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5/9/19
Why are Brand Accounts being removed from G Suite for Education 2 Recommended Answers 74 Replies 414 Upvotes
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Last edited 5/19/19
First, there was no category that fit this comment so I apologize in advance if this comment doesn't seem to fit here.  I didn't know where else to put it.


I just received an email from G Suite for Education saying that G Suite for Education does not support Brand Accounts and that any Brand Accounts created with a G Suite for Education account and all content would be removed by July 10th.

First, nothing prevented us from creating and using these brand accounts for the past 2 years and nothing that I could find stated it was not permitted so why is the carpet being pulled out from under us now.

Second, why would someone at Google think that Schools don't have a need for Brand Accounts.  Brand Accounts are perfect for schools.  The School needs a YouTube Channel that can be managed by multiple users, not just one individual.  Athletic teams, need YouTube channels that coaches can upload training videos too.  Athletes need to watch videos provided by their coaches and shouldn't need to go hunting for those videos across multiple user channels.  One Channel for the team that all coaches can contribute too makes the most sense.  Having multiple users manage content for a channel is exactly what Brand Accounts allow you to do, and it even says so on "What is a brand account?" in Google Help.

I know this will probably fall on def ears and no one at Google will pay attention but wow, with 80 million teachers and students using G Suite, I can believe we're the only school that has found Brand Accounts incredibly useful.
All Replies (74)
5/10/19
i agree wholeheartedly!!  This makes no sense to me, and was done without warning or explanation.  One of the options to rectify the "problem" is to "...transfer primary ownership to another user. The new primary owner must be either (a) a G Suite account holder that is not in a G Suite for Education primary/secondary (K-12) school domain or (b) a consumer account holder (i.e., account@gmail.com)"

What?!?  So I can use a free Gmail account to be the primary owner of a Brand Account, but I can't use an account under our qualified organization's domain?  What kind of sense does that make?  I am hoping this is some kind of mistake, that emails were sent to me (the G Suite domain admin) and a number of our users (which are now being forwarded by panicking teachers, flooding my inbox with questions about what will they do with their class YouTube channels, etc) through some glitch in a notification system.  Tell me this is just a mistake, Google!
Last edited 5/11/19
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5/10/19
Yeah this is ridiculous. I manage a school's YouTube channel and now I have to quickly find some way to keep the channel alive while still having it be under the school's control, and update the many links present on the school website. I honestly don't know what to do. Do they really want me to make a "<school>_youtube@gmail.com" and then share the password with everyone? What a giant step backwards. Nice to see that they got no input from anyone on this before making the change.
Last edited 5/11/19
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5/10/19
We are completely with you at our school too. We've spent the last couple of years getting everything as we want it from a marketing perspective and now it's all in the air. As you say, there was nothing stopping us doing this and so we feel very aggrieved that Google are now doing this to us. 
The criteria which has to be met for a G-Suite for education account is the vetting stage. Why would schools not require branded YouTube channels etc?
Please sort this out Google!
Last edited 5/11/19
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5/10/19
Dear Google, if Brand accounts are no longer supported, then what is the recommended method to create a YouTube channel for a school district?
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5/10/19
We are having the same issue. We are more than willing to be "compliant" but we don't know how to move forward to correct this issue. Also, if we have to re-upload these videos somewhere that has a trickle-down impact due to the linking often associated with these "how to" videos in the educational environment. To say these are "branded accounts" without the user being aware this is the case could cause major repercussions if they are truly disabled. If "branded accounts" cannot be associated with educational accounts, how was this option available to us? G Suite Admin, please advise on how to best move forward for educational entities to resolve this conflict.
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5/10/19
The response I received from Google Support boiled down to the following...
As Brand Accounts are shareable consumer accounts, usage of such accounts when accessing additional services resulted in the circumvention of some restrictions normally applied to G Suite for Education accounts.
I questioned why they did not give G Suite for Education admins a heads up that those emails were going out, but the support person did not know why. My best guess is they discovered this as they were decommissioning Google+, which was one of the Google sites that allowed brand accounts along with Photos and YouTube.
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5/10/19
I am the Social Media manager for my District and we have many schools that are affected by this and now we are all scrambling to figure out what to do. I have spent too much time making sure each school is appropriately branded and consistent and now this just makes it more difficult to manage.
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5/10/19
@Chris B

