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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #69 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
First off this week… Facebook’s Christmas gift for social media managers is finally here 🎁
…And I really should have cleared out my office before going live on Sky News 😬
  1. Facebook is now called Meta [LINK]
  2. Instagram Stories Link sticker is now available to all [LINK]
  3. TikTok is testing a ‘tips’ monetisation feature [LINK]
  4. LinkedIn launched a freelancer marketplace [LINK]
  5. Amazon is building its own Clubhouse rival [LINK]
It’s been an insanely busy week for social media news. Here are a few more things that grabbed my attention…
Someone found an image of a Facebook Smartwatch in the code of one of its apps… Twitter started rolling out the ability for hosts to record Twitter Spaces… PayPal announced it doesn’t want to buy Pinterest… A popular Chinese live streamer sold $2 billion worth of goods in ONE DAY… BJ Novak (Ryan from The Office) had a very weird week. And LinkedIn joined in the fun on Twitter… And The Social Network 2 teaser trailer is out 😁
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Fancy winning a Premium Pass to Social Media Week - London? I got you.
I’ve been gifted FOUR Premium Passes to SMWLDN’s virtual (online) event taking place next week.
  • HOW TO WIN: Post a tweet telling your followers why they should subscribe to my Geekout Newsletter. Funniest or most creative tweets win the passes.
  • TIP: Here’s a ready-made tweet for you to edit and post. 
💀 TWITTER: Stop doomscrolling on Twitter with the help of this bot [LINK]
👻 EMOJIS: Halloween emoji trends 2021 [LINK] 
😮 WTF: The most cringe Facebook video you’ll ever watch [LINK] 
😆 META: The best (and worst) Facebook / Meta memes on Twitter [LINK]
🤔 TIL: What Facebook would be like without a News Feed algorithm [LINK]
Okay. Enough of the fun stuff. Let’s dive into the most-talked about social media headlines this week 👇
— Matt
P.S. Join me later for your weekly Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 4PM (UK) today (Fri 29 Oct)
We will discuss all the week’s BIG social media hot topics, breaking news, new features, and more. [Get a Reminder]

Emplifi Summit '21: The Infinite Experience
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
The smart money was on ‘Meta’ as Facebook’s choice of new name from as soon as we heard about the rebrand last week. And yesterday Mark Zuckerberg made it official.
It’s easy to say ‘this is just a distraction from all the controversy it’s facing’ but while that’s true in the short term, this really is mainly about the company’s next chapter.
The rebrand was announced during the AR and VR focused Connect event, which is traditionally more about product announcements and tools for developers, but was this year more of a statement about where Facebook Meta sees its future: helping to build a metaverse in which you’ll “socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what’s possible today.” They even want you to work out in VR.
And Meta isn’t going in lightly on its new mission. It said earlier in the week that it plans to invest around $10bn in metaverse initiatives.
Some of this will be new, VR-first projects like the Horizon-branded work and social spaces they’re working on. In yesterday’s video, we also saw impressive avatar technology, a next-gen VR headset, tests of AR in BMW cars, plans for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas in VR, support for Slack and Dropbox, and more. But expect the company’s existing products to dive into the metaverse too. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said he’s “excited about creating a more immersive Instagram experience in the metaverse”.
It’s important for Meta that the public doesn’t see the metaverse as being mainly a gaming thing, which could be why it’s ditching the Oculus brand. Look out for ‘Meta Quest’ from next year.
For more on Mark Zuckerberg’s thoughts on Meta and the metaverse, it’s worth reading his interviews with The Verge and Stratechery.
Of course, over on Twitter, it was open season for Meta snark (when is it not?). Even Twitter’s own CEO got in on the action. Interestingly, Twitter has its own ‘META’ team focused on (ironically, given this week’s ‘The Facebook Papers’ bad press) Machine Learning, Ethics, Transparency and Accountability.
