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  • Peggy K's Creator Weekly: YouTube Premium Features, Google UA Shutdown, Threads in the Fediverse

Peggy K's Creator Weekly: YouTube Premium Features, Google UA Shutdown, Threads in the Fediverse

Summer is here! I hope you’re staying cool! There are lots of updates this week, from new features for YouTube Premium subscribers to new ways to share to Threads, and lots more for video creators, live streamers, bloggers and social media folks.

Top news and updates this week

  • Google’s Universal Analytics shuts down completely on July 1, so now is the time to back up your content or set up a GA-4 property. 

  • New viewing features for YouTube Premium subscribers.

  • New report on YouTube and Fan Culture. Everyone is a creator!

  • Chatbots based on creators are the new AI trend.

  • The Blackmagic Camera App is now available for Android phones.

  • X will limit live streaming to paid subscribers.

  • Patreon is launching new community building tools.

  • AdSense for Search has updated consent management requirements for ads in Switzerland (no, you probably don’t need to change anything)

  • Bluesky has a cool new feature: Starter Packs

  • Matt Growcoot at PetaPixel has tried to figure out what triggers Instagram’s “Made by AI” label.

  • Social media management platforms now offer Threads posting.

  • Threads Fediverse sharing is now available in more than 100 countries (but not the EU).

  • Meta rolls out Broadcast Channels to Pages on Facebook and Messenger.

  • Pinterest has made sharing boards easier (and prettier).

  • Google Translate has added more than 100 new languages.

  • Google Gemini will be available on the side panel of Google Workspace services like Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Slides.

  • Slack will delete messages in free accounts that are more than a year old.

  • And if you read one thing, read about Microsoft AI CEO declaring all public content on the web is “freeware”.

Read on for details and additional updates!

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To Do

Google Analytics “Universal Analytics” will shut down completely starting July 1 (that’s Monday!). This is truly your last chance to migrate your old UA properties to GA-4 (which is getting new AI-powered analysis tools). You can also set up (or update) Analytics for your Blogger blog.

Even if you don’t want to use GA-4, you may want to export your UA data (learn how). You can export data directly or use the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets, and follow these instructions to import the data. Note that UA properties have not been processing data since July 2023. 

Sweet New Features YouTube Premium Subscribers

YouTube has announced new viewing options and experimental features for YouTube Premium subscribers.

  • Jump ahead to the “best parts” of a video, based on viewer data and AI analysis. This is currently available in the Android YouTube app, and soon will be available on iOS.

  • Picture-in-picture for YouTube Shorts, which lets you multitask watching and doing other things on your phone. Android YouTube app only.

  • Experiment: Smart download of Shorts to watch offline

  • Experiment: “Conversational AI”, a chatbot you can ask about the video you are watching or for related content suggestions. This is available on Android in the US only.

  • Experiment: Redesigned video watch page on desktop. Love it? Hate it? Submit feedback to let Google know.

You can opt in to the experimental features at youtube.com/new.

YouTube & Fan Culture

YouTube shared two trend reports this week, with some interesting stats about the success of fan-created content. The most interesting bit is that the majority of younger folks consider themselves video creators, and video is an important part of fan connections. 

From the Culture & Trends report (pdf) for advertisers: 

  • 65% of Gen Z (age 14 to 24) describe themselves as video content creators.

  • 66% of Gen Z say they spend more time watching content that discusses the thing they are a fan of than the thing itself. 

  • 57% of people (age 14 to 44) watched videos made by fans of specific content, artists or celebrities. 

  • Some creators have found success engaging with related fan-created content.

And there’s a deeper dive into Fandoms (pdf): 

  • 21% of Gen Z fans self-describe as “super fans”, and both consume and create media about their fandom. 

  • 8% of Gen Z fans self-describe as “professional fans”, who earn money from the content they create about their fandom.

  • 47% of Gen Z fans say they are part of a fandom that no one they know personally is a member of.

What is YouTube’s advice for brands? Let fans remix your content and keep an eye on what they are creating. 

Creator Chatbots?

Would you want to chat with an AI-version of your favorite creator? 

Meta kicked things off last September, launching 28 celebrity-based AI chatbots on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. This week Meta took it step further, announcing a test of “AI Studio”, which lets Instagram creators create an AI-chatbot version of themselves.

Google is also reportedly working on customizable Gemini-based chatbots, with the possibility that some will be based on popular YouTube creators. 

I personally can’t imagine wanting to chat with a fake version of a celebrity, and there are some risks if they start to hallucinate. And I think it feels icky to me because it reduces a real person to a “character”. Creators could create custom chat-bots to answer questions that aren’t pretending to be the creators themselves.

Video Creator and Live Streaming Updates

Lia Haberman reports from VidCon that this year “it’s about the adulting of the creator economy”. VidCon continues this weekend.

The Blackmagic Camera App, which has professional video camera controls and image processing, is now available for Android devices. You can save clips to your phone, save to a DaVinci Resolve project or save to the Blackmagic Cloud. The best part? It’s free. PetaPixel has a review.

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy says Twitch’s main competitors are Prime and Netflix, not YouTube and TikTok.

The ability to live stream on X will soon be limited to premium subscribers. This seems likely to reduce the number of low quality streams, but it certainly won’t encourage streamers to use the platform. Not when YouTube, Twitch and other platforms are free.

