Peggy K's Creator Weekly: Twitter Pay-to-Play, Google Ad Transparency Center, YouTube Quizzes
When I started my weekly roundups, years ago, all the tech companies had a goof prepared for April Fool’s Day (see 2016 or 2017). It seems like those were simpler times. I’m not expecting much foolishness today beyond the usual foolishness.
That said, Wikipedia’s English home page has a “Did you know?” box with what sound like fake facts, but they all turn out to be true. That’s the kind of “fool” I like.
Reddit also took a look back at April Fool’s Past and has a new post that looks like the start of a scavenger hunt.
Plus there are a bunch of updates this week, no fooling.
Learn how to live stream from Google Meet to YouTube
My latest tutorial has everything you need to know to set up your YouTube channel for live streaming, and an overview of how to get started streaming from a Meet meeting.
Whether you were a Hangouts on Air user back in the day, or if you are just interested in browser-based live streaming options, check out my guide here.
Will you “pay to play” on Twitter?
Today marks the end of “legacy” blue checkmarks on Twitter. Now, if you are an individual, you can pay for Twitter Blue to get that blue check. Businesses can pay for a gold-colored checkmark.
For businesses and organizations, that will cost $1000 per month.
But there’s more changes coming.
Starting April 15th, you will only see recommended content on the “For You” tab from “verified” Twitter Blue accounts. That is in addition to Tweets from accounts you follow.
Many news organizations like the New York Times and Washington Posts have said they won’t be paying. The White House won’t be paying. Many celebrities have said that they won’t be paying, as have many others who previously had the legacy verified checkmark.
And many of those who have paid for the blue check are from the far right, are shilling cryptocurrencies (or other things),or are impersonating real people (since there isn’t any identity verification included).
That’s certainly not what I’m interested in seeing.
But it’s being reported that - surprise! - the top 10,000 organizations by follower count that already have a verified check mark, and the top 200 advertisers, will not actually have to pay.
That will at least ensure fresh content for Twitter to recommend, and help ensure those organizations don’t lose engagement.
And Zoe Schiffer of Platformer has also reported that there is a secret list of 35 or so celebrity accounts that Twitter monitors and may boost (along with Musk’s account). These include conservative commenters, a few popular Democrats and Republicans, YouTube star Mr. Beast, Twitter investor Marc Andreesson, celebrity journalists and others. All seem to be US based, which is surprising for an ostensibly international platform.
So there is not an even playing field for businesses or individuals.
That’s a rotten situation for small businesses that can’t afford the steep fee. And even a $8 ($11 on iOS) Twitter subscription is likely to be beyond the reach of many users around the world.
My strategy is to make sure I’m actually following the people I’m interested in hearing from, then browse from the Following tab. I also have made a number of lists, which is great to see Tweets from people you don’t want to necessarily follow. Pin a list and you will see it as a tab in the mobile app.
Related: Twitter released some of their ranking algorithm code. Social Media Today has a rundown, and there is likely to be a deeper dive as experts have time to review it.
YouTube and Video
YouTube updates coming soon: manage permissions in YouTube Studio mobile app and there is now a Super Thanks entry point on Shorts on mobile devices.
YouTube has updated the wording of the Community Guidelines to more clearly describe the policy around external link removals and the prohibition against account circumvention. While this caused some concerned discussion on Twitter (and elsewhere), there is no change in policy.
Quizzes in YouTube community posts are now available to creators on Android.
New effects in the YouTube Shorts editor are rolling out, including 360 degree street views. Plus you can find stats on your top remixed Shorts in Analytics. Learn more in the Short from YouTube Creators.
Teachers with Google Workspace for Education will soon be able to add questions to a YouTube video and then assign it in Classroom. Students can then have their answers validated in real time, and replay the video if they need to. This will be available for Google Workspace for Education Plus. You can express interest in the beta here.
Streamyard now lets you create custom layouts for your live streaming sessions.
You can now watch the sessions from Google’s Black and Latinx Publisher Summit on demand (free registration required).
Google’s new Ads Transparency Center lets you view all the ads an advertiser has run, which ads ran in a particular region, and the last date the ad ran. You can access this information by clicking the 3 dot icon on an ad, or by going directly to My Ad Center (myadcenter.google.com ) where you can manage your ad preferences. This will be available “in the coming weeks”.
Google is adding “About this author” information to Search results. Tap on the 3 dots next to a result, and information about the author may be shown along with other information about the source. Entering the URL in the search box will also have the “About this site” information appear at the top of the search results. This is available in US English. And I have not been able to find information on
Google is launching a new “Perspectives” section in the Search results, which will “showcase insights from a range of journalists, experts, and other relevant voices.” Based on the screenshots in the announcement that will include Tweets as well as articles. This will also include “about this author” information.
The ChromeOS built-in screencasting tool will support recording and transcription in more languages, including Italian, Japanese and Spanish. And there will be new demo tools to animate clicks and taps. The updates will roll out with ChromeOS 112. Learn more about the app.
Search in Google Drive now lets you easily filter results by file type, owner and last modified date.
ChatBots and AI
Google Meet will be getting an AI-based feature that will detect someone physically raising their hand, and then move them to the main grid and turn on the hand raise icon. That will be available in “the coming months” (so a while from now).
I got to play with Adobe Firefly (firefly.adobe.com ), Adobe’s text to image generator, and I quite like the interface. It’s easy to try different styles for the same prompt or try new prompts. And it’s nice to know they trained it using Adobe Stock, licensed and public domain images. You can see some of the images I generated here. Note that images are not for commercial use, so I’m not including them in my post.
Google Bard, the AI chatbot, has some recent improvements in “math and logic”. Try asking it math problems at bard.google.com to see if it works!
Bing’s chatbot now has image and video search integrated, as well as improved local results. And perhaps inevitably, Microsoft will soon insert ads into the results.
That’s all the updates for this week.
Header image background: Marbles by Couleur on Pixabay. Free for commercial use.