This week there are some nice updates for YouTubers, including Emotes and free dubbed translations, plus updates for web publishers, collaborators, Facebook and LinkedIn creators, and more.
The Holiday Season
Google Meet meetings has new backgrounds for Hanukkah and Christmas.
Google Meet has new backgrounds for Hanukkah and Christmas.
— Peggy K (@PeggyKTC)
Dec 10, 2022
You can drive with Santa in Google Waze.
Participants in Snapchat’s holiday Spotlight Challenges can earn part of the $125,000 prize money.
On Facebook it’s Stars Gifting Season. Fans can buy seasonal virtual gifts for their favorite creators, Stars are on sale, and Stars creators can receive bonuses if they meet specific goals.
More 2022 in Review
If you want to know who was cool on YouTube this year, check out this year’s Streamy awards.
Reddit Recap 2022 lists popular posts, AMAs, themes and subreddits. You can also get your own fun Reddit Recap with your stats, communities you might want to join, and your Reddit Superpower - just tap or click the narwhal icon on the top menu bar.
TikTok lists their most memorable moments and trending music of 2022.
Spotify posted their year in review for artists, with their top updates in 2022.
Pinterest is looking forward to 2023, with predicted trends for the coming year. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with “Airy” fashion, “Hipstoric” home decor, “Primal movement”, “Pool pawties”, “The Fourth Trimester”, “Gemini Hair”, “Romcom Core” and more trends. Apparently Boomer and Gen X celebrations are trending up!
Instagram has also shared a 2023 Trend Report as “defined by Gen Z” (I guess they don’t care about what the olds are creating).
YouTube and Video
YouTube Emotes are new sticker-like images you can use in YouTube live chat and comments. Click the smiley icon to choose one. The current emotes are gaming-focused, and were created by artists Abelle Hayford (@abellehayford), Guy Field (@ThatGuyField), and Yujin Won (@wonnu_joke). Future emotes will go beyond gaming.
Google’s Area 120 has a new free dubbing tool called Aloud. You can use it to translate and dub your English YouTube video automatically into Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi or Indonesian. Sign up to join the waitlist. To hear an example of dubbed content, change the Settings > Audio Track of this Creator Insider video.
Select a thumbnail for your Shorts in the Android YouTube app. If you are using the Shorts editor you can select a frame from the Short to use as the thumbnail. This is only possible during the upload process, and it cannot currently be changed after your Short is uploaded.
The Research tab is available in the mobile YouTube Studio app for all creators. It’s currently based on viewers in the United States, and includes insights based on search and watch activity of a channel’s audience.
There is a new YouTube Search widget for Android devices that helps you find content more quickly.
The music industry is starting to crack down on businesses and brands using their copyrighted music on TikTok or Instagram Reels. Just because the music is available on the platform does not mean it’s allowed to use it if you are selling something or the content is otherwise commercial.
Animations created in Photopea can now be exported as .MP4 files, rather than GIFs. MP4s are much smaller video files.
Google Photos will stop using your phone’s location history to add an estimated location to photos. Instead, if a photo does not have an associated location, Photos will only use identifiable landmarks for location. You will be able to keep your existing estimated locations by tapping “Keep” when prompted in google Photos. If you do not choose to keep the estimated locations, they will be removed in May 2023.
Flickr has opened their “Your Best Shot 2022” contest, with winners receiving Peak Design bags and a year of Flickr Pro.
Canva has added a “Magic Write” copywriting assistant to Canva Docs, their “visual first document creator”. It generates automated content creation for brainstorming or drafts. Docs and Magic Write are in open beta, which you can sign up for here. Magic Write can be used for free 25 times.
If your blog is on WordPress.com, sign up for the Bloganuary writing challenge, with daily blogging prompts through the month of January.
Twitter has removed the option to create Moments. Past Moments will remain available.
Sources say that Meta has discussed taking advantage of Twitter users looking for a new platform by creating new features in Facebook or Instagram, or even launching a new app.
Facebook is expanding Stars (which fans can gift creators) to more public video content, including Reels. Some viewers will have access to “Freebie” Stars on Reels, so they can gift their favorite creators without having to pay (Facebook says “make more Reels” to get more Stars). And creators can more easily find comments sent with Stars in their Comments Manager to engage with fans.
Facebook is also improving other monetization options including ads on Facebook Reels and Facebook Subscriptions. And they are reducing the minimum amount paid to $25 (down from $100) for US creators.
Casey Newton covers the Facebook Oversight Board’s recommendations for the platform’s “cross-check program”, which adds extra human review before certain posts are taken down for violating Facebook policy. This applies to some of Facebook’s business partners, government leaders and celebrities. They found that in some cases that extra review meant content that violated the rules sometimes stayed up on the platform for months while it was being reviewed (or queued for review). They recommend making the program more transparent and equitable.
The Instagram “Account Status” tool launched in 2021, with information about whether your account is at risk for being disabled. This month Instagram expanded the tool’s use to professional accounts with information about whether the account’s posts are being shown to non-followers. If an account has effectively been shadowbanned, there is information on how to fix problems and appeal.
LinkedIn for Creators has improved analytics, with Audience and demographic stats and details on your top performing posts.
Hannah Macready at HootSuite investigated whether LinkedIn “Pods” are worth joining. Pods are groups you join to artificially inflate engagement on your posts, where members like, comment, and share each other’s posts. She found that smaller pods made up of people in your industry can be beneficial for making real connections, engaging with spammy pods just look bad (and don’t really benefit you).
When you share a Google Drive file (including Docs and Sheets) in the Google Meet in-meeting chat, you will now be prompted to update the sharing permissions to make sure all meeting participants can access the file.
Google Meet has now improved collaborative whiteboarding with Miro. Meeting participants will see a dialog invite, rather than a chat message, when asked to join a whiteboarding session, and meeting hosts can now end collaboration on a Miro whiteboard for all meeting participants.
Microsoft is rolling out Communities in the free version of Microsoft Teams. They can be used to host events or organize community groups.
The new “Follow” feature in Google Slides lets you more easily collaborate with colleagues by jumping to the slide they are editing.
Google has added Dropdown Chips to Google Sheets. This lets you easily add things like the project status to a line in your sheet.
In the Google Search mobile app, you can refine your search results with new topic filters.
If you have the Recorder app on your Pixel 6 or newer phone, the transcript will now identify each speaker.
Google Chrome can be a memory and battery hog, but maybe less now. Chrome’s new Memory Saver mode keeps your tabs running smoothly. And the new Energy Saver mode reduces energy usage when your device’s battery gets down to 20%.
Chrome also has new search shortcuts: type @tabs in the address bar to open your tab search, @bookmarks to search your bookmarks, and @history to search your browser history.
When you are using the “pageless” format in Google Docs, you can now pin the header of an embedded table so it stays in place as you scroll.
Safety and Security
If you have the new Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, it comes with VPN by Google One. Google makes sure that your identity is not connected to your VPN connection. If you don’t have a Pixel 7, you can get the same secure VPN by subscribing to Google One (which includes additional storage for your Google account, and, if you pay for at least 2 TB storage, premium Google Meet Video meeting features).
On your Pixel phone, there is a new Security & Privacy tab that includes all your device security settings in one place.
Passkey support is now available in Chrome. You can use a passkey to sign in to supported sites without having to use a (less secure) password.
Stack Overflow temporarily banned AI-chatbot ChatGPT generated answers to coding questions. Why? “The primary problem is that while the answers which ChatGPT produces have a high rate of being incorrect, they typically look like they might be good and the answers are very easy to produce.”
Header image background: Lights by Jill Wellington from Pixabay (Free for commercial use)