Have you tested the reverse process of inviting and edu account to be a member of a personal brand account because it seems to fail for me. It looks as though all edu accounts are prohibited from being a part of a brand in any way?
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5/10/19
@Chris Bianchi 4641

I haven't seen anything about where Google fixed the privacy issues related to education accounts related to Brand accounts. Hopefully this thread will get Google's attention so they can at least address the need for Brand accounts related to social media to represent the schools as a whole, if not for the individual teachers.
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5/10/19
@James Gubbins 

My understanding is that G Suite for Education accounts can no longer be invited to Brand Accounts but I did test inviting a consumer account to the Brand Channel and have to wait one day before making the consumer account the Primary Owner.  I hopefully by the end of the day that will be confirmed as successful.
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5/10/19
Yes, we can make new Gmail accounts to be the brand owners, but now we have to worry about these new accounts being outside our domains. We can make a GSuite email account, within the domain, the recovery email for this new non-GSuite account, but there is still a risk. What happens if it gets locked out, password lost, etc. As an administrator of these accounts, I want to be able to give my content creators (Principals, Teachers, Techs) the ability to publish content and share their successes without worrying about the account itself.
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5/10/19
@Brice VanFosson

I agree completely.  I think Google must allow G Suite for Education to use Brand Accounts.  

However, we were only given two months to find an alternative solution and I was only offering a short term solution so that others won't lose content or the ability to post to Brand Accounts until Google realizes the craziness of their actions.  I know it's not ideal but it should work.

Since users have to switch accounts in order to post to a Brand Account anyway, if both accounts are logged into Chrome, the user won't really notice the difference between switching to the brand account that is accessed with a consumer account or their G Suite account.  The fact that the account is a non G Suite Account that you can't manage is an issue but you can always keep the accounts with Owner permissions consumer accounts that you manage and so that others can be re-invited if they get locked out of their own consumer account.  Again, it's just a work around for now because chances are Google won't act fast enough to reverse this decision before July 10th.
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5/10/19
My question is what constitutes a "brand account"? For instance, the account in question for me contains some "how to" videos that are basically shared in-house as well as some videos of student work. I had no intention of this being branding. As I said earlier, to change the URL for these videos would cause a huge trickledown issue for me in the supporting documents I have sent out. Who decides what is a branded account and what is not and how can this be reconsidered?
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5/10/19
Sidenote, I believe this change also affects the "Google My Business" functionality. I am no longer able to claim a business on Google, which means I now have to go through the same hoops to make sure that Google presents my correct School Addresses, logos. Websites, and reviews in the sidebar.
Last edited 5/10/19
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5/10/19
Just started looking into these emails that came out to staff and its a huge inconvenience. These brand accounts are useful tools for education. and to top it off some of the teachers dont even know what accounts they are!!!
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5/10/19
I agree that it makes no sense. I used Takeout in case they don't reverse the decision, but it's a huge blow to our "brand."  We're not for profit, but we still need a presence.
Should we have a staff member repost all these videos? What about when they retire and their name and account are still tied to them?  I'm opening a support case to let them know it's infeasible.
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5/10/19

"It has come to our attention that your user account has been used to create or join a Brand Account." makes it sound like I was sneaky about it, but Google allowed this to happen with no warning that they'd rip the rug out from under us.

It's their service, and I have backups, but it's bad for business to place traps like this.
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5/10/19
I agree with everyone that this is terrible and I can't even begin to think of what all will be affected from it. But that said, if Google wants to toss branded accounts that is fine. What isn't fine is:
  1. Giving a 2 month notice
  2. Giving the above notice at the end of the school year for many districts when finals are going on and teaching staff (most of the branded account holders) are about to leave for the summer.
  3. Have no way to easily transfer the data/videos to another account in your domain that isn't a branded account (manually downloading and then uploading videos on a new account isn't feasible when you have hundreds or even thousands of videos).
  4. Have no way for the admins to see all the branded accounts in the domain
Honestly, if they let everyone know 8 to 12 months in advance it would still be bad but would be much more feasible than 2 months at the end of the school year for most people. It's hard to believe that they decided yesterday out of the blue that this was getting the axe in 2 months.
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5/11/19
Even with all the resources shared in this thread I'm having a hard time understanding what next steps to take so I can preserve my content and continue uploading to my channel. I am a teacher and I received this email today.
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5/11/19
I am a parent and my daughter received the Brand Account email.  We are now trying to figure out, does this mean that all of her Google photos content (that are under her Education Suite email address) will be deleted when this change takes effect?  Our school tech office was not sure about the answer to this, which is why I'm asking here.
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5/11/19
To ask us to create consumer account to manage our brand accounts is crazy! This is definitely a step backwards for security and user experience from the perspective of our school and users. 

