Peggy K's Creator Weekly: YouTube Shorts, Live Streaming, X Spaces
This week there are updates for YouTube Shorts creators, live streamers, Twitter/X Spaces, new AI tools and more. Plus there are tips for protecting your privacy online.
Creator Weekly Live:
What do you think of the new YouTube Shorts features? What are your favorite updates this week?
Join the live Creator Weekly on Sunday, 10:30AM Pacific time. Join me live or watch the recording.
Google “Results about you” Tool
If you use Gmail or YouTube or any other Google product or service, you have a Google Account. An advantage of that is access to tools to remove your private information from the Google Search results.
Google has a new “Results About You” tool (available in English in the US) that will show you where your personal contact information appears in the Google Search results, and you can request removal right from the dashboard. Check it out at myactivity.google.com/results-about-you (it’s still rolling out, so you may see the old dashboard).
Google is also making it easier to request removal of explicit personal images of yourself from Google Search, as long as you are not being paid for the content.
New YouTube Shorts Tools
YouTube announced several new Shorts features that let you create more interesting and engaging Shorts - and get your content discovered!
Collab is a new “Remix” option that lets you record a Short side-by-side with another Short or long form video. This will roll out to iOS devices over the next few weeks, followed by Android.
There is a new Q&A Sticker to ask your audience questions that they can reply to in the comments.
For several months it’s been possible to reply to a comment on your own YouTube channel with a Short. And YouTube is also testing the ability to create Shorts with a sticker with a comment from someone else’s channel. Those Shorts “replies” will only appear on your own channel.
YouTube is also testing a new mobile-first vertical live experience. Viewers will see previews of vertical live streams in their Shorts feed. If a viewer taps the preview they will see the live stream in a new scrollable feed of vertical live videos. If your channel is eligible, you can create vertical live stream videos today, but the new Shorts discovery will roll out slowly over the next few months.
Tip: Restream Studio (studio.restream.io) lets you live stream vertical video from your browser, which is perfect if you are using a Chromebook or just want an easy browser-based live streaming platform. See my live demo.
Suggestions let you easily use the audio and effect used by another Short. On your mobile device, in the Shorts feed, tap the Remix button and select “Use Sound”. This will provide audio at the same timestamp of the Short you were watching plus suggest using the same effect as the original Short.
You can now save Shorts to a playlist. Playlists aren’t new, of course, but easily saving other people’s Shorts to a playlist is now possible.
And YouTube is testing recomposition tools to transform your horizontal videos into Shorts. This isn’t just cropping your video vertically (which is the only built-in option now). YouTube is promising: layout adjustment, zooming, cropping and split screen effects.
Tumblr Launches Live Streaming in More Countries
Tumblr Live launched in the US at the end of 2022. It’s now expanding to Brazil, Canada, European Union (lots of countries there!), Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
You can go live on your blog from either the web or the Tumblr mobile app
You can earn when viewers send you personal (virtual) gifts. That awards the creator “Diamonds” that can be cashed out for real money.
You can designate moderators to help keep your stream clean.
See this Tumblr Live FAQ for more information.
More Video Updates
YouTube is testing Auto-generated video summaries (announcement)
The experiment is running on a limited number of videos in English
May appear on search and watch pages
They do not replace creator-written descriptions
YouTube is testing a “cleaner” channel layout, where tabs with no content (for example if a channel has no Playlists) are not displayed. The new layout will also give “improved access” to the About and Channels tabs.
StreamYard will now display member milestone chats in the YouTube Live chat you see while you are streaming.
Hopin was a hot company during the first part of the pandemic, with its virtual Event and Sessions (meeting) platforms taking off. Now CEO Johnny Boufarhat has stepped down and those services have been sold to RingCentral. What’s left? StreamYard live streaming is now their “biggest revenue driver”. I’m wondering if Hopin will actually rebrand to StreamYard, since it has sold off its core services
TikTok is updating its policies and practices for European users to comply with the Digital Services Act. European users will have the option to report content and ads as illegal, in addition to reporting policy violations. TikTok will also provide more details about content moderation actions, such as why a video is ineligible for recommendation. And European users will be able to turn off personalized results, with the For You feed showing generally popular videos, and the Following and Friends feeds showing content in chronological order.
Music and Podcasting
Spotify did a data deep dive into “Super Listeners”. They make up only 2% of an artist’s monthly listeners, but account for over 18% of an artist’s monthly streams. Check the link to learn how an artist can get new super listeners and keep them engaged. (And I’d bet there are similar behavior patters on video sites).
“The YouTube of Podcasts is YouTube”
The Youtube of podcasts is YouTube
— Benedict Evans (@benedictevans)
Aug 3, 2023
If you have your website or blog’s domain with Google Domains, WordPress.com has a great deal: transfer your domain to their service, and they will cover your fees and pay for a year of domain registration. They also promise to match (or beat) Google Domain’s price and keep prices low for life. Your website doesn’t need to be hosted by WordPress to use this offer.
