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Geekout Newsletter #11 - You need to watch this

Geekout Newsletter
Issue #11 • View online
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Hello, geeks! 👋
So… The Social Dilemma on Netflix: have you watched it yet?
The trailer for this new documentary hits all the right notes to get a geek like me hooked, and it was fun seeing a few friends from the world of social media pop-up unexpectedly, leading my internal monologue to shout “Ha! I know him!”.
I have yet to finish watching it in full, but so far it hasn’t told me anything I (and probably many others) didn’t already know, or suspect. Nonetheless, it’s compulsive viewing for any social media manager. Go watch then maybe drop me an @mention on Twitter with your thoughts?
In terms of this week’s social media industry news, you won’t be surprised to hear it’s been another busy week. Some of the highlights for me include:
  • Trump says there will be no extension to his deadline for the sale of TikTok
  • Facebook went back to its roots with the launch of Facebook Campus for students
  • Zuckerberg swung another punch at Apple during an interview with Axios
Read on to get the lowdown on those stories and the rest of the week’s updates, new features, tips… and a very interesting new Twitter tool I discovered.
Lets GO!
— Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
TikTok opened up about how its algorithm works this week. The details are not too different from what we’ve heard in the past, but it’s good to see a bit more meat on the bones of exactly what’s happening behind the scenes as the app gets to know what you like.
But anyone thinking that copying TikTok’s approach will suddenly give them a hit app has another thing coming. The ‘secret sauce’ is probably more in exactly what data backs up the decisions to show different types of content at different times and in different contexts, rather than simply what kinds of data the algorithm uses.
And while TikTok might have a great system for showing you what you want to see, it’s not always perfect. The company struggled to contain a horrific video being shared by users this week. TikTok says its systems automatically deleted copies of the video and banned users who repeatedly shared it, but users kept remixing it, and apparently even showed the video itself in videos warning others about it 🤔
Uh-oh. We have just nine days until TikTok has to have been sold to a US company, and Bloomberg reports that it’s going to miss the deadline. Chinese approval of any proposed deal could be a major holdup.
ByteDance has reportedly been in talks with the US government to hammer out an arrangement where it wouldn’t have to sell after all — such as letting a US company control TikTok’s US assets while ByteDance retains some ownership. But whatever happens, there isn’t much time. Donald Trump said yesterday that the 20 September deadline won’t be extended. This could go right down to the wire. 😬
Facebook is going back to its roots! The announcement of Campus yesterday caused a lot of jokes about how Facebook had run out of ideas, and it has to be said — the idea behind the new feature is very similar to the original Facebook approach. You can only access it with a valid university email address, just like Facebook was when it launched.
Campus is launching first at 30 US universities, but for kids who have grown up thinking Facebook is for old folk (unlike Instagram, even though it has the same owner), will they embrace it with the same excitement the students of 2004 did?
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook Sues Irish Privacy Watchdog in Data-Transfer Spat
  • Facebook will clamp down on DJ livestreaming from next month. It was against the rules before, but now those rules will be enforced more strictly. [Digital DJ Tips]
  • Facebook has detailed new limits on how many ads Pages can run at once. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook has announced new mental health support features coming soon. [Social Media Today]
  • A ‘technical issue’ caused Facebook ads to appear on publisher websites without permission, the company says. [Digiday $$$]
  • Some big brands are still boycotting Facebook ads, but it’s probably more about the practicality of their budgeting than their ethics. [AdAge $$$]
  • Mark Zuckerberg has taken another swing at Apple’s App Store, saying its dominance deserves scrutiny. [Axios]
  • Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg has cautiously spoken out against the TikTok ban, calling it ‘very unusual in the history of business.’ [The Information $$$]
  • Instagram has announced steps to address systemic bias. [Social Media Today]
  • Social media shouldn’t be excessively regulated, according to a member of Facebook’s supposedly-soon-to-launch oversight board. [CNBC]
Twitter expands rules against election-related misinformation, teeing up a showdown with Trump as 2020 voting begins
  • Twitter users with small followings are making money by mentioning brands in relation to viral tweets. [Bloomberg $$$]
TikTok Is Paying Creators. Not All of Them Are Happy
