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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #106 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
I’m back from my summer vacation in LA! 
It was a LOT of fun. I created a couple of IG Story highlights on my profile if you want to see what I got up to.
Did you miss me? Don’t answer that.
Sooooo much happened during my absence. My RSS feeds showed a daunting 5,000+ unread articles for me to scan. 😱😩
But before we dive in…
Right… We should move along. 
A lot went down while I was lazily lying on a beach in California. With that in mind… I’ve expanded this week’s Geekout Hot 5 to a Geekout Hot 10: 
  1. Meta’s AI Chat Bot is Zuckerberg’s Newest Nightmare [WHAT DID YOU SAY?!]
  2. Elon Musk Sold $7B Worth of Tesla Stock Incase He Has To Buy Twitter [CASH OUT] 
  3. Meta Caught Injecting Code Into In-App Browser To Track Users Every Tap [BUSINESS AS USUAL]
  4. Facebook Is Shutting Down Its Live Shopping Feature [END OF SALE]
  5. Meta Execs Nick Clegg + Adam Mosseri Relocating to London [LONDON CALLING]
  6. Clubhouse Makes Big Change To Keep Its Social Audio App Alive [PIVOT!!] 
  7. Instagram U-Turn App Changes Following User Backlash [“RE-RE-REWIND”]
  8. TikTok Spotted Working On New App To Rival Apple Music + Spotify [TIKTOK MUSIC]
  9. TikTok Workers Claim HR Has A Staff ‘Kill List’ [BRUTAL]
  10. Twitter Is Doubling The Price Of Twitter Blue [HOW MUCH!?] 
I’m about to save you hours of research and reading. I’ve filtered through 5,000+ SM news articles in my RSS feeds from the past three weeks. Here are the MOST noteworthy new things you’ll want to know about. Let’s do this…! [in no particular order]
Facebook has begun testing *default* E2E encrypted chats in Messenger… Meta revealed plans to let creators use copyright music in their content, sharing the ad revenue with creators and music artists (YouTube is doing something similar)… Meta shut down its experimental dating app Tuned (yeah, i forgot it existed too)… Instagram cloned BeReal’s features (eyeroll).
A Twitter security breach means your secret twitter account may no longer be… well… secret… Twitter looks close to launching a new ‘pin reply’ feature… Meanwhile, Twitter has begun testing a bunch of random AF new features including: 1. Set a status. 2. Tweets per month counter on profiles. 3. Account delegation option. 4. Edited tweet warnings for tweet embeds. 5. Test-drive feature for Twitter lurkers. Deep breath…..
Get the latest benchmarks, insights, and trends shaping paid and organic social media.
Discover the latest benchmarks for:
  • Facebook Engagement
  • Instagram Engagement
  • TikTok vs. Instagram Engagement scores
  • Paid social CTR + CTC’s
How does your brand stack up on social ? [Check the report]
LinkedIn has pumped out a long list of new tools for creators and group admins (some more useful than others). New tools include a dedicated feed for LinkedIn connection milestone notifications (e.g. birthdays, work anniversaries), a new ‘Discover’ feed, a link sticker for images and videos, and a Canva-powered Templates feature. 
YouTube fired out a bunch of new features for creators including Comment sticker for YouTube Shorts (+ new analytics insights and more)… Following the lead of rival platforms, YouTube launched its own Creator Safety Center… And YouTube added a new tool to help creators to quickly convert longer videos into Shorts
TikTok now tells you why you’re seeing an ad in your FYP feed (and new option to reduce unwanted ads)… TikTok also added a new Ticketmaster integration… ​TikTok began testing an ‘Order Center’ on profile pages… And finally… TikTok’s era of hyper-growth may be over, so it now it’s paying existing users to invite new users to the platform.
