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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #36 • View online
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Hello, geeks!
First off this week… how well do you know social media companies’ logos? Take this test. It’s harder than it looks! (P.S - I scored 13/15)
DID YOU SEE…
Facebook is clamping down hard on rule-breakers in Groups. After several years of building out features for Groups and amplifying them more aggressively in the News Feed, Facebook has realised it needs to rein in some aspects of how Groups operate.
The biggest change is how Facebook will now cut the reach and visibility of your Group (and its posts) if members post content which breaks its rules. The more rule-breaks you get, the more your Group gets punished by Facebook’s algorithm. Prepare for a lot of Group admins to switch on ‘Post approvals” to mitigate the risk. [Full details about changes to Facebook Groups].
HIDDEN GEM: This WhatsApp chat analysis app is a LOT of fun! It scores your chats with friends + family to give insights into who holds the power in your relationships [Download Mimoto on iOS]
GEEKOUT SECRETS REVEALED
Earlier this week I revealed everything about this Geekout Newsletter. In a fun chat with the lovely people at Revue (now owned by Twitter), I explained how I came up with the idea for Geekout, how it gets put together each week, how much money it generates, my top tips for starting your own newsletter, and more. [Read full interview]
In related news, Geekout has signed a deal with a NEW newsletter sponsor. Can you guess who it is?
HOT NEW TOOLS
Finally this week, I stumbled upon another batch of useful tools for social media managers.
Here’s a list of some of the best ones:
Ok… It’s time to get stuck into the top news stories and hot topics burning up in the world of social this week. Let’s go!
— Matt
P.S. 🟣 Join me on Twitter Spaces (NOT Clubhouse!) today (FRI 19 MAR) at 4PM UK / 11AM ET / 8AM PT.
We will be hanging out discussing all the big stories in this week’s edition of Geekout. Who knows, maybe Zuck will drop in? :)
Follow me and look out for the Space going live in the Twitter Fleets bar above your main feed when the time comes!

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
It seems like Facebook can’t launch anything these days without facing a loud, disillusioned groan. Officially confirming a recent report that it was planning to launch a newsletter platform that would provide a way for writers to make money, many of the very people Facebook hopes to court to use the service rolled their eyes.
After the ‘pivot to video’ debacle and numerous other examples of Facebook getting bored with its latest big idea and moving on, writers are well within their rights to wonder whether this newsletter product will even be around a year after launch.
While it’s being presented by some as a Substack clone, Facebook’s newsletter product is actually closer to what Twitter has promised to offer through Super Follow. Writers who take up Facebook’s offer will get a newsletter, a community space via Groups, multimedia publishing of videos, Stories and the like via Pages, and monetisation tools.
The truth is that some writers will be far better suited to monetising their content through Facebook than Twitter. If your core audience is on Facebook, why not be based there? In that context it’s a compelling offering.
But then there’s that track record… unless Facebook can convince writers it won’t turn its newsletter product into a dead end within months, why should anyone give it a shot?
Despite all the buzz around Clubhouse in recent months, it has been tainted by niggling concerns about privacy. In fact, just this week, France’s privacy watchdog opened an investigation into how the app handles the data of users and their contacts.
It’s hard to see how — by forcing users to upload their entire contacts list in order to send invites (without the express permission of each of those contacts to be ‘processed’ by Clubhouse) — the app hasn’t been in clear breach of EU and UK data protection laws since it first opened its doors to its first testers last spring.
Now Clubhouse has improved its handling of user data by letting users send invites without having to upload all their contacts. The option to delete the contacts you’ve already uploaded will be added in-app in the future. In the meantime, you can manually request deletion.
This is good to see, but Clubhouse may find European data regulators want to make an example of the startup, forcing future social apps to get serious about users’ information right from the off.
This week’s unsurprising Facebook ‘cloned product’ news comes in the form of a new version of Instagram aimed at children. Given Facebook already has Messenger Kids, it’s no surprise at all that the company would want to hook children on its buzziest app at an early age.
Now, I don’t doubt that Instagram is earnest in its apparent goal to build a “safe” version of the app for under-13s, but the news (via an internal post leaked to BuzzFeed News) ushered in a wave of uncomfortable responses.
“When are our pathetic politicians going to outlaw this kind of corporate child abuse?” asked conservative commentator Steve Hilton. “At some point, we will look at social media for kids under 13 like we look at cigarettes targeted to minors,” wrote journalist Yair Rosenberg. “You can bet Facebook executives and employees won’t be putting their own kids on it,” said academic David Carroll.
