Peggy K's Creator Newsletter: YouTube Live updates, Google Analytics 4, Google Domains

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Peggy K's Creator Weekly Newsletter
Happy spring and Happy Holi! For a colorful surprise, Google “Holi”, click the dishes of pigment, then click around the search results.  
This week there are new features coming to YouTube live, Google Analytics 4 will be the only Google Analytics starting in July 2023 (and webmasters aren’t happy), Google Domains is out of beta (and is having a sale), plus updates for video creators, podcasters, web creators and more. 

Watch
I am part of the OnEBoard community. One of the things we do is create a collaborative photo album on a theme, which is then turned into a short movie for OnEBoard’s YouTube channel
The latest themes were mountain huts and winter. I didn’t have any photos to contribute,but I turned a selection of photos shared by others in the community into a video. I’m pretty happy with the way it came out. 
Our movie premieres Sunday. There will be a short live chat on the YouTube channel, and it would be great if you checked it out. Watch here.
Sign Up
Google I/O will be held May 11-12 “live from Shoreline Amphetheater”. Participation will be virtual again this year, and registration is free. While it’s Google’s developer conference, even non-developers (like me) may be interested in the announcements and overviews of new Google products and features. 
The Google Search Central Virtual Unconference is April 27. Registration opens March 30, and is limited. The event is a series of group discussions, led by a facilitator. Participants will be selected to include diverse geography, occupations, expertise and other attributions.
Top Updates
YouTube Live
YouTube’s Creator Insider shared livestreaming features that will be launching in 2022. Those include: 
  • “Go Live Together” a collaborative live streaming option
  •  “Live Rings” around profile icons when a creator is live appearing on desktop and more places
  • Cross channel live directs, which lets a creator who is live streaming direct their audience to a different channel’s live stream or premiere. This will be available to creators with at least 1000 subscribers and no community guidelines strikes.
  • Full screen mode on mobile, hiding the live chat in landscape, but showing key moments
  • Live Q&A in the live chat, with answers to the creator’s questions highlighted
Google Analytics 4
Google announced Universal Analytics (the default until October 2020)will be retired July 1,  2023 and fully replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 was introduced in 2019, and uses a different data model with “privacy at its core”.  In particular, GA4 does not store IP addresses. After Universal Analytics is retired, you will only be able to access the data for 6 months, so it’s recommended that GA4 be implemented as soon as possible to build historical data for your sites.
The reception to this announcement has been pretty negative, at least in the Twitter SEO community. The biggest concerns are the loss of historical data, the lack of an automated update (code will have to be replaced by webmasters) and general difficulty in using the GA4 (“trash” is a common descriptor). Barry Schwartz has a roundup of the discussion. It at least makes me feel less bad about not yet having learned how GA4 works.
Google Domains
Google Domains launched in 2015, and it’s at long last coming out of beta. If you are in one of the 26 countries where it’s available, you have until April 15 to register a new domain with a 20% discount. Some of the benefits include free privacy protection, high performance DNS, human support, and (of course) integration with Google products. The only reason why my domains aren’t there is that I don’t want to put everything for my sites into one (Google) basket.
More fallout from the war in Ukraine
Twitter shared their approach to handling content about Ukraine and Russia: make reliable content easier to find with Events, Moments, Topics and more; labels on Tweets that share links to Russian and Belarus state-affiliated media; not recommending or amplifying potentially misleading content; pausing ads in Ukraine and Russia; not monetizing war-related search or content; removing bad actors for violating the policy against platform manipulation and spam;  and increasing account security measures. 
Graphic design tool Canva is offering free templates and illustrations to support Ukraine and peace.
Vimeo is not accepting new customers from Russia, and now they are explicitly banning false and misleading content. 
Facebook has a new Ukrainian flag profile frame, plus opportunities to fundraise or join a volunteer group to support humanitarian efforts.
Russians are using the Clubhouse social audio platform to discuss the war in Ukraine, perhaps because media censors have “forgotten it existed”.
Taylor Lorenz writes for the Washington Post about how an online following can help influencers in troubled times. Stepan, the famous Instagram cat, and his human, Anna, were assisted in leaving Ukraine by the World Influencers and Bloggers Association (which I didn’t even know existed).
YouTube and Video
YouTube briefly interviewed creators who have produced educational content for more than 10 years: Sal Khan (Khan Academy), Roshni Mukherjee (LearnoHub), Hank Green (Crash Course), Mariana Fulfaro and Iberê Thenório (Manual do Mundo), and Dianna Cowern (Physics Girl).
Vimeo recently stated they are “a technology platform, not a viewing destination”. That is consistent with a relatively recent change to their terms to allow them to charge creators who are using “unusually high levels” of  bandwidth. That has resulted in surprise bills for thousands of dollars, with creators having to pay  to maintain their content on the platform. It’s especially surprising that this affects creators whose top videos have only 700 or 800 views. It’s especially a problem for Patreon users, as that platform encouraged users to use Vimeo for their videos shared with their patrons. It’s a bad situation. 
If you are Twitch Associate or Partner, be sure to nominate your moderators for this month’s Mod Love Competition. You and your nominated Mod could win a trip to TwitchCon in San Diego. 
Meta shared live streaming tips from Facebook Live creators.
Podcasts and Audio
The new Spotify Creator Space is a new stop for podcasters, with how-to tutorials and creator profiles.
Amazon launched new audio app Amp, which allows people to create live “radio shows” where they can DJ (using Amazon’s music library) and take callers. The app is available in beta in the US.
Web Creators and Publishers
If you have a large website that runs its own search, and your site is eligible for AdSense for Search, the new Related Search for Content may increase both engagement and revenue.
Flickr updated their terms of service around adult content.  Now only paid Pro accounts can share nude, semi-nude NSFW photos. Free accounts, which were limited to 1000 photos when SmugMug took over the platform in 2018, can now only have 50 private photos and no “restricted” content. No photos have been removed from free accounts until now.
You can now subscribe to an ad-free experience on Tumblr. The cost is $4.99 per month, and works on both the web and mobile app.
Social Media
Meta launched a new Family Center with resources for parents. There are also new teen safety tools on Instagram and for VR and Oculus.
Pinterest “Idea Pins” - their version of web Stories - can be downloaded and shared to Instagram, Facebook or on other platforms. The download is a watermarked video including all the Idea Pin pages.
TikTok is getting automatically disappearing Stories. I suppose it was inevitable. If you are keeping score, such Stories are available on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. They were tried, then removed, from LinkedIn and Twitter. 
Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today looks at recent updates to Twitter Communities, and the in-development “Circles” or maybe “Flocks” that may let you Tweet to a limited audience.
Productivity
You can now collaborate on drafting an email in Google Docs, and then send the message right from the document.
Google Sheets has increased the cell limit from 5 million to 10 million cells or 18,278 columns . 
The Google Forms API is now generally available. If you have cool ideas for automated ways of creating quizzes or forms, visualizing form data, or other uses, you might want to try a little coding. 
Google Chat now displays your Google Calendar statuses, like “in a meeting” or “in focus time”. Note that this is not available for personal Google accounts or Google Workspace Individual accounts. 
Microsoft shared their plans for optimizing their tools and services for hybrid work. For Teams that includes a new companion mode, and a new “front row” layout that arranges remote participants along the bottom of a big screen (at “eye level”), a new PowerPoint recording studio, improvements to Microsoft Whiteboard and more.
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Image: Colored powders by frankspandl on Pixabay. Free for commercial use, no attribution required. Pixabay License
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Peggy K
Peggy K @peggyktc

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