💥 INVITE-ONLY: Join my Geekout Group for SMMs on Facebook [28,000+ MEMBERS]
✨ INSTAGRAM: 23 Lesser Known Instagram Story Hacks To Try Out Today [SHOW ME]
🆕 NEW PLATFORMS: 8 New Social Media Platforms Worth Knowing About [TELL ME]
💯 TWITTER: 10 Most Followed Twitter Accounts in 2022 [REVEAL]
🧪 EXPERIMENT: Hashtags vs. Keywords in Captions On Instagram – Which Generates The Most Reach + Engagement [VIEW RESULTS] 
Want more? Read on, my friend. Analysis of the news EVERYONE’S talking about is coming up next👇
– Matt
P.S. The BIG Geekout News Briefing for Social Media Managers is LIVE today at 4pm UK / 11am ET / 8am PT. Listen live / Play back

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Here we go again. Remember Tay, the Microsoft chatbot that went rogue? Meta suffered its own Tay embarrassment this week with the launch of BlenderBot 3. But the company’s reaction to the controversy wasn’t quite what you might expect.
Meta says the bot was created to “learn from conversations to improve upon the skills people find most important — from talking about healthy recipes to finding child-friendly amenities in the city”, but users were quickly able to get it to spout antisemitism, deny the 2020 US election result, and badmouth Facebook, Meta, AND Mark Zuckerberg.
But rather than rush to switch BlenderBot 3 off, Meta is standing by its bot. In an update to its original announcement blog post, the company said:
While it is painful to see some of these offensive responses, public demos like this are important for building truly robust conversational AI systems and bridging the clear gap that exists today before such systems can be productionized.
The company says that just 0.11% of BlenderBot’s responses were flagged as inappropriate, 1.36% as nonsensical, and 1% as off-topic.
Set aside the media having a field day goading the bot into saying bad things, I think most people would accept that a bot trained on real people’s online conversations will reflect real people’s behaviour.
If this wasn’t an experiment and was designed as a polished product, Meta would have some serious explaining to do. But we should cut them some slack this time for doing their research in the open where we can all see just how far chatbots still have to go.
It never ends! Rather than sit quietly and prepare for October’s court case against Twitter, Elon Musk has been busy filling the news with yet more antics. While Geekout was on its break, the biggest news was Musk countersuing Twitter, and Twitter’s snarky response to his filing.
Things haven’t become any cordial between the two parties, with Twitter issuing subpoenas for information about what Musk’s friends might know about his true intentions (much to their annoyance).
And Musk teased the possibility of using his domain to launch a Twitter rival if the deal does fall through.
The biggest move he made in the past week was selling $7 billion worth of Tesla shares in case he’s forced to buy Twitter. And given that the judge in the case forced another company go through with an acquisition against its will last year, it’s a possibility he’d be sensible to prepare for.
Meanwhile, he’s still quibbling about bots… and in the most baffling development of all, has suggested the Twitter deal could still go through if it provides the information he requires. Has he forgotten about the massive lawsuit that’s going down in a couple of months?
Honestly, it’s all too often more heat than light with this guy.
You might think the in-app browser in the Facebook and Instagram iOS apps is just an instance of your regular Apple Safari, but some code-digging has revealed there’s a lot more going on under the hood.
As Felix Krause discovered, Meta injects code into the websites you visit so it can track everything you do when you use the in-app browser.
Meta insists this respects the tracking preferences you’ve set for the app, but still, as Krause writes, “as shown in the past, if it’s possible for a company to get access to data legally and for free, without asking the user for permission, they will track it.”
The solution, if you want to be sure Meta isn’t following you around the web, is to open the link you want to read and then select the option to open it in your regular browser. That way, Meta won’t be able to inject the code and you can browse un-snooped by Zuck and co.
🔍 Hot insights
Here’s a really interesting insight into how Instagram has evolved beyond the big feature changes we all know about.
And bad news for people upset about the amount on non-friend content in their feed: Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the amount of A.I. recommended content in users’ feeds is set to double.
David Pierce
Really great Instagram scoop from @CaseyNewton, including a fascinating thought from @mosseri on how "friends and family" really use the platform
👀 Read of the week
TikTok and the Fall of the Social-Media Giants
🧐 First look
We knew Twitter was working on letting you attach multiple types of media to one tweet, and I spotted the first example out in the wild this week. Read more from TechCrunch about how the test lets you add a mix of videos, images, and GIFs into a single tweet.
💡 New feature spotlight
Let Meta access my emails? Er, no thanks, I’ll pass…
Matt Navarra
Meta is testing a Gmail integration with Meta Business Suite

"The test will give you the ability to access your emails from Inbox in Meta Business Suite"
🚨 Testing, testing...
