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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #44 • View online
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Hello, Geeks!
First off this week… You’ve got to check out this EPIC Twitter thread. 👏
Well played, @Dbacks social media manager!
DID YOU SEE…
We are all going to be sick of hearing the phrase ‘Creator Economy’ by the time we reach year end. However, there’s no escaping the fact social media is at an inflection point. Creators are the lifeblood of any successful social platform. And the big players such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube all know it. 
This shift in power towards creators has caused big tech companies to start splashing the cash in an effort to capture and hold onto top talent. Snapchat is burning through millions of dollars to get creators pumping out content on Snapchat’s TikTok-copycat ‘Spotlight’.
And now YouTube has announced a new $100m ‘Shorts’ creator fund. In fact, nearly all the major social networks have rolled out some sort of creator program with large financial rewards. So, it’s a great time to be(come) a creator. The big question now is which platform(s) will win the hearts and minds of the top talent and dominate this next evolution in social media. More on this below…
HIDDEN GEM: 📊 Tweetable Charts - Auto-magically create charts + tables you can copy/paste into tweets. Try it out here.
QUICK PLUGS…
  • Geekout’s NEW newsletter launches on Wednesday! Tech Revolution is all about the most important tech news you need to understand to make sense the future. Martin SFP Bryant’s old Big Revolution newsletter is transforming into Tech Revolution, so sign up to the old one here and you’ll receive the shiny new one on Wednesday!
  • And there’s more: We’re nearly ready to tell you more about a new Geekout audio show AND a third newsletter, which I think you’re going to LOVE!
ICYMI
Right then… Let’s dive into the week’s top talking points in the world of social media.
— Matt
P.S. 🗣 GEEKOUT on TWITTER SPACES
Join us for Geekout Weekly on Twitter Spaces today (Fri 14 May) at 4pm [UK] where we’ll be discussing all this week’s social media news, scandals, and top new features. See you there!
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🚨 Everyone's talking about...
If you judged solely by news coverage, you’d think Facebook gets people upset more than it ever pleases them, but even by those standards, it’s rare that a product that has barely been mentioned by the company stirs up as much anger as the kids’ version of Instagram it’s working on.
This week, more than 40 US attorneys general added their voices to the swell of prominent people calling for Facebook to call the project off, “citing detrimental health effects of social media on kids and Facebook’s reportedly checkered past of protecting children on its platform,” as CNBC reported.
They might have something of a point. As Casey Newton and the Verge reported this week:
An alarming new study has found that minors in the US often receive abuse, harassment, or sexual solicitation from adults on tech platforms. For the most part, though, children say they are not informing parents or other trusted adults about these interactions — and are instead turning for support for tech platforms, whose limited blocking and reporting tools have failed to address the threats they face.
Looking at it like that, ‘keep kids entirely off the internet’ may be many a parent or carer’s response. But the fact is that children under 13 want to use the internet, and they can get a lot of benefit out of understanding how social platforms work at an early age. What’s more, many of them are already using social media by entering fake dates of birth at signup.
Kurt Wagner at Bloomberg [$$$] puts it best when he says:
How can we expect a 13-year-old to suddenly know how to use social media if they’ve never been trained to do so? And isn’t the alternative of unfettered and secret social media use for a 9-year-old even worse?
Helping pre-teens understand the intricacies of the online world is important. But putting Facebook in charge of that discussion might not get us very far. The messenger is often as important as the message, and in this case, I’m not sure the world is ready to listen to Facebook.
It’s quicker to count the big social platforms that don’t have creator funds these days. As the Verge reports:
YouTube plans to pay $100 million to creators who use YouTube Shorts, its TikTok competitor, throughout the next year. The goal is to encourage creators to pick up and continually post to its new service, which doesn’t otherwise give creators a built-in way to make money.
Paying creators is the new normal. TikTok, Snap, Clubhouse, and Facebook have all launched or announced ways of paying creators to develop specific content for their platforms over the past year.
You have to wonder if this will make it harder for new social apps to attract the best talent. If there isn’t a creator fund in place very early on, will those creators simply go elsewhere or stay where they are?
With governments around the world increasingly wondering what to do about the negative sides of social media, all eyes have been on the UK and what its ‘online harms bill’ would contain. The legislation has now seen light in draft form under the slightly more sunny-sounding name of the Online Safety Bill.
The bill tries to cover a wide range of online safety issues, from child protection, to terrorism, disinformation and racist abuse. But thanks to a bunch of exceptions, things get complicated quickly. Journalists’ speech gets protections from censorship, for example, including ‘citizen journalists’ - but in a world where anyone can claim to be a journalist, where will the line be drawn?
And politicians’ speech gets protection, but as we’ve seen in the US lately, elected politicians’ speech can be very harmful indeed.
Carving tight, specific rules around what private companies can’t remove from their online platforms may appear well-meaning to some, but it could lead to havoc for moderation teams and could mean some very harmful, unsafe content can’t be legally removed.
As Alex Hern at the Guardian writes, the bill “looks likely to make the already hard job of moderating content online almost impossible.”
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook moderator: ‘Every day was a nightmare’
  • And more Facebook content moderators have spoken out, saying they receive little support from the company. [NBC News]
  • Facebook has been told to stop processing the WhatsApp data of German users, as the messaging app’s new terms of service come into force tomorrow. The company is considering how to appeal the order. [CNBC]
  • Mark Zuckerberg has been talking VR again, including what a ‘Quest Pro’ headset could offer. [CNet]
  • Instagram apologised for a bug that deleted some Stories on a day when activists were raising awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. [The Verge]
  • Facebook says more than 3.3m people have visited its vaccine finder tool since it launched in March. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook app download numbers have dropped notably, although the reason isn’t completely clear. [9to5Mac]
  • Mark Zuckerberg has a goat called Bitcoin 🤔 [Gizmodo]
Twitter:
Twitter Picks Up Acquisition Pace, Driven by New Product Push
  • Twitter’s tip jar feature had some teething problems, including it being just as easy to request payment as send it. [Social Media Today]
TikTok:
TikTok Tests In-App Shopping to Challenge Facebook
  • TikTok is launching a jobs website that will allow brands to recruit young people for entry-level positions. [Axios]
  • TikTok has removed more than half a million Italian accounts after it was ordered to block underage users in the country. [TechCrunch]
And the rest:
Clubhouse comes to Android after more than a year of iOS exclusivity
  • Twitter and Facebook have poor reputations with the American public vs other big tech companies. [Axios]
  • Correcting false posts on social media just makes the original poster behave worse, according to new research. [Motherboard]
  • Twitch reached 22m installs globally in Q1 this year, an increase of 62% year-over-year, according to new third-party data. [SensorTower]
  • Donald Trump’s new blog doesn’t seem to to be the social media hit he probably hoped it would be. [NBC News]
  • Snap has suspended two apps using Snapchat integrations following a cyberbullying lawsuit. [The Verge]
  • The US Department of Homeland Security has developed a strategy to probe public social media posts for evidence of security threats. [NBC News]
  • Reddit is building an in-house creative agency to bolster its ads business. [Digiday $$$]
📈 Chart of the week
🟣 Matt Navarra
More Gen Zers now use TikTok than Instagram in the US