It would be interesting to know what the "issues" are that they have discovered as I haven't been able to find this information.
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5/11/19
I have been creating video content for learning as part of our G Suite for education and had no intention of making it a "Brand Account" on YouTube.   I'm very disappointed that Google chose to put a limitation on one of the very tools that help us create individualized learning tools that can be shared and leveraged to scale learning.  Google, please change this policy and allow education accounts to have YouTube channels for teachers and schools.
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5/12/19
Adding my voice to this thread.  Seems entirely unnecessary and while you can migrate to a consumer account, it completely contradicts the value of having all your staff using school-owned G Suite accounts for all school-related work.  Centrally managing accounts helps ensure continuity if/when staff move schools or change roles.  Now we'll be tracking down consumer accounts.  I'm really struggling to rationalize this in my head.  Hoping Google hears the collective response and reconsiders.
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5/13/19
We're in the same boat, but today it appears worse.  I signed in as one of the affected accounts and tried to add a personal Gmail account (the steps that were recommended.)  I got the error :  You are unable to invite additional users as this Brand Account has been blocked.

I contacted Google Support this morning and they said that Brand accounts which have been disabled can't be accessed.  They recommended filling out the request to unblock the account.

There's no way to know how much data is at risk of being lost, because when I sign in to Youtube or Google Photos with one of the affected accounts, I get redirected to the support page letting me know that the Brand was disabled.  There might be zero videos there, or thousands.  

I totally understand that compliance with data laws is causing this move to disallow schools from having Brand accounts, but we at least need a way to follow the instructions to transfer the data.  The support person I chatted with said "Thank you for the information. It means that the Brand accounts were disabled before the announced purging of the Brand accounts for Edu editions of G Suite"

Hopefully they'll clarify the purging and re-enable the accounts so that we can be better prepared for the purge.
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5/13/19
How do we find out which users in our domain even have branded accounts?
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5/14/19
google not answer this questions. 

i have Dozens of accounts, Thousands of users how can u hekp them now?

are they need to close there acount now? , i dont understand 1

if google doesnt want it to happen why it why it allows it from start ?!

i am very angry about that , and all af you should do so
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5/14/19
I agree. It is causing a lot of anxiety for people who are the technology promoters at our school. The instructions are not clear.  
Why should school emails be effected.  It would be great for some programmer at google to take control and either push the date until administrators can get the right instructions or a solution that allows brand accounts and make the problem mute.
Thank you to anyone who is listening.
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5/14/19
The solutions are terrible.  Creating a ¨personal gmail" account goes against everything we try to teach the staff.  Also, if the staff member that created that account leaves, legally, the district still owns that content.  What do we do when that person refuses to give the district the password for that account when they leave the district?
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5/14/19
Our teachers utilize Youtube often as they post resources and this is a real hassle. I see that there are two options, 1 is associate it with a non G Suite for Ed and 2 download and upload to another Youtube account. I was on chat with G Suite support twice to get one specific question answered: Can we use our G Suite for Ed accounts to post/share content after July 10 in Youtube and the answer was:

No. You won't able to use your G Suite EDU account to post content on youtube.

Any Youtube channel created under our school G Suite accounts between now and July 10 will also get removed. Now, I couldn't find any documentation for this on Google's part and I request it to better present information to my school and the support rep pretty much just said, as "documentation"

And you may use out chat transcript to your director

So this would pretty much render option 2 to create a channel under the school accounts and upload those videos to there useless, as they would end up deleting the content come July 10. Has anyone else confirmed this?
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5/14/19
I wanted to bump Mark Fratto's comment;

"How do we find out which users in our domain even have branded accounts?"