‘Instagram for Kids’ may be a key project in Facebook’s unstoppable quest for growth, but it will likely have a PR (and maybe even a political) battle on its hands if it tries to launch it.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Zuckerberg Now Claims Apple's App Tracking Transparency Rules Could Benefit Facebook
  • Facebook has revealed details of its ‘neural wristband’ that can be used as a controller for devices like AR glasses (no, it can’t read your thoughts). [BuzzFeed News]
  • Facebook briefed employees on how to present the polarisation the company has been linked to as a sometimes positive thing, or at least something Facebook isn’t entirely responsible for. [BuzzFeed News]
  • Facebook has signed a deal with News Corp in Australia to bring Rupert Murdoch’s publications to Facebook News. [CNN]
  • Facebook has launched a new A.I. project called Learning from Videos. It will train the company’s A.I. on users’ public videos. [The Verge]
  • Facebook has revealed a ‘corporate human rights policy’ and has pledged to report annually on its “most critical human rights issues, like risks to freedom of expression.” [The Verge]
  • Facebook’s Oversight Board will look at the company’s handling of elected officials more broadly than just Trump’s account. [Engadget]
  • Facebook is fighting Covid-19 vaccine misinformation with links to official info under all posts on the topic. [TechCrunch]
  • Apple has targeted counterfeit products on Instagram as part of a wider war on fakes. [MacRumors]
Twitter:
Russia will block Twitter in one month unless it deletes banned content
  • The Florida teenager responsible for last summer’s big Twitter hack has been sentenced to three years in prison. [The Verge]
  • Twitter wants your input on how it should handle world leaders’ accounts. [Twitter blog]
TikTok:
TikTok will soon force personalized ads on its users
  • UK TV channels Channel 4 and E4 have signed up to provide content for TikTok’s educational initiative. [TikTok newsroom]
  • Weird, old CIA experiments with telepathy have gone viral on TikTok. [BoingBoing]
  • Apple is trying viral marketing on TikTok with a challenge tied to its AirPods Pro campaign. [9to5Mac]
And the rest:
YouTube Shorts arrives in the US to take on TikTok, but the beta is still half-baked
  • Clubhouse is approaching 13 million downloads in its first year, according to App Annie. [Social Media Today]
  • Clubhouse is taking applications for a programme that will initially support 20 creators to further develop their content on the app. They’re being promised either brand deals or $5,000 per month during the programme. [TechCrunch]
  • Clubhouse has hired a former Instagram exec as its head of media partnerships. [Adweek $$$]
  • Snap has acquired Fit Analytics, a startup that lets users easily find the right sized clothes and shoes when shopping online. [TechCrunch]
  • OnlyFans is launching its own ‘creative fund’ to help it attract a wider range of creators outside the adult content field. [The Independent]
  • Influencers have been warned in the UK over widespread disregard for disclosure rules around ads and sponsored content. [The Guardian]
  • Sprinklr has been accused of harassing people who criticise it on social media. [Daily Dot]
  • Hate speech is on the increase among young social media users. [Axios]
  • ‘Dark patterns’ are now banned in California under a new regulation that could affect how many apps and websites are designed. [Gizmodo]
  • An influencer mansion company called Clubhouse Media is doing great on the stock market thanks to confused investors who think they’re buying a piece of the hit app with the similar name. [CNBC]
❓ Question of the week
Geekout is launching a NEW audio show soon, and I need your help.
Which platform should we make our home for the new show?
This poll ends today, but hit reply and give your feedback whenever you can.
Your feedback is really useful! 👇
🔨 Tool of the week
SocialSizes.io
🐣 Tweet of the week
Is Clubhouse over-hyped?
Some people think its destined to burn out.
Do you agree?
Check out this thread…. 👇
Shaan Puri
So... everyone seems to think clubhouse is the "next big thing" - but I think it's going to fail.

Here's how I think it all goes down..
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • Facebook has launched a new video series to help businesses succeed on the platform. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTik now lets you browse high-performing ads as inspiration for your own campaigns. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has created worksheets to help you plan ad campaigns on the platform. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is highlighting some of the platform’s best tweeting brands via a championship tournament campaign. [Social Media Today]
  • Inside Dunkin’s influencer-marketing strategy, from hiring Charli D'Amelio to employees posting on TikTok [Insider $$$]
  • How do you solve a problem like… a social media backlash? [The Drum]
  • LinkedIn has published new tips for video ads, based on information from thousands of campaigns. [Social Media Today]
  • Everything brands need to know about Clubhouse (Infographic) [Social Media Today]
  • How brands are using TikTok as a channel for customer service and product feedback [Digiday $$$]
  • How Red Bull, Bumble, and L'Oréal Paris succeeded on TikTok [Insider $$$]
  • How influencers and marketers are using Clubhouse to strike brand deals and make new connections [Insider $$$]
  • How publishers are finding audiences on Clubhouse [Digiday $$$]
  • ‘Close to real-time moderation as we can’: Inside Walmart’s growing TikTok strategy [Digiday $$$]
  • Lifting the lid on Lidl’s social media strategy [We Are Social]
__________________________
📰 Classified ads
Your ad here!
Reach 10,000+ social media professionals to tell them about your big new thing!
Book a classified ad in next week’s newsletter.