August 12 is Medium Day. This is a free virtual conference hosted by the Medium blogging platform, with a keynote on the “next generation of Medium”, workshops and networking sessions. Sign up.
WordPress is highlighting several business-oriented Block Patterns (customizable templates), including Testimonials, Service menus, Pricing, FAQ, and Payments. You can easily insert these into your WordPress site for a professional look.
Meta is turning off the news for Canadian users on Facebook and Instagram. In order to comply with Canada’s Online News Act (which requires large digital platforms to pay to host Canadian news content). People in Canada will not be able to view or share any links or other content from news organizations, inside or outside of Canada. Meta has published a guide on how to find reliable news sources online.
Meta’s Threads activity is way way down from the initial launch week. I don’t think that’s particularly surprising. Lots more people sign up for new platforms than actually use them, and as it’s only a month after launch people (and brands) may still be trying to figure out where they want to post. I suspect there will be more activity when a web version launches and it becomes available in the EU.
Snap launched Lens Creator Rewards, where AR creators can get an award each month if they have a top-performing Lens on Snapchat in the US, India or Mexico.
The Social Media Platform Formerly Known as Twitter
Elon Musk announced that X will not take a cut of creator subscription revenue until the payout reaches $100,000, and then it will only take 10%. Previously X was going to take 10% of all subscription revenue starting 12 months after launch. I’ll note that for the smallest creators, the mandatory X Blue subscription may easily be 10% (or more) of their revenue, so this will make iit a bit less painful.
Apparently the number of people signing up for ad revenue sharing on X has “exceeded expectations”, meaning a delay in the next payout. I’ve very curious how many payments will cover the X Blue subscription cost.
X has finally acknowledged that the blue checkmark might not be a great selling point for its paid Blue subscription. Subscribers can now hide the checkmark without losing any features.
If you have joined any Twitter/X Communities, you may now see Community posts in your “For You” feed.
An analysis of Twitter’s recommendation algorithm (which they may or may not be using now in production) by Foundation suggests creating Tweets/Posts that get replies, and then be sure to reply to those replies (“start conversations and participate in them politely but wholeheartedly.
With the rebranding of Twitter to X, it didn’t make sense for its (soon-to-be paid subscriber only) posting management platform to be called Tweetdeck. It’s now called XPro (but you can still access it at tweetdeck.twitter.com). Matt Navarra summarized the steps as “how to trick the Twitter algorithm into boosting visibility of your Tweet”. That sounds like how we manage our weekly #OnEBoardChat.
And in more useful news, it is now possible to participate as a speaker in a X Space audio chat from a web browser. Previously this option was mobile only. (Thanks for the tip Ilene!)
Finally, CEO Linda Yaccarino touted all the “innovation” on the Twitter/X platform in the past 9 months. Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today notes that the vast majority of the updates were launched or close to launch before Musk took over Twitter. Also, not mentioned, was the shutdown of API access to third party apps and academics.
More AI Updates
The experimental AI results in Google Search will display videos when that would be useful to demonstrate a result. See the demo. In my experience the AI-generated search results are usually not particularly useful and often incorporate unreliable information, but your mileage may vary. You can sign up for Google’s search experiments here. It will be interesting to see if this brings more viewers to tutorial videos.
The Kickstarter crowdfunding platform now has an AI policy. Projects that use any AI tools have to disclose how it will be used, and which elements of the project will be original human work, and which parts AI generated. Projects that are developing AI tools or software must disclose their data sources, and provide information on how they handle consent and credit. Projects pages will have a new “Use of AI” section.
Meta announced AudioCraft, a tool for generating high quality audio and music from text prompts. They have also open-sourced their MusicGen and AudioGen AI model and the EnCodec audio codec used by AudioCraft. You can listen to samples and learn more on their AI blog.
Communication and Collaboration
Microsoft Teams has added Spatial Audio to video meetings. What does that do? Spatial Audio “aligns the perceived audio location of each participant with their video representation to make it easier for users to track who is speaking, to understand better when multiple speakers are speaking at the same time, and to lower meeting fatigue and cognitive load.”
Google Meet meeting hosts can now enable Q&A moderation, which allows the hosts to review and approve questions before they are available to other meeting attendees. Q&A in Google Meet meetings is available to eligible Google Workspace editions.
Tip: Use the Meeting Notes template in Google Docs to compile notes from meetings scheduled in Google Calendar (tip on the official Google Blog). The actual note taking is manual. The template lets you easily link to the event and share the notes with attendees.
Sarah Barrett @ The Mary Sue: Neil Gaiman Explains Why Those ‘Good Omens’ Season 2 Subtitles Are So Bad (it’s the writer’s strike and maybe AI)
Amanda Marcotte @ Salon: "They need us. We don't need them:" The fall of Twitter is making the trolls and grifters desperate. (And this is why it’s important to not engage with someone who posts something stupid or terrible. It’s all about the engagement.)
Naomi Nix and Will Oremus @ Washington Post: Move fast and beat Musk: The inside story of how Meta built Threads
Header image background: Gladiolas by Monicore on Pixabay. Free for commercial use.