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107* useful new things for social media managers (*approx)

🎄 Hello, geeks! How’s the Christmas content scheduling nightmare going? Well, I hope! If not, let me
Geekout Newsletter
Issue #24 • View online
🎄 Hello, geeks!
How’s the Christmas content scheduling nightmare going? Well, I hope! If not, let me distract you for a moment with my geeky musings…
So, Twitter has surprised us all with an early Christmas gift this week. It’s rolling out a new integration with Snapchat. You can now share tweets as a sticker in your Snap Stories. It amazes me that it’s taken them this long to realise the value of making it easy to share its platform content out to rival networks.
TikTok has benefited hugely from allowing users to save videos to their devices and giving them a feast of social sharing options. Twitter says sharing to IG Stories is also coming soon. Goodbye third-party tweet screenshot app!
HIDDEN GEM: Making screenshots on your desktop is made super-easy with this free tool. Install the Chrome extension for one-click screenshot editing super-powers!
The other big news story this week was the U.S government filing a major antitrust case against Facebook. And boy, Facebook was pissed, judging by this salty tweet it posted shortly after the news broke. We’ll dig into the details of the case in a bit, but the consensus amongst industry experts suggest it will be hard for the U.S government to prove its case. Still, this will undoubtedly be Facebook’s toughest legal battle to date.
Meanwhile, Trump’s attempts to ban TikTok in the U.S. drag on with no significant progress seen to be made. I think Trump’s lost interest. Much like the rest of us.
WIN: Boosted by Lightricks has a great little contest to win an iPhone 12
WATCH: The creators of Black Mirror have a new show coming soon to Netflix
LEARN: Essential reading for social media managers - Hootsuite’s Social Trends Report for 2021.
Ok. You ready? Let’s dive into everything new this week in the world of social.
— Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Breaking up Facebook has been a talking point for years, but it’s finally more than just an idea. New antitrust lawsuits in the US this week call for possible actions as extreme as forcing Facebook to divest Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook’s ‘acquire or copy to win’ strategy has operated in plain sight for years, and is backed up by internal emails from over the years. But that doesn’t mean an antitrust case is a slam dunk. That’s because the bar set for proving anticompetitive behaviour is set very high (more on that from the New York Times here [$$$]).
In response to the action, Facebook has taken the brash approach to corporate comms that we see a lot these days. It argues that the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp were properly approved at the time, and “now, many years later, with seemingly no regard for settled law or the consequences to innovation and investment, the agency is saying it got it wrong and wants a do-over.”
These types of cases often take years to resolve, so expect this to drag on for a long time yet. In the short term, Facebook’s biggest problem might be the action emboldening other governments around the world to make similar moves. Especially as just hours after the US lawsuits were announced, Germany revealed an antitrust investigation of its own, into the way a Facebook account is now required for using Oculus.
Another tiff between Facebook and Apple emerged this week, over the privacy ‘nutrition labels’ coming to iOS. The WhatsApp team thinks Apple isn’t treating its own apps the same as third-party apps, and the labels aren’t nuanced enough.
When the labels launch, Apple will let you see the privacy 'nutrition’ of its own apps but only on the Apple website if the apps aren’t already on the App Store. This will make it hard for users to compare which are the worst offenders when it comes to abusing your privacy.
And as WhatsApp points out, even when you can compare fairly, privacy-friendly features like end-to-end encryption aren’t communicated in the options available, potentially misleading iOS users about exactly what apps can do with their data.
Apple will probably fix these issues eventually, but for now we can savour a rare time when Facebook is on the right side of a privacy debate.
YouTubers fighting other YouTubers in big-money boxing matches is a very silly thing. But a YouTuber against an actual, proper (if retired) boxer with big muscles and powerful fists? This feels like the influencer economy jumping some kind of shark.
The pay-per-view event, lined up for this coming February, is apparently already selling very well, with Logan Paul fans and boxing fans alike no doubt keen to see how it goes down.
