible to non-signed-in users. And even signed in users could only view a limited number of posts. This was said to be a way to combat “scrapers”, but even if that was a success, it made for a lousy user experience.
Over the past week Twitter has made individual posts visible to signed out users again. That change was made not long after Google started removing the unviewable Tweets from the search results.
However, as of this writing, Twitter profile pages are still hidden behind a login screen for signed-out users. And the official Twitter feed widget installed on blogs and websites across the internet just shows an error message.
If this situation remains, eventually people doing a search for you on Twitter may find your individual Tweets, but not your non-public Twitter profile.
And I think this pretty much kills the use of Twitter for emergency announcements, as those need a publicly visible profile.
If the goal is to discourage people from using Twitter, that’s likely working.
Meta Launches Threads
It’s no coincidence that Meta chose this week to launch their new Threads text-based - and very Twitter like - social app.
It’s linked to Instagram, so you can sign up with your Instagram account, use the same username and details, and choose to automatically follow the same accounts on Threads that you follow on Instagram.
With more than 2 billion active monthly users on Instagram, it’s not surprising that there were more than 70 million sign-ups in the first two days.
What is it for? Mosseri explained it’s a public square, designed for conversations, but they aren’t going to encourage politics or hard news.
The goal isn't to replace Twitter. The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter and for communities on Twitter (and other platforms) that are interested in a less angry place for conversations, but not all of Twitter.
Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads - they have on Instagram as well to some extent - but we're not going to do anything to encourage those verticals.
Twitter isn’t happy about the launch, and sent Meta a letter threatening to sue for ex-Twitter employees stealing trade secrets and using them to design Threads (after having been hired by Meta), and reminds Meta that “crawling or scraping” Twitter followers or following data violates their terms of service.
It doesn’t really have the feel of a new social platform where you need to build your network from scratch. Instead people are just there already, and the main algorithmic feed is full of posts, continuing on from Instagram.
It will be interesting to see if celebrities who have masses of followers for their photos can keep people interested in their text comments.
Both Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram head Adam Mosseri are active on the platform, answering questions and interacting with posters. They are also posting on Twitter, poking at Twitter. (Sadly it no longer works to embed a Tweet here.)
Mosseri also spoke to Alex Heath, editor at The Verge.
Here are some of the key bits of information:
Currently Threads is only available in the mobile app for iOS and Android.
It is available in 100 countries. Notably, it’s not available in the EU yet, due to concerns over complying with privacy regulations.
Threads is part of your Instagram account, so while you can deactivate Threads and hide it, you can’t fully remove it from your Instagram.
The Hidden Words setting in Instagram (hide replies or messages with certain words) carries over to Threads.
Posts can be up to 500 characters long, and can include videos up to 5 minutes long or photos.
You can share a Threads post to Instagram Stories or to other apps (although Twitter doesn’t show a preview if you share a Threads link).
They will eventually have a following-only feed, but that’s not available yet.
Eventually it will be linked with ActivityPub, the protocol underlying Mastodon, Lemmy (link aggregator and Reddit alternative) and the rest of the “fediverse”. Mastodon founder Eugene Rochko wrote about what that means for Mastodon.
No ads, at least not yet.
And no skeets or toots. Official terminology is posts and replies make up a discussion thread. Posts can be reposted and quoted.
I’ve tried it, and it’s interesting. But I’m not linking to my profile.
I’ve been keeping my Blog-Twitter-YouTube social network separate from my personal accounts, including Instagram. Here I post about tech things, there I post photos of interesting places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, how my garden is growing and whatnot.
But now folks I follow on Twitter are now active on Threads, and I’m a bit torn on how to manage it all.
But if you do join Threads, and you know my Instagram handle, look me up!
YouTube and Video Updates
You can now see how many viewers set a reminder for an upcoming live stream or Premiere in your YouTube Analytics. On desktop, open Analytics in YouTube Studio, click “See More” (for the deep dive), click the current metric and select “More Metrics” and then under “Live” select “Reminders Set”. (more from Creator Insider)
YouTube Posts are now available on tablets. Up until now, you could only create a Community Post in the YouTube app on tablets. Now posts are also visible on iPads and Android tablets (more from Creator Insider).
YouTube is testing AI-generated quizzes about the content in select educational videos. The mobile-only quiz will link back to the video so you can learn more. This is only available to a small percentage of viewers who have watched the educational videos in English.
Instagram now lets you add up to three collaborators to any Reel or feed post.
Google has started a discussion about how to set up machine-readable web publisher controls to indicate how a site can be used for AI or research purposes. This would be something along the lines of the robots.txt file that lets web publishers control how search engines crawl their content. You can join the conversation at the link.
On July 20 there will be a live demo of WordPress 6.3 with the WordPress team, scheduled to be released on August 8. You can join the session via Zoom. A recording will be available after the session.
The new version of TweetDeck is finally out of beta, and (not too surprisingly) is becoming a paid service. You can use the “new” TweetDeck for 30 days, and after that it is only available to Twitter Blue subscribers.
There’s a major update to the official Mastodon Android app, with a Material You redesign, filter management, new notification settings and more. I may need to check that out, as I’ve been using elk.zone and the Tusky app to access Mastodon on my phone.
The protests at Reddit are ongoing, with the moderators r/AMA stepping back from running celebrity interviews. Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today notes AMAs (“ask me anything”) are one of Reddit’s most high-profile sources of original content. Although Reddit CEO Steve Huffman seems to be sticking to his plans.
Baldur Bjarnason @ Out of the Software Crisis: The LLMentalist Effect: how chat-based Large Language Models replicate the mechanisms of a psychic’s con
Kate Wagner @ The Nation: Lessons From the Catastrophic Failure of the Metaverse
Header image background: Image of embroidery threads by Anita Smith from Pixabay (free for commercial use): https://pixabay.com/photos/thread-embroidery-sewing-craft-961671/