Patreon shared an update on the community building tools they are working on. They are testing membership gifting, the ability to sell access to posts and collections, and a tool to create teaser clips from audio or video members-only posts. You can also now share posts with only free members.

Kick updated their Community Guidelines adding IRL and Chat Roulette categories, and more restrictions on doxxing, nudity and sexual content, and child exploitation. 

If you serve AdSense for Search ads on your website, you will have to use a Google-certified Consent Management Platform or add the required code to show ads to visitors from Switzerland. This is in addition to the CMP requirement to serve ads to visitors in the EU and UK. If you are using the Google CMP, then you should not have to make any changes.

If you self-host WordPress be sure to install version 6.5.5, which is a new security release.

If you use WordPress.com these are useful tips: 6 Surprising Things You Can Do on WordPress.com Without a Plugin, including publish newsletters and selling things.

If you have a Blogger blog, use this tutorial from Blogger Product Expert Irsah to create a FAQ with a toggle to show and hide the answers.

Newsletter platform Beehiiv acquired AI-based website builder Typedream. Typedream launched in 2021, so it’s a new(ish) kid on the block. This will be the basis for a new website builder with analytics suite built into Beehiiv.

Substack has updated their mobile app with improvements for publishers, including post stats and discussion tab.

Social Media

Bluesky has a new feature that I love: Starter Packs. Anyone can create a Starter Pack that includes custom feeds and recommended accounts to follow. It has a unique link, cover image and QR code that make it easy to share. This type of feature should be available on every social platform to get people started. 

Matt Growcoot @ PetaPixel did a deep dive into which Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom editing tools cause Instagram to add a “Made by AI” label. Adding even a few pixels with Generative Fill causes the label to be added, but the new Generative Remove and AI noise reduction do not. Plus, if you share a screenshot, no label is applied in any case. Interestingly, Adobe made a statement that “we believe platforms labeling content as being made with or generated by AI should only do so when an image is wholly AI generated”, which would definitely cause a lot less concern.

With the launch of the Threads API, many social media management platforms now support Threads posting, including Fedica, Postpone, Buffer, and more. The downside? Posts made via the API are not shared to the Fediverse.

Threads sharing to the Fediverse is now available in more than 100 countries (but not the EU). Also, up until now, Threads has been one-way sharing to the Fediverse. With the latest update, you can now see and like replies from other servers on Threads.

Meta put out an explainer about What is the Fediverse? As did Haje Jan Kamps @ TechCrunch: Welcome to the fediverse: Your guide to Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky and more.

Meta is rolling out Broadcast Channels on Facebook and Messenger to Pages with at least 10,000 followers. It is also possible to share Broadcast Channel messages from Instagram to Facebook. What are Broadcast Channels? It’s like a microblog, with creators posting one-to-many to their followers.

Pinterest now lets you share your boards with a short video. You can either share directly to Instagram Stories or download the video to your device.

Communication and Collaboration

Google Translate has added 110 new languages, from Abkhaz to Zapotec. Most surprising addition to me? Cantonese. That’s the most common Chinese language spoken in the SF Bay Area, and I assumed it was already available.

Google Gemini will soon start showing in the side panel of Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drive. You can use it to write content, summarize information, generate images (in Slides), or organize data (in Sheets). This is available for Google Workspace for Business, Enterprise, or Education with the Gemini add-on and Google One with Gemini (for personal accounts). I’m also seeing it using free Google Workspace Labs (which gives access to experimental features).

Starting August 26, Slack will begin deleting messages in free accounts that are a year (or more) old. You can only access the past 90 days of messages, but the earlier 275 days will be available if you upgrade to a paid account.  Slack switched the free plan limit from 5GB storage and 10,000 messages to 90 days of history in 2022, with older messages hidden. But there was no limit to how old those hidden messages could be. The change now is that they are deleted after a year. (My guess is that Slack no longer wants to store tons of messages for users who will never upgrade to a paid plan.)

I suspect this won’t apply to most folks reading this, but Google Chat now supports Spaces with up to 500,000 members for Google Workspace customers.

Microsoft Teams has several new features, including a “meet now” option to create a quick call in group chats, meeting organizers can easily manage who can access the meeting transcript and recordings, optimizing presenting for video, and new professional clothes for Mesh (metaverse) avatars.

Google Sheets is now calculating data more quickly, if you use Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

More AI Updates and Articles

More Reading (and watching)

Read this! Danny Goodwin @ Search Engine Land reports: Microsoft AI CEO Mustafa Suleyman: Web content is 'freeware'. He said “…With respect to content that is already on the open web, the social contract of that content since the ’90s has been that it is fair use. Anyone can copy it, recreate with it, reproduce with it. That has been freeware, if you like. That’s been the understanding.” 

This is not actually anyone’s understanding. He’s declaring this because Microsoft is scraping all the “free content” on the web for AI training. But what he said means he doesn’t believe in copyright at all (literally the right to make copies). And the only social contract with website owners is that search engines can index web pages, with the expectation that will make the web pages findable in search. Scraping content for AI training doesn’t benefit website owners or content creators at all. 

Can music help bring peace? YouTube partners with U.S. State Department to promote peace, with Global Music Ambassadors to help inspire positive change around the world. I like the idea, but I’m skeptical at how effective this will be.

This is worrisome: ID Verification Service for TikTok, Uber, X Exposed Driver Licenses. With more sites requiring age and identity verification, ID verification services need to be trusted with a lot of personal information.  

Thanks for reading! 🌼