The biggest app and feature tests you need to know about:
Meta is testing a new livestreaming platform for influencers called ‘Super’
  • Instagram will soon test ultra-tall photos to match its full-screen Reels [The Verge]
  • Twitter’s edit button looks closer than ever to launching as an exclusive for Blue subscribers. [Social Media Today]
🔥 Hot career tip
Already a TikTok expert? Maybe it’s time to really sell those skills! If not, maybe it’s time to learn, as agencies are keen to hire people who know how to make a success of the app.
🤐 Insider info
I can’t say any more than this right now, sorry! Stay tuned…
Matt Navarra
SPOTTED: TikTok is working on a very interesting set of important new features

Something instagram and Snapchat is already working on and TikTok is playing catch-up with.

More info soon.
📆 A date for your diary
Matt Navarra
Instagram is hosting a 'House of Instagram' event on Sept 8

@mosseri will open the event
📢 Brands on social
“Social marketing has entered its carnal era. A timeline of brands on Twitter, TikTok, and other social media getting very, very horny from 2014 to now…”
A History of Brands Getting Horny on Social Media
😆 Meme of the week
You definitely need to tap through for the video to get the full experience with this one…
🤯 WTF?!
TikTok parent ByteDance just bought a hospital group in China
🤫 Leaked!
A really interesting look at how TikTok tries to frame itself in the media, and what it wants to keep quiet.
Meanwhile, the company is hiring new security staff to crack down on leaks like this one.
😬 Cringe of the week
Have we reached peak LinkedIn engagement bait?
🏢 Industry chatter
Instagram wants advertisers to make the most of Reels, but the transition isn’t easy for everyone…
Advertisers Are Struggling with Instagram’s TikTok Clone, Reels
📲 App of the week
Have you tried this fresh, fun take on personality tests? Here’s a link to friend me on the app and give it a try.
🔨 Tool of the week
🤔 Thought for the week
What does the future hold for BeReal as the novelty starts to wear off?
📈 Chart of the week
The era of building mega followings on TikTok seems to be over.
Matt Navarra
The number of TikTok accounts crossing 1 million followers has been on the decline over the past year [Down 41% YoY]

Source: @theinformation / @usetrendpop
Also, don’t miss:
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m in the news, you’ll find it here:
Facebook and Instagram are racing to keep up with TikTok
🔵 Meta news
Facebook avoids a service shutdown in Europe for now
  • Instagram will close its affiliate commerce programme at the ned of this month in the latest retreat from social commerce features. [Digiday]
  • Facebook still serves ads on searches related for white supremacy groups. [Washington Post $$$]
  • Meta is gearing up for a push to get more small businesses using WhatsApp. [CNBC]
  • The EU is weeks away from announcing its decision on a complaint about Instagram’s handling of children’s privacy. [TechCrunch]
  • Meta’s Oversight Board has published a report detailing its performance in Q1 of this year. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram will host a ‘House of Instagram’ event on 8 September. [@MattNavarra]
  • OnlyFans has been accused of bribing Meta staff to put adult performers on a terror watchlist. [New York Post]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook is testing an ‘updates you may have missed’ bar on the Notifications screen. [@mrchrisfloyd]
  • Facebook is rolling out Stars support in Reels. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Facebook is working on a ‘Group add yours’ sticker for Stories. [@alex193a]
  • Creator Studio for Instagram now lets you upload and schedule Reels. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram now offers hands-free video recording on the Samsung Z Flip4 smartphone. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram could soon offer a Quiet Mode to help you take a break from the app at night. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a QR code to let you share a snapshot on the in-app map with others. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on native scheduling for posts and Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon let you pin a Reel to your profile’s Reels tab. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on an interests section on the profile screen. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is developing a public collections feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still developing a ‘Trending in Add Yours’ section. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger is now testing end-to-end encryption and plans to roll it out worldwide next year. [The Verge]
  • …and Messenger is testing a secure storage feature to let you back up your end-to-end encrypted chats and move them to other devices. [Meta newsroom]
  • WhatsApp has announced new privacy features rolling out, including the ability to leave groups silently and control who sees when you’re online. [TechCrunch]
  • …and WhatsApp is testing a ‘past participants’ list for group chats. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is rolling out the ability to react to choose any emoji and skin tone in message reactions. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp could soon add emoji reactions to Status posts. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp has extended the time limit to delete a message to 60 hours. [TechCrunch]