We’re still years away from the vision of the metaverse we saw yesterday, but this is new land for Facebook to stake a claim in. The fact Nick Clegg made an appearance in the video for a section about trust and safety shows that the company wants to avoid its missteps and bad press of the past in this new chapter.
Still, its plans to help other companies develop the metaverse sure sounds a lot like the way it gained dominance of ‘web 2.0’ by helping developers add social features to their apps. Regulators and the media will be looking a lot more carefully this time, and it’s unclear if Zuckerberg can pull off the same feat twice.
If Mark Zuckerberg wants a fresh start, the media isn’t going to give it to him easily. This week, a flood of stories sourced from Frances Haugen’s leaked documents swamped the media to the point where it was hard to keep up. Even the articles that tried to round up all the coverage gave up after a couple of days.
The Verge did a good piece offering a quick-glance view of the main themes from the first rush of stories. But there was more, like moderation problems in India, and there were a bunch of interesting and useful nuggets like how emoji reactions proved 5x more valuable than Likes, how Facebook tested removing news completely, how Instagram discussed using funny memes and nature photos to combat body image problems, and how chronological feeds aren’t necessarily better than algorithmic feeds.
Facebook employees’ own ideas for how to fix Facebook, and departing staff’s farewell messages are worth reading too.
But a fair criticism of many of the stories based on Haugen’s leaks is that they are often based on internal comment threads where staff of varying levels of seniority spitball about the company’s products. What gets presented as ‘internal discussion’ might sometimes just be a junior employee throwing out random suggestions about a product they don’t work on. This was certainly the view of one ex-employee who spoke to Platformer.
Top execs went on the counter-offensive. Nick Clegg told staff: “keep your heads held high and do the work we came here to do”, while Zuckerberg lashed out about a “coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company”.
But the wider perception is that this is Facebook Meta’s biggest crisis ever, with fingers starting to point to Zuckerberg himself as the main problem
The stock market wasn’t bothered by all this drama though. If the company keeps delivering strong earnings, the money men will be happy. Still, Zuckerberg made a big point during this quarter’s earnings call on Monday of talking about how his company wanted to woo young people back, highlighting just how important this is to a healthy future for Meta.
In happier news for everyone, Instagram finally did something this week that users have been demanding for a very long time. Now anyone can post a link sticker in their stories, even if they don’t have 10,000 followers.
Similar to how YouTube restricts certain features to its biggest accounts, the 10k limit was a way of Instagram only giving a useful feature to users who put the effort and time into growing their audiences. But really it just made Stories less useful than it should have been for all sorts of people.
And with confirmation that link stickers will soon be customisable, it’s good to see that linking out from Stories will soon be an even better experience.
I should also point out that, with an eye on antitrust proceedings around the world, letting anyone link out sure is a good way of reducing accusations that Instagram is a walled garden.
⚡Must-read of the week
Kara Swisher on Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Papers
❓ Question of the week
It’s that time of year when ‘experts’ make predictions for social media in the year ahead.
This Twitter thread has some ‘alternative’ suggestions:
Matt Navarra
predictions for life as a social media manager in 2022?

