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  • Peggy K's Creator Weekly: YouTube Thumbnail A/B testing, Apple Intelligence, X Likes Private

Peggy K's Creator Weekly: YouTube Thumbnail A/B testing, Apple Intelligence, X Likes Private

Happy Father’s Day weekend to all you dads out there! 

This week YouTube finally started rolling out its much-anticipated thumbnail A/B testing, Apple announced (what else) tons of generative AI features, X decided to make Likes private, plus more for web publishers, video creators and social media posters.

Top news and updates this week

  • YouTube is rolling out its thumbnail test and compare tool

  • At WWDC24 Apple announced “Apple Intelligence” features built into iOS, macOS and iPadOS.

  • YouTube handles can now be set in 75 different languages.

  • YouTube is testing a bunch of features powered by generative AI. 

  • Twitch launched Power-Ups for live chat, a new fan funding option which are paid for with Bits. 

  • Twitch is also launching a new DJ Program that allows live DJs to stream popular music.

  • WordPress.com has a new unified dashboard. 

  • X has made Likes private so others can’t see what you’ve liked.

  • X Analytics are no longer available to free accounts. 

  • LinkedIn added several new Newsletter features.

  • Google Meet now lets you record at 1080p (HD), and 1080p is available on all computers with an adequate webcam.

  • Surprising no one, Perplexity AI’s new Pages tool appears to plagiarize other people’s content.

Read on for details and additional updates!

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To Do & Try

Gentype is a fun new AI tool from Google Labs that lets you create letters out of anything. Try it: labs.google/gentype . One thing I notice is that the letters don’t really match their style exactly like they would if a human created the alphabet, which I’m guessing is a property of the letters being generated individually from the prompt.

YouTube Rolls Out Thumbnail Testing

This week YouTube started rolling out its thumbnail test and compare tool. This lets you test three different thumbnails for a video. Unlike third party tools that test thumbnails sequentially, YouTube shows the tested thumbnails simultaneously to the same number of different viewers. 

I’m working on a tutorial for this, but here are the basics: 

  • To run a thumbnail test you will need Advanced Features enabled on your channel. You can check that in YouTube Studio on desktop by going to Settings > Channel > Feature Eligibility

  • You can only set up a test in YouTube Studio on desktop. 

  • You can only run a test on public longform video on demand, live stream archives saved as videos and podcast episodes. This is not available for Shorts, scheduled live streams, or “Made for Kids” videos.

  • You can test 3 thumbnails at a time on new uploads or older videos.

  • The test will run for up to two weeks. If there is a clear winner, the test may be shorter than that. 

  • The winner is selected based on the most watch time, so a click-bait thumbnail won’t win unless the people who click stay to watch the video. 

  • If there is no statistically significant winner, the first thumbnail is set. 

  • You can cancel the test at any time. 

  • You can run a test again to try new thumbnails.

AI stands for Apple Intelligence

This week was Apple’s big World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) and -- no surprise -- there is AI everywhere. The new Apple Intelligence will be available on newer iPhones, iPad and macOS computers.

  • Apple Intelligence is Apple’s name for the new AI assistant, which uses on-device processing for personalized assistance without collecting your personal information. 

  • Writing Tools use Apple Intelligence to proofread, rewrite and summarize text.

  • Summaries of the most important email in the Mail app.

  • In Notes and Phone you can record, transcribe, and summarize audio.

  • Image Playground lets you generate “fun images”. It’s built into Messages and Notes. 

  • Natural language searching for photos and videos. 

  • Photo “Clean Up” tool to remove people or objects in the background of a video.

  • Create Photos Memories movies by typing a description. “Apple Intelligence will pick out the best photos and videos based on the description, craft a storyline with chapters based on themes identified from the photos, and arrange them into a movie with its own narrative arc.”

  • Siri uses Apple Intelligence to better understand language. It also will be able to take action across your apps. 

  • Siri and Writing Tools can also pass queries to ChatGPT. Apple says they will also be integrating other models, possibly including Google’s Gemini. This does not require an added subscription (and once this rolls out, will anyone want to pay?).

More information about all the announcements at WWDC24, including updates for iPadOS 18 and iOS 18.

If you’ve been following the current AI race, Apple is clearly lagging behind Google and Microsoft. Many of the AI tools they announced have been available on other platforms for a while. So it will be interesting to see if Apple does them any better.

Opt your content out of Apple’s AI training

Disallow the Applebot-Extended crawler to prevent your content from being used by Apple to train its generative AI models. Instructions here. (Thanks to Glenn Gabe for spotting that!)

Video Creator and Live Streaming Updates

YouTube handles are now supported in 75 different languages. If you previously had a personalized URL (custom URL, legacy username URL or handle) with non-English characters, that is reserved for you to claim as your handle. If you change your handle, you have 14 days to switch back to the original handle.

YouTube is experimenting with QR codes to let you easily share your channel without a link. More from Creator Insider.

YouTube is also testing user-generated effects in Shorts, searching on YouTube via Google Lens, and AI-generated live chat summaries. 

YouTube Premium subscribers can use a “jump ahead” feature that uses combined behavior data and AI to guess where you want to jump to in the video. Creators can use this on their own videos, even without a Premium subscription. YouTube says this does not appear to significantly affect watch time. (Note: currently Android only)  More from Creator Insider.

Twitch launched Power-Ups, a new fan funding option on Affiliate and Partner channels. Bits are purchased with real money, and can be spent on one of three options for live chat: message text effects, an emote celebration over the stream, or gigantify an emote. Streamers get to set the price, and receive 100% of the Bits spent. But streamers cannot turn them off. Learn more.