  • WhatsApp could introduce login approval prompts. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is working on a Communities tab on desktop. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is testing large animated heart emojis again. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is rolling out its unread chat filter on iOS. [XDA Developers]
The rest: adtech/Quest/VR/devices and more:
  • Meta has introduced new B2B ad audience segments to help marketers reach key decision makers. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta has expanded its Advantage automated ad optimisation programme. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta’s Business Suite is testing a Gmail integration. [@MattNavarra]
  • Meta has released a demo app called First Hand to showcase what developers can build with controller-free hand-tracking tools. [Road to VR]
  • The next Quest software update could include 16:9 recording. [Road to VR]
  • Your Portal can now act as a second screen for your PC or Mac. [TechCrunch]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter Unveils Plan to Combat Misinformation in 2022 US Midterm Elections
  • A former Twitter employee was convicted of spying for Saudi Arabia by stealing personal information from the platform. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • A security vulnerability in Twitter allowed hackers to link phone numbers and email addresses to Twitter accounts. [Mashable]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter could soon let you schedule up to 10 Spaces at a time. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter’s app code contains a splash screen promoting the Edit Tweet feature as a Blue exclusive. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on a temporary password feature. [@alex193a]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok employees complain of ‘kill list’ aimed at forcing out London staff
  • TikTok is gaining ground on YouTube in the Southeast Asian market. [Variety]
  • TikTok is building an internal team to crack down on leaks from staff. [Insider $$$]
  • TikTok “bombards” young men with misogynistic videos, according to an investigation. [The Guardian]
  • The Washington Post has hired TikToker Jules Terpak to write an ‘Ask Jules’ advice column about Digital Culture. [Washington Post $$$]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok is hiding some users’ ‘link in bio’ as a test. [@monnitse]
  • In a new test, TikTok identifies key words in comments and turns them into search links. [@olivia_deng_]
  • TikTok has a new poll feature for livestreams. [@MattNavarra]
  • You can now change the display order of elements on your TikTok profile. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok now has an ‘Order Center’ button on your profile page. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has introduced new ad personalisation controls. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has added a homescreen shortcut for TikTok Story as a widget on iOS. [@yousufortaccom]
💥 More social media news and updates
As China Tightens Controls on Social Media, Some Users Seek Refuge Under the Radar
  • Snap has published research detailing a way to create 3D digital assets from photos and videos of objects. [Social Media Today]
  • A Californian bill that would have allowed lawsuits against social media giants for harming children will not now go ahead. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • The FTC has proposed rules to limit how personal information is used for targeted ads. [AdAge $$$]
  • Hootsuite is laying off 30% of its staff as cutbacks continue to hit the tech industry. [CBC News]
  • Telegram’s CEO says Apple is holding up the release of a new feature in the app that will “revolutionise how people express themselves in messaging.” [MacRumors]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube has launched new features for creators like comment stickers for Shorts and Maps links in video descriptions. [Social Media Today]
  • Snapchat has officially launched its Family Center for parental controls. [TechCrunch]
  • Snapchat+ has launched in India costing the equivalent of just 62 US cents. [TechCrunch]
  • Snapchat is testing new product stickers for in-stream commerce. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has launched new templates, link stickers, and carousel posts for creators. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn now offers ‘diversity nudges’ for recruiters. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn is rolling out a new ‘Meet the hiring team’ feature for job listings. [@MattNavarra]
  • LinkedIn is launching a new Celebrations feature that lists, job changes, birthdays and work anniversaries all in one place. [@MattNavarra]
  • LinkedIn is introducing automated welcome messages and criteria-based acceptance for groups. [@MattNavarra]
  • Reddit has added comment search on Android and iOS. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Twitch is set to halve the VOD stream archive on some accounts from 14 to seven days. [XDA Developers]
  • Pinterest has launched a new Board sticker to help drive more pin traffic. [Social Media Today]
  • Google Meet is introducing shared YouTube video watching. [9to5Google]
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📖 Weekend reading
Microsoft vs. Meta: Who's got the upper hand in the metaverse?
😳 And finally...
📅 Back next week...
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– Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant
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