*wrong answers only
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Facebook Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
TOP STORY: Meta (FB) Leaked Smartwatch Planned Competitor to Apple Watch
  • Meta has finally backpedalled on forcing Quest users to need one of the company’s accounts. [Engadget]
  • Facebook Gaming streams have overtaken YouTube Gaming, according to new third-party data. [Engadget]
  • Meta has sued a developer who allegedly scraped data for 178 million Facebook users. [Engadget]
  • Meta has threatened to sue the producers of a TV show it says portrays the company unfairly. [The Verge]
  • Meta is struggling to hire big-name Democrat lobbyists in the US. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman got a swift call from Mark Zuckerberg when he publicly criticised Facebook. [Bloomberg $$$]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Planning a holiday campaign on Instagram? A new guide could help you. [Instagram]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook is testing a ‘Spotlight conversation’ section for comments where specific users chosen by the poster can get their responses shown separately from others. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook work accounts have been spotted in the wild. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is working on a bar showing your friends’ statuses. [@alex193a]
  • Facebook is testing a ‘Give’ button to give ‘stars’ to creators. [@eskoome]
  • A new Facebook app called Polar will let you create and share AR filters. [Mashable]
  • You must now provide a phone number or payment card details if you want to sideload Oculus apps. [UploadVR]
  • Instagram has introduced new features to help creators and brands collaborate, including a ‘partnership messages’ inbox, branded content in Reels, and Shops for affiliate creators. [Instagram blog]
  • Instagram has been spotted offering a ‘Search For Similar Products’ option. [@LindseyGamble_]
  • Instagram is offering 20% off deals when you buy directly in-app. [@LindseyGamble_]
  • Instagram now auto-posts some users’ (public) videos to Reels. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram could soon let you add a welcome message that appears when someone chats with you for the first time. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is building a feature that will let you post NFTs to your profile. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on suggesting which photos your should post. [@alex193a]
  • And Instagram is developing ‘reply suggestions’. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon show your scheduled live videos on your profile. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on ‘silent’ messages for groups that don’t send a notification to members. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger audio calls are coming to VR on Quest. [TechCrunch]
  • WhatsApp’s iPhone to Android chat transfer feature is now available for all Google Pixel phones, having previously launched on Samsung devices. [The Verge]
  • WhatsApp is offering cashback on payments made via its platform in India. [@eskoosme]
🐣 Twitter news
  • Twitter says the UK’s Online Safety Bill needs more clarity on issues like how to define legal but harmful material. [BBC News]
  • Twitter has argued the case for online anonymity to be protected. [Twitter blog]
  • Twitter employees must now use physical security keys in the wake of last year’s hack of high-profile accounts. [Bleeping Computer]
  • Analysts have identified a coordinated hate campaign against Meghan Markle on Twitter. [BuzzFeed News]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want tips to improve your videos on Twitter? The company has you covered. [Social Media Today]
  • How can you use chat about TV shows in your Twitter campaigns? Some new insights are out now. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter has started testing recording Spaces with a small number of iOS users. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitter now lets all users ‘Super Follow’ creators using the ‘paywalled tweets’ service. [@SuperFollows]
  • Twitter now lets you subscribe to Revue newsletters from tweets. [The Verge]
  • Twitter will now show currently popular Spaces in the Explore/Trending tab. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter Blue has launched ‘Labs’ to give subscribers early access to certain features. Pinned conversations and longer video uploads are the first to become available. [Engadget]
  • Twitter Super Follows are coming to the web. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is testing the Spaces tab on Android with a small group of users. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter is building a ‘collectibles’ tab to let users show off their NFT collections, following recent concepts that the company showed off. [The Verge]
  • Twitter is working on an ‘automation’ setting that appears to relate to bot accounts. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is testing reordered replies under tweets with some users on Android and the web. [@TwitterSupport]
  • A look at how ad-free articles will appear in Twitter Blue has emerged. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter could soon show a small notification badge to tell users that new Communities content is available. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is developing a text size option for Blue’s Reader Mode for threads. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is still working on a customisable navigation bar. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter might call the recently-spotted ‘Account Delegation’ feature ‘Collaborate’ instead. [@wongmjane]