Twitch also has a new DJ Program that allows DJs to live stream popular music with revenue sharing. Twitch makes sure the music labels get their cut. Starting out, Twitch is paying most of required amount to the music labels, but as the program grows they will gradually cover less of those fees. Live streaming DJs who do not accept the new terms may be subject to DMCA takedowns for unlicensed music use.

Podcasting and Audio

Google’s Recorder app (Play Store)  is incredibly useful, as it not only records, but also generates a live transcript with different speakers labeled. Now Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel 8a will be able to use Gemini to generate downloadable summaries. More from the latest Pixel feature drop.

WordPress.com has a new “unified dashboard” that makes it easier to view and manage your sites and domains. Subscribers to the Creator and Enterprise plans can choose to see the wp-admin dashboard instead of the WordPress.com My Home page.

Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine: Be part of a better internet. The internet is broken. Fixing it won’t be free. Medium is ad free and is monetized with paid subscriptions. They also promote quality content using human experts and reviewers and remove tons of spammy posts. The question is how many people will actually pay for that.

Danny Goodwin at Search Engine Land reports: 13 SEO takeaways from Google's Elizabeth Tucker at SMX Advanced (Or everything you wanted to know about the March 2024 Core Update).

Social Media

X has made Likes private. You can see the posts you’ve liked, and you can see who has liked your posts, but you cannot see who has liked someone else’s posts. They are framing this as a privacy issue, and suggest that likely more posts will improve your “For You” feed. It at least is less likely to cause embarrassment if you “accidentally” like one of the now-explicitly-allowed porn posts.

X Premium subscribers have access to a new Analytics dashboard. The old Analytics (analytics.twitter.com ) is no longer available to free users.

Mastodon is working on a new feature that would show a link to a shared article author’s own Mastodon account. “This will highlight journalists that actively use Mastodon and help them cultivate an audience on the platform that is independent of their publisher. To prevent potential abuse (malicious websites could "frame" unknowing users by listing them as authors) this feature will only be available to publishers that have been approved for trending by each server's moderation team.” (Source)

LinkedIn is adding new features to its Newsletter article format, including more prominent comments, email and in-app notifications to subscribers when you publish, and a notification to followers suggesting they subscribe, embedding profile and page links, and staging links (links before your article goes live, for easier off-platform sharing).

Bluesky lets you influence your Discover feed by indicating “More like this” or “Less like this” on posts. It’s also rolling out new features: see followers you know that follow a profile, find your custom feeds more easily (click the #), and threads are easier to read.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri sat down for an interview with Colin and Samir. The YouTube video is 90 minutes long, but Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today breaks out some key points, including Insta’s emphasis on short videos and that Shares of your content is one of the main metrics you should be keeping an eye on. And Charlotte Colombo at Passionfruit rounded up his comments on monetization: most creators shouldn’t worry about it, ad revenue sharing would “burning cash” because most user videos “have no replacement value”. It all sounds a bit harsh, but it’s probably true that Instagram doesn’t need you, and if you stopped posting it would not affect their bottom line.

Lindsey Gamble reports Instagram Adds Live, Custom Themes & QR Codes for Broadcast Channels. Broadcast channels let creators post updates and more text-based posts to their followers.

Communication and Collaboration

Google Meet lets you use third-party add-ons in meetings, such as the Miro whiteboard. Up until now, add-ons were only available on desktop. Now they are rolling out to Meet on Android devices. Note that some add-ons may not be available on mobile devices.

Meet is also offering 1080p resolution in more settings, including recordings (previously only presentations were recorded in 1080p) and on all computers with a 1080p camera (opt-in in settings). Learn more.

And Meet is getting a Material 3 makeover, with buttons that have “refreshed colors and dynamic shapes”. This doesn’t change any functionality.

If you don’t check your Google Drive for a week, Google will send you an email reminder summarizing shared files you have not viewed.

Steve Flavin has tips for using Firefox as a creative, including its PDF editor and screenshot tool.

More AI Updates 

Adobe says it will update its terms again by June 18, hopefully making it clearer what they will (and won’t) do with your data. Will that satisfy users upset by what they perceived the terms to include? That remains to be seen. 

The latest generative AI versus journalism uproar involves Perplexity AI’s new Pages tool. That uses generative AI to create a “curated” article about a particular topic. In this case it used a paywalled Forbes article as the basis of its own article, with little rephrasing and not even a reference in the text (although there was a fairly hidden “source” link at the very end). The article was used to create an AI-generated podcast and video, which don’t cite Forbes at all as the source. And to add insult to injury, they have more viewers than the original content. Perplexity says there are “rough edges” to the feature, but then bragged (incorrectly) about the traffic they send to Forbes. My question: what happens to Perplexity when original news articles are gone?

Jaron Schneider at PetaPixel reports on how Adobe is tracking generative AI “credits” used in Photoshop and Lightroom even though they aren’t enforcing limits. Yet.

The Verge reports Microsoft’s all-knowing Recall AI feature is being delayed to make sure privacy and security measures are implemented.

More Reading (and watching)

Platformer reports: The Stanford Internet Observatory is being dismantled. SIO tracks the spread of misinformation and abuse on the internet. While it will continue some programs, it will not research into the 2024 US Presidential election or other future elections, seemingly due to political pressure.

The competition I didn’t know existed: The Microsoft Excel superstars throw down in Vegas

Thanks for reading! 🌼