UPDATE: 

When Google emailed us about the issue, they included an attachment of accounts in a CSV. Those are the accounts.
Last edited 5/14/19
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5/14/19
I have started to create a document to address some of the options to move these Brand Accounts over to managed Google identities with a new G Suite or Cloud Identity tenant.
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5/14/19
This is also being discussed on CCC over at G Suite and Chrome Feature Ideas (customers only).

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5/15/19
Has anybody else used the "move to" functionality within the YouTube Channel Settings>Advanced Settings to simply move the channel from a Branded Account (which Google added - basically - on their own to G-Suite for Ed, even existing YouTube accounts at the time Branded Accounts feature was added in 2014 or so) back to the regular YouTube G-Suite Domain account? That way it's no longer a Branded Account, the videos keep their present link addressing, subscribers stay intact, and it stays under the control of the G-Suite domain.

I know that Branded Accounts are what Google used to have the multiple users access a given channel from their own logins, so removing that functionality is a pain, but for the short term, I can see just having users (like the different softball coaches, as an example) have access to the same YouTube channel using a different G-suite account. But I think I would rather do that than have a bunch of non-domain accounts for YouTube. All that will take is a mess-up somewhere in documentation or a user to change passwords and settings and then when they leave, it's lost...or they lose it, and even a "rescue email" ends up being something nobody has access to, and access is gone, and a different headache comes out of that.

Hopefully, we will see something a little more helpful from Google well before July 10 rolls around, but what I outlined above is what we'll maybe do if a better solution isn't available.
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5/15/19
If Google is willing to abruptly just pull a valuable and in many cases, necessary feature, it makes you wonder what is next?

We just had an administrative meeting about this & the decision was made to put a moratorium on adopting any further G Suite for Education products & stop promoting G Suite as a primary platform until we see how this plays out.

This is great example of why relying on "free" services is so dangerous in the enterprise. Having non-school/domain accounts in charge of a school's video content is completely unacceptable. There are so many regulatory, legal, and logistical problems with that scenario, it's simply untenable. I guarantee the security issues that they think they "solved" are minor compared to what this work-around creates.

This is a HUGE mistake by Google. Hopefully they nix this before it goes into effect.
Last edited 5/15/19
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5/17/19
I didn't even know I was creating a brand account when I set up my teacher YouTube channel. Now I'm getting emails that say everything will be deleted July 10?? I tried transferring primary ownership to a personal account, but it won't work. I tried downloading my data out, but that won't work either because I keep getting a "500 Error." 
PLEASE HELP!!! How do I get rid of this brand account without all of my YouTube videos disappearing??
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5/18/19
Our district is also receiving the emails regarding Brand accounts teachers were not even aware they created. I found this information in YouTube Help forum, not sure if it only means they automatically converted any account created prior to 2014 or if they converted any secondary Channel to a Brand account. It appears that the first channel you create uses your Google account name and when you create a second channel you can use a different name. However, if you now attempt to create a new Channel in your Edu account you get a very unhelpful error message which may or may not be related to the fact that Edu users are now unable to use Brand accounts. This isn't a solution but perhaps an explanation as to why we are all caught off guard with this new Brand account terminology. 

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5/19/19
Send messages to my inbox
Last edited 5/22/19
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5/19/19
Send me messages to my inbox email
Last edited 5/22/19
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5/21/19
This whole mess gets even better. I followed their instructions and transferred primary ownership of our channel, and now it can't be controlled/accessed from the new primary account or the old one. The channel is still up, but is apparently unusable.
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5/21/19
If I invited myself as an "Owner" to the brand in my personal account (there is no option to make "Primary Owner" that stays with the originator of the brand), when the brand account gets deleted in the GAFE domain will it still live on via my personal account so I don't lose my Playlists and videos from the original branded account?
Last edited 5/21/19
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5/29/19
If you really want this to change, email the Google CEO and tell him what you really think about this moronic move to get rid of brand accounts for Gsuite for EDU.  Complaining about it here isn't going to do anything and it has never worked for me.  sundar@google.com
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5/30/19
help on Google+
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Thanks for stopping by the G Suite Administrator forum. For support with  Google +, we recommend posting in the  Google +  Community where experts can better assist.
 
also  read   the Google + Faq 
 
 
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9/18/19
Can I just get the file to my brand account, please! The IT guy at my school is no help.
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