It was beautiful to watch the launch of NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the Moon, as part of their Artemis I mission. It’s in preparation for Artemis II, which will bring people back to the Moon. So exciting.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, YouTube has some nice updates for creators, with new features in the YouTube Studio mobile app and the ability to engage with comments when watching videos on TV. And there’s more news for live streamers, web publishers and more.
Time to Back Up your Twitter Data
Close to 80% of Twitter’s contractors were fired. Contractors moderate content and review abuse reports, manage property and payroll, and other unglamorous work.
Employees were given 24 hours to decide whether they wanted to sign on for Musk’s “Twitter 2.0” vision, along with “hardcore” work hours. Most apparently did not.
Twitter offices were closed to employees through Monday, and there are concerns that traffic around the World Cup might break the site.
I’ve written up a tutorial for creating a backup archive of your Twitter data. Or watch the video.
If you want to read more about what’s happening at Twitter, these articles are a good place to start:
Alex Heath & Mia Sato @ The Verge: Hundreds of employees say no to being part of Elon Musk’s ‘extremely hardcore’ Twitter
Becky Peterson and Aaron Holmes @ The Information: Former Twitter employees worry its infrastructure is hanging by a thread
Casey Newton on Platformer: Elon goes hardcore
Former head of Twitter Trust and Safety Yoel Roth in the New York Times: I was the head of Trust and Safety at Twitter. This is what could become of it. Key quote: “A Twitter whose policies are defined by unilateral edict has little need for a trust and safety function dedicated to its principled development”
Engineer Peter Clowes explains why he left: expectation to be on-call constantly, on complex systems he isn’t familiar with, and no vision statement for Twitter to see where it’s planned to be going.
Matt Binder @ Mashable: Elon Musk is firing Twitter employees who dare criticize or correct him
Ina Fried @ Axios: Elon Musk culls Twitter contractors after mass employee layoffs
Elon Musk’s biographer Ashlee Vance was interviewed by Vox.“I think he’s battling with his own self”
Casey Newton and Zoe Schiffer @ Platformer: Elon only trusts Elon
Sergey Brin revives Google Plus team from cryogenic chamber.
— Alex Parker (@AlexParkerDC)
Nov 18, 2022
Where is everyone going?
The winners seem to be Mastodon and Tumblr (the site for the internet’s weirdos). Notably people aren’t talking about moving back to Facebook.
Journalists can get a verified checkmark on Mastodon from Presscheck.org
Cuckoo.social is a web app that gives Mastodon the look of Google+
On Mastodon, you no longer “Toot”, but rather “Publish”
The Twitterati are also moving to new social platform Cohost, which has a bloggy feel to it. It also says it will be launching paid subscriptions and a tip jar in the near future. (There have been concerns about their terms of service).
Post is another new social platform, for “real people”, “real news”, “civil conversations”
YouTube, Twitch, and Live Streaming
The YouTube Studio app has a bunch of new(ish) features:
Updated Studio Mobile dashboard
Research in Analytics
Analytics by content type (longer videos, live, shorts)
Apply for the YouTube Partner program
Upload checks for monetization
Comment translations and smart replies
All YouTube channels now have an @ handle (which you can change). They are now slowly rolling out handles for @mentions in video titles and descriptions, in comments, in Shorts, on your channel page and more.
You can now view and interact with comments when watching YouTube content on your smart TV or game console.
Cute new emotes for YouTube live chat, available (to some) in YouTube Studio.
YouTube Creator Liaison has tips for good video titles.
YouTube has a new sound when it starts up on TVs. They share how it was designed.
Earlier this month, Twitch rolled out “Guest Star”, which allows invited guests to join a broadcast using only their browser. To celebrate, it’s Guest Star Week highlighting live streams using the feature for guests.
Twitch reduced its minimum payment amount for Partners and Associates to $50. This has been rolling out gradually for 4 months, and is now complete and available worldwide.
Gamers can now live stream from their Xbox console to Twitch, Lightstream and Streamlabs without having to use a special app.
Event platform Hopin is becoming a multi-product suite, with Hopin Events, Session (lightweight interactive webinars and meetings), StreamYard On-Air (live stream to your own website), StreamYard live streaming (to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and so forth), StreamYard Podcasting, Streamable (video hosting), and a “Project C” that hasn’t launched yet.
Facebook profiles are getting a little less personal. Fields for sexuality, politics, religion and your address are being removed. Facebook says it’s to make the platform easier to navigate. It’s noted that this is also pretty sensitive personal information, so it may be better for Facebook not to collect it.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Meta has fired a couple dozen employees and contractors for unauthorized takeovers of user Facebook and Instagram accounts, sometimes in return for bribes.
You know when you are viewing someone’s social media profile, and they have a link to a page with a list or grid of their relevant links? Linktree is one of the most popular services to create a link page like that. And now they are introducing Payment Lock. That allows creators and marketers to monetize their links. Some of the suggested uses are for selling access to music or videos, recipes or business plans.
AdSense has updated search styles for for Custom Search Ads.
You can now add Newsletter Subscription and Link in Bio “blocks” to your WordPress theme.
You can now drag text and images from Google Slides into other apps on Android devices.
Note-taking app Evernote was acquired by small app firm Bending Spoons. It’s not clear if and when that will bring changes to the service.
As I note in my Twitter backup tutorial, all the links you share become t.co redirects. Turns out there are some Easter Egg t.co URLs. Try opening t.co/elon ;-)
I may be too old and unfashionable to be a YouTube Shorts creator.
This week Meta released a large language model for science called Galactica, designed to “summarize academic papers, solve math problems, generate Wiki articles, write scientific code, annotate molecules and proteins, and more”. After just three days Meta shut down the demo, after it came under intense criticism for creating authoritative-sounding content with false and biased information.
Mia Sato @ The Verge writes about “The unbearable lightness of Buzzfeed”
Header image background: Full moon by Greagory H Rivera (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported) via Wikimedia Commons.