  • TikTok has admitted to restricting some LGBT hashtags in certain countries. It says it’s to comply with local laws in countries like Russia, and that some searches don’t return results simply because they have never been used by a creator. [BBC News]
  • TikTok was most downloaded app worldwide last month, with 63.3 million installs. [SensorTower]
  • TikTok has joined Europe’s code on tackling hate speech. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok has shared an update on its ‘Transparency and Accountability Centers.’ [TikTok Newsroom]
  • TikTok will livestream fashion shows around the world in partnership with luxury brands. [Business Insider]
  • A startup thinks its A.I. has created the perfect hit song for TikTok success. [TNW]
And the rest:
Karaoke livestream game Twitch Sings faces the final curtain
  • A model has launched a campaign against filters on social media photos, railing against the “dangerous” effect they can have on young people’s body image. [BBC News]
  • Socialbakers has been acquired. The social media marketing company is now owned by tech company Astute. [TechCrunch]
  • Americans have mixed opinions about social media as a tool for political and social activism. [Pew Research Center]
  • Facebook, Google, and Twitter need to do more to fight fake news, the European Commission says. [Reuters]
  • BBC staff are reportedly furious about the threat of new rules to limit their social media use. [The Guardian]
🌟 Tip of the week
I asked my Twitter followers for their LinkedIn tips, and they delivered. Click through on the tweet to read the replies, and add your own! 👇
Matt Navarra
best tactics for success on LinkedIn in 2020...?
🔨 Tool of the week
Twitter Shadowban Test
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook confirmed to me that it’s testing sharing of Instagram Stories to the same followers on Facebook whether they follow you there or not. [@MattNavarra]
  • A cashback programme has been spotted in Facebook Pay. [@ClementTang]
  • Facebook has launched personalised backgrounds for posts, featuring your avatar. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Messenger could get a reply reminder feature. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger could also get better controls over Group notifications. [@alex193a]
  • Facebook has launched a check-up tool to help make sure developers don’t cause another Cambridge Analytica scandal by misusing data. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram is testing three variations of Reels and Shop tabs on the bottom navigation bar. [Social Media Today]
Three variations of Instagram's nav bar.
Three variations of Instagram's nav bar.
  • Instagram is working on a Rooms tab to draw more attention to the messaging feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has new stickers in the US promoting voting by mail, as the election approaches. [@InstagramComms]
  • Instagram could soon add a ‘Captions’ sticker in Stories. [@alex193a]
  • A ‘Suggested Reels’ feature has been spotted in Instagram, giving more visibility to popular content. [Social Media Today]
  • The Oculus Quest VR headset has been discontinued amid rumours of a replacement device coming soon. [Android Central]
  • Oculus is rolling out a new version of its ‘Venues’ VR events software. [Oculus blog]
  • Twitter is adding “improved headlines and short descriptions” to some Trends as it looks to add more context to why topics are trending. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok is working on a ‘battery saver’ mode but it’s unclear how it would work. [@alex193a]
  • Snapchat’s settings have a new section highlighting other apps from Snap. [@KendallSchillinger]
  • Snapchat has a new lens to mark the launch of the new NFL season as part of a multi-year partnership. [TechCrunch]
Snapchat + NFL
Snapchat + NFL
  • Snap has published new research about Generation Z’s brand and content preferences [Social Media Today]
  • Pinterest has outlined recent improvements it’s made to feed ranking, and a focus on video content. [Social Media Today]
  • Tumblr might soon let users add a paywall to their posts, with monthly and yearly subscriptions. [@wongmjane]
  • YouTube Music has announced a feature to help you build playlists, by suggesting suitable songs. Spotify already does this. [YouTube Official Blog]
  • Google has launched an app to help creators run virtual meet-and-greets. Fundo is available in the US and Canada. [The Verge]
  • Twitch has launched ‘Versus’ to let creators on organise and manage their own esports tournaments. [The Verge]
  • Apple has a special Twitter emoji for its event next week, when it is expected to unveil a new Apple Watch. [9to5Mac]
📖 Weekend reading
TikTok Influencers, Harassment and Fans: Who's to Blame?
😳 And finally....

...also if someone can screenshot this and post it on IG that would be great
📅 Back next week...
…And you are done. Consider yourself fully updated!
Before you go…
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Goodbye geeks 😎
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2020: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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