‘How it goes down’ will almost certainly be 'Logan Paul loses spectacularly, risks his health, and sets an example to kids that doing stupid things for lots of money is a good way to live.’ But hey, I suppose Logan Paul doesn’t have a good history of being the right place to look if you want a role model.
Grow your skills for free this holiday season
 
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook Profits As Users Are Ripped Off By Scam Ads
  • Mark Zuckerberg threatened to withdraw investment from the UK over the country’s “anti-tech” attitude, newly revealed documents from 2018 reveal. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook has taken down prominent pages directing millions of followers to false claims about Covid-19 and other health issues. [Washington Post $$$]
  • The UK reportedly hasn’t secretly asked for a backdoor into WhatsApp, but it may use powers to stop Facebook from applying end-to-end encryption across all its messaging apps. [Sky News]
  • Instagram sees TikTok as the most formidable competitor it’s ever seen. [CNBC]
  • Half of US adults don’t realise that Facebook doesn’t do original news reporting itself. 😳 [Mashable]
  • Music artists will discuss their lyrics in a partnership between Genius and Instagram’s Reels feature. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Facebook has revealed the top pop culture moments on its platform in 2020. [Facebook Newsroom]
  • Facebook has revealed the biggest trends and topics across Facebook and Instagram in 2020. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram has published its roundup of 2020. [Instagram blog]
Twitter:
Twitter users complain of timelines being overrun with ‘Promoted Tweets’
  • Twitter is beefing up its brand safety activity, with an eye on advertiser satisfaction. [Business Insider $$$]
  • Twitter has joined a coalition of tech companies pushing for the future of the open internet. [Twitter blog]
  • Twitter has shared with biggest tweet trends of 2020. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter has shared data about UK trends on the platform this year. [@TwitterUK]
  • A Twitter user fooled Trump by setting up fake accounts and raising $7,384 for a non-existent ‘Gay Voices for Trump’ organisation. [Business Insider]
TikTok:
  • The US government has not extended TikTok’s deadline to become an American company. However, it has allowed “advanced negotiations” to continue. [CNN]
  • TikTok is investigating potentially harmful videos promoting starvation and anorexia. [The Guardian]
  • TikTok is awash with untrustworthy financial advice. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • An 18-year-old TikTok star is to become a venture capitalist. Josh Richards is joining Remus Capital to invest in startups that target Gen-Z. [Axios]
  • TikTok has rounded up some of the most inspiring brand campaigns on the platform this year. [TikTok Newsroom]
And the rest:
Tech giants may face billions of pounds in fines from new UK watchdog
  • YouTube has finally started cracking down on post-election misinformation. [CNBC]
  • YouTube Gaming served up 100 billion hours of gaming content in 2020, across 40 million channels. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube remains the dominant source of video in top Google ranking positions. [Search Engine Land]
  • Cyber criminals have found a way to inject payment data-stealing malware into social media sharing buttons on online stores. [ZDNet]
  • Parler’s explosive post-election growth is over. [CNN]
  • Twitch has updated its rules to ban blackface, swastikas and the Confederate flag. [The Verge]
  • Australia’s parliament has debated legislation that would make big tech companies pay for the news they link to. This has been discussed for months, but it’s now moving forward towards law. [The Guardian]
  • There has been a fresh call to ban social media anonymity in the UK, this time from a veteran Labour MP. [The Guardian]
  • 57% of Americans do not trust social media for Covid-19 vaccine information. Probably wise in most cases! [Axios]
  • Roddy Ricch’s ‘The Box’ has topped YouTube’s list of the platform’s Top Songs of 2020 chart. [Variety/Yahoo Movies]
  • Some influencers secretly use ghostwriters to respond to their messages on OnlyFans. [Business Insider $$$]
  • Reddit’s top post of 2020 was a Rick Astley photo, posted by Rick Astley himself. [The Verge]
  • Pinterest has release its trend predictions for 2021 based on the platform’s data. [Social Media Today]
❓ Question of the week
If you’re looking to give your Twitter feed an injection of social media manager geekiness, this thread 👇 is for you.
Check out replies for top people to follow. And add your own recommendations!