🔺 TikTok news
TOP STORY: TikTok dodges questions about biometric data collection in Senate hearing
  • The Chinese version of TikTok will now insert five-second videos into users’ feeds to remind them to take a break if they use the app heavily. [South China Morning Post]
  • TikTok has been accused of wrongly removing sex education videos. [Mashable]
  • TikTok has pulled out of sponsoring the US Government-backed Cyber Games after Republican politicians complained. [EdScoop]
  • Barbie has joined TikTok as Mattel tries new way to boost the reach of its brands. [AdAge]
  • TikTok has partnered with the UK Government’s One Step Greener campaign, tying in with the COP26 conference in Glasgow. [TikTok newsroom]
  • And TikTok is Principal Partner for the Fashion Awards. [TikTok newsroom]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
New features and tests:
  • TikTok is testing direct tipping for certain creators. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok and Zapier have announced a partnership to make it easier to manage lead generation campaigns. [TikTok newsroom]
  • TikTok’s Video Kit for developers is now available on desktop, and new third-party integrations have been announced. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok is rolling out a Tips feature to some creators. [@MattNavarra]
💥 More social media news and updates
TOP STORY: Amazon is building a Clubhouse competitor that turns hosts into DJs
  • PayPal says it is not looking to buy Pinterest right now, despite recent reports. [CNBC]
  • Snapchat now has more than 100m users in India, as Snap partners with companies in the country to fuel further growth. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn has reported user engagement up 19% and revenue up 42% in parent company Microsoft’s latest quarterly results. [Social Media Today]
  • A Chinese social live shopping event reportedly took *$1.9 billion* in one day’s sales. Alibaba has not confirmed the report. [BNN Bloomberg]
  • YouTube’s Q3 ad revenue was up 43% to $7.2bn, and the platform now has 50m Music and Premium subscribers. [Variety]
  • YouTube can’t avoid Facebook-style scrutiny forever, current and former employees have warned. [Insider $$$]
  • YouTube will demonetise low-quality kids’ content next month. [TechCrunch]
  • Social media companies could be fined up to $10m in Australia for privacy breaches, under a proposed new law. [The Guardian]
  • Snap, TikTok, and YouTube have committed to sharing with US politicians their research into their effect on kids’ mental health. [Protocol]
  • Cameo has acquired a fan merch platform called Reprasent. [TechCrunch]
  • The long-awaited pink heart emoji could soon be a reality. [Emojipedia]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Curious about YouTube’s algorithms? The company has answered common questions about how they works. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube is rolling out a personalised ‘New To You’ feed. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube has made a small but pleasing (for some) change to its Android UI. [Android Police]
  • Snapchat has added Halloween-themed features that show off its latest AR tech. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has launched its freelance services marketplace globally, after it proved a hit in beta in the US. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn has improved its job filters to help you find remote work. [Engadget]
  • LinkedIn Pages can now list more info about a company’s policies. [9to5Mac]
  • Clubhouse is adding a ‘pinned links’ feature, similar to Twitter Spaces. [The Verge]
  • Telegram has a new ads manager feature that could share ad revenue with channel owners. [@MattNavarra]
  • Camo is using Snap’s API to bring AR to work meetings.[9to5Mac]
  • Hinge has added voice notes and voice prompts to dating profiles. [The Verge]
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Get in touch:
🌟 New feature of the week
This is a really interesting new Facebook feature with a bunch of use cases, good and bad. Tap through on the tweet for my thread where I found it and gave it a try. 👇
Matt Navarra
Facebook’s got a new thing

‘Spotlight conversations’
📈 Chart of the week
Alex Kantrowitz
Brutal table for Instagram --> Declining sessions, consumption, production, messaging, and retention among teens in the U.S. And Instagram is supposed to be the healthy app.
🤔 Thought for the week
Deadline White House
"That's what happens here, it's sort of the education of Mark Zuckerberg at the expense of the rest of us... I think he is completely incapable of dealing with what he has invented and what he has created" - @karaswisher w/ @NicolleDWallace
📖 Weekend reading
Move over, Instagram influencers: Welcome to the era of the independent creator
😳 And finally...
As Meta announces it wants to use video to get more young people onto its apps…
📅 Back next week...
Holy s**t! You’ve made it to the end of this week’s Geekout.
Nice work… There was a LOT to cover this week!
Right… Time for me to head off to a family get-together. I plan to drop hints about presents I want for Christmas this year :)
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
😮 Get MORE Geekout
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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