__________________________
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook is working on audio rooms, just like Instagram is. [@alex193a]
  • Facebook is helping the US Covid-19 vaccination drive with a new in-app Vaccine Info Center. [Gizmodo]
  • Facebook is testing a new design for its new post composer on iOS. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Creator Studio is getting a redesign. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is expanding support for hardware security keys to iOS and Android. [@fbsecurity]
  • Facebook is testing two new video editing features: smart crop and smart preview. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is trialling a ‘Follow’ button to replace the Like button for posts in Groups. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has been spotted adding labels to its bottom tab navigation bar on iOS. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is removing the ‘Work’ Group type on 15 April. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is promoting its Q&A feature to Group admins. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has added a ‘Reel’ button on Facebook Pages. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Story highlights are being merged with ‘featured’ on your public profile. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Ads Manager now recommends optimisations for media uploaded to create an new ad [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Ads Manager can now turn image and text assets into videos with video templates. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has partnered with Communities for Recycling to provide information about recycling the Americans via Messenger. [PR Newswire]
  • Facebook has shown off its social VR avatars that will appear in upcoming service Horizon. [CNet]
Facebook's VR avatars for Horizon
Facebook's VR avatars for Horizon
  • Instagram is working to be safer for teens. It will stop adults messaging teenagers they don’t know, and and will send a warning if teens try to message ‘suspicious’ adults. [The Verge]
  • Instagram marked Pi Day with a set of custom stickers celebrating women in tech, science, engineering and maths. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram is working on a new interface for browsing a user’s Stories. [@alex193a]
  • Developers using the Instagram API can now tap into IGTV content and metrics [Facebook for Developers]
  • Instagram is developing a ‘pronouns’ field for user profiles. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on an option to change the background when you upload a video in landscape for use in Stories. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is testing a label to signpost reshared posts in Stories. [Testing Catalog]
  • Instagram is letting more users add colour filters to Reels videos. [Testing Catalog]
  • Instagram is developing polls for groups. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on a ‘Love’ sticker. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp is testing the ability to change the playback speed of voice messages. [@WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp for iOS will no longer work on anything earlier than a iPhone 5. [MacRumors]
  • The Oculus App Lab now features more than a dozen more VR games. [VRScout]
  • It looks like ‘undo send’ could be a paid feature on Twitter. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter Spaces on Android has a new Guests view, letting you browse, search, and filter participants in a Space. [Testing Catalog]
  • Twitter Spaces may get its own tab in the app interface. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter Spaces could soon let you set a proper custom name for a Space. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on letting moderators in a Space mute all speakers. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is going to let you use a hardware security key as your only 2FA method. [The Verge]
  • Twitter is working on a range of designs for the top story in Explore. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter has added hashflags in solitary with the Asian American community, following the shocking murders in Atlanta this week. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter could soon let you add custom backgrounds to fleets. [@wongmjane]
  • TikTok has extended the time period and custom data selection available for analytics on Creator Accounts. [@tiktokcreators]
  • TikTok has launched a new Music Hub feature in the UK. It offers “popular TikTok songs, trends, videos, playlists and artists that are making waves.” [TikTok newsroom]
  • TikTok’s brand safety tool has been expanded to the UK, Canada, and Australia. It was previously US-only. [The Drum]
  • TikTok now has an iMessage App that lets you send videos from your saved folder and recently liked posts. [@KenSchillinger]
  • TikTok now has a messaging bot feature for business accounts [@MattNavarra]
  • Clubhouse has made it easier to share your profile or club outside the app. [@MattNavarra]
  • YouTube wants to help creators get fewer copyright flags. It’s introduced a new Checks feature that flags up ContentID alerts before you publish. [XDA Developers]
  • YouTube Studio for desktop now includes a real-time subscriber counter. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube is breaking out TV and games console views in its analytics as part of an update to Studio. [Search Engine Journal]
  • YouTube is rolling out a redesigned Apple TV app. [9to5Mac]
  • Pinterest has expanded skin-tone based searching to 13 additional countries. [Pinterest Newsroom]
  • Reddit continues to tweak its recently-introduced online status feature. [Adweek $$$]
  • Twitch has launched new tools to help creators deal with copyright takedown requests, and mass-delete old content. [The Verge]
  • Discord is working on its own version of Clubhouse. It’s testing new ‘Stage’ audio channels. [XDA Developers]
  • Telegram is also testing Clubhouse-style features, with the ability to record rooms. [Telegram blog]
  • Cameo will now highlight creators offering 24-hour delivery of video messages. [Adweek $$$]
  • Tinder will soon let users do background checks on potential dates, although there will be a fee. [The Verge]
  • Giphy has a new tool for helping you create text GIFs on your phone. [Android Central]
  • A startup called Swell has launched an app offering its own take on social audio, with asynchronous conversations. [TechCrunch]
📖 Weekend reading
😳 And finally...
A streamer is staying live for as long as people keep subscribing
📅 Back next week...
I think that was the MOST jam-packed, longest edition of Geekout yet!
And you’ve just reached the end of it.
Well played, fellow geek.
Well played.
QUICK REMINDERS…
🟣 GEEKOUT on TWITTER SPACES
Join me on Twitter Spaces TODAY (FRI 19 MAR) @ 4PM GMT / 11AM ET / 8AM PT for Geekout Weekly.
Follow me and look out for the Space going live in the fleets bar above your main feed when the time comes!
🗣 JOIN GEEKOUT ON DISCORD
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Right. It’s time for me to destroy my kids on Fortnite.
Have an awesome weekend.
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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