Matt Navarra
Who are the 'MUST-FOLLOW' people
on Twitter
if you're a social media manager?
🔨 Tool of the week
I love this new Twitter tool I stumbled upon this week.
Typefully is a simple but smart distraction-free editor to write and publish tweets and threads. 👌
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook is testing a new branch/thread design for comments in its iOS app. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is testing a ‘Guides’ feature for Pages. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has expanded its Brand Collabs Manager tool to include Groups, and added new Group post options. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook is testing 'Ad Pods’: two back-to-back mid-roll video ads. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Facebook Workplace is losing its free option from February. [Workplace blog]
  • I’ve spotted Live Shopping on my UK Facebook account, when it was announced as a US-only feature. Is this a bug or a feature roll-out? [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is now rolling out previously announced changes to 'topics’ in Groups. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has redesigned the Group admin menu. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Creator Studio now has a content calendar tool for Instagram. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram Reels now has shopping features. [TechCrunch]
Shopping via Instagram Reels. [Credit: Instagram]
Shopping via Instagram Reels. [Credit: Instagram]
  • Instagram is encouraging some users to operate multiple ‘finstas’. [@ReneRitchie]
  • Hashtag search on Instagram is back to full functionality in the US. It was restricted during the election. [@KatieMcKiever]
  • Instagram will let you view art from around the world via augmented reality. [AFP/Yahoo News]
  • Instagram is running quirky ads in India to promote Reels. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram has rolled out its new ‘Level’ camera mode for Stories. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram has launched a new 'shoppable’ Christmas catalogue. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram insights no longer show messaging insights to users in the EU due to privacy rules in the EU. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is testing a counter showing how long you have left to view a Story. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram continues to work on an option to recommend a Reel on Facebook. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is now actively testing its ‘Remix’ feature for Reels, a copy of TikTok’s Duets. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is working on a new 'new message’ button in Threads, letting you create groups without using the main Instagram app. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp is getting shopping carts to bolster the app’s shopping experience. [TechCrunch]
  • WhatsApp has launched new wallpaper designs. [Social Media Today]
Some of WhatsApp's new wallpaper designs. [Credit: WhatsApp]
Some of WhatsApp's new wallpaper designs. [Credit: WhatsApp]
  • Twitter could soon let you limit replies to your followers. [Android Police]
  • A new ‘choose-your-own-adventure’-style adventure has launched on Twitter to promote new Elder Scrolls Online game content. [PC Gamer]
  • TikTok has a little-known tool for agencies to help them with influencer management. [@MattNavarra]
  • YouTube is testing 'video appeals,’ allowing owners of suspended channels in the Partner Program to put forward their case on camera. [Android Police]
  • YouTube has launched HDR support for livestreams. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube will let US users opt out of gambling and alcohol ads. The move will extend to other countries and Google properties later. [The Guardian]
  • LinkedIn has new admin roles for Pages, including a Super-Admin role. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn is testing ads in Stories. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Snapchat’s new partnership with Levi’s lets users dress up their Bitmoji avatars in classic Levi’s outfits. [Social Media Today]
  • Snap has launched a $3.5m fund for lens creation. [TechCrunch]
  • Reddit now lets you choose from different app icons on iOS. [@MattNavarra]
  • Pinterest has added new features to Boards due to their increased popularity during the pandemic. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitch has removed the 'blind playthrough’ tag following criticism from disabled players. [TechRadar]
  • Google Stadia players can finally stream natively to YouTube. [Android Police]
  • A new VR app called Arthur lets you and distant colleagues to collaborate within a 3D meeting space. [Wired]
📖 Weekend reading
Social Strikes Back
😳 And finally....
ICYMI…The social team running @UKCelebrations Twitter account has given a masterclass on how to drive up festive engagement.
Check out their tweets from the past week or so… 👏
📅 Back next week...
You just gained one social media IQ point. Good work!
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Okay. You’re done. Class dismissed.
Goodbye geeks
— Matt
🎄❤️🎄

This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2020: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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