...And in 2023, TikTok will surpass Snapchat in total US users

https://t.co/0D1cMLJOch https://t.co/HHEvlfQCZb
❓ The big question
What is the one Twitter account as a social media manager you’d love to manage for the day?
Maybe you love the sass of @Netflix, the power of @POTUS, or perhaps you’d just love to sneak a peek at the DMs of @[famous person]?
Check out the replies to this thread + reply with your own favourite…
🟣 Matt Navarra
Social media managers.

The Twitter account you'd love to manage for ONE day...?

And why?
🤔 Thought for the week
Social media manager ranked 21st in a list of 100 careers assessed workplace factors, stress, and growth prospects.
Click though below to see the list and let me know if you agree. 👇
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to be an ace Discord moderator? The company now offers a training course and exam. [Discord blog]
  • How can you make the most of Promoted Pins in Pinterest? The company has released a guide. [Social Media Today]
  • Are you using Instagram DMs to their maximum potential? Adam Mosseri shared some pointers this week. [Social Media Today]
  • What does the rise of AR mean for marketers? Snap has a report to explain. [Social Media Today]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook Ads now offers new templates for Instagram Stories customisation. [@michaelvittori]
  • Instagram now lets you change your professional account category from the web. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram has added the ability to add your pronouns in a field on your profile. It’s initially available in a limited number of countries. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram has a new ‘window’ and ‘pop-up’ feature for Stories. It lets you add an image or video as a background or pop-up in your story. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram continues to test a ‘reshare’ sticker. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram is working on a high-quality video upload option. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still developing scheduled Live videos with the addition of the ability of sharing as a post. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram keeps working on different designs for the Gallery sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is building a live video insights feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on the ‘link’ sticker to replace the ‘swipe up’ link. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger is the third non-Google Android app to reach 5 billion Play Store installs. The other two were also owned by Facebook. [Android Police]
  • Twitter for iOS now shows a purple glow around users in the feed who are currently speaking in a Space. [@TwitterSpaces]
A purple glow on around you in the feed if you're live in a Twitter Space. Credit: Twitter
A purple glow on around you in the feed if you're live in a Twitter Space. Credit: Twitter
  • Twitter’s new ‘Chirp’ font has started rolling out on the web. [Android Police]
  • Twitter’s DM conversation search bar has belatedly arrived on Android. [@TwitterSupport]
  • And Twitter DM search for the content of your DMs is coming later this year! [@TwitterComms]
  • TikTok has launched a new Green Screen Duet feature and is testing Topics feeds for content discovery. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok is testing a new feature that lets creators pay to boost their videos to gain more views, followers, or website visits. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok collaborated with Coldplay to showcase the new ‘ Mirror Beats’ effect. [@tiktok_us]
  • TikTok has relaunched its Safety Center with a new look and new content. [TikTok newsroom]
  • TikTok has launched a #FactCheckYourFeed campaign to promote digital literacy among its users. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube is expanding access to its Clips feature. More channels will soon be able to create the looping clips of existing videos. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube Community Posts have received an upgrade, with scheduling, analytics, and the ability to post multiple images per post. [Search Engine Journal]
  • YouTube is testing a subscriber-only chat mode on live streams. [TubeFilter]
  • YouTube Shorts has started to appear for more users around the world. [Android Police]
  • YouTube has announced a #BeautyFest event to highlight some of the platform’s creators in the field of beauty. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn appears to be working on a ‘get followers’ button in the post composer. [@adzflowers]
  • LinkedIn’s Clubhouse-style feature is starting to appear in app code. [@alex193a]
  • Discord has announced a new feature to help users find audio content on the platform. [TechCrunch]
  • And Discord has tweaked its branding as it moves further from its original gaming focus. [Slashgear]
  • Pinterest will test livestreamed events this month, initially with just 21 creators. [TechCrunch]
📖 Weekend reading
Clubhouse Has a Blocking Problem
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
You are all tapped out.
You’ve reached the end zone my friend :)
BEFORE YOU GO…
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I spent a full day writing this week’s edition of Geekout.
If you enjoyed it I’d appreciate your support.
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And that’s a wrap! Time for me to log off and hang out with my kids.
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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