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Hello, Geeks! 👋 First off, I want to start by giving a big thank you to everyone who replied to last
Geekout Newsletter
Issue #16 • View online
Hello, Geeks! 👋
First off, I want to start by giving a big thank you to everyone who replied to last week’s edition of Geekout, where I asked for feedback on the length and format of this newsletter.
I had a ton of great suggestions. The general consensus from those who got in touch was you liked the length of Geekout and how comprehensive it was. You valued it being your one-stop shop for ALL the week’s social news and updates. So, for now, I won’t make any big changes :)
This week I have spent a good chunk of my time exploring two new social apps / networks which have generated a bit of buzz amongst social media geeks like me, largely due to the old-school ‘invite-only’ growth trick both are using. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a LOT of DMs asking me for an invite.
Telepath and Clubhouse (tap those hyperlinks to get up to speed on what both platforms are all about).
Telepath, with its auto-deletion of your posts after 30 days, feels like a platform which may have some staying power. It certainly seems to have been the one which most people have asked me about and also interests me the most due to its simple chat thread style and topic-based channels you can create or join.
Clubhouse is all about audio (voice) channels and feels a little more intimidating to jump into. It also requires more of your time on the platform to get value from it. Clubhouse has also generated unsavoury headlines recently due to issues related to moderation, bullying, and harassment etc.
The big question is whether they will still exist a year from now, or end up in the social media graveyard along with the likes of Google Wave, Vine, Ello, Peach, App.net, and hundreds of others. Watch this space.
If you score an invite or have already joined either platform, search me out and follow me there, or reply to this email and let me know what you think of them.
— Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Big social media companies’ plans for dealing with the swampy world of election information and misinformation had their first major test this week… and it didn’t go well.
A New York Post story about Joe Biden’s son Hunter was widely flagged by journalists online as likely disinformation, leading to both Facebook and Twitter restricting its spread. Twitter went as far as blocking the link from being shared at all.
This backfired big-time. Even if the story has suspicious origins, banning a link to a well-known US newspaper seemed like a step too far to many, especially as independent fact-checkers hadn’t had a chance to fully analyse the piece.
CEO Jack Dorsey admitted Twitter had fumbled the ball on the issue. The company only gave specific reasons for the ban hours after it went into place, giving Republicans plenty of time to rage about what they saw as pro-Biden bias.
While the episode has led Twitter to change its policy on tweets linking to hacked materials, the rage is not going away. Republicans want Dorsey to explain himself to the Senate, while the Federal Communications Commission has opened an investigation into whether a specific law needs changing to rein social media companies in (but it’s worth nothing that criticism of ‘section 230’ is largely based on a complete misunderstanding of what the law says).
The most obvious step of several Twitter is taking to fight election chaos is to change how retweets work. Hours after last week’s newsletter went out, the company said it would make quote tweets the default function of the retweet button.
The idea is that by being forced to consider why you’re retweeting something, you’ll add more context, or just not share it at all.
This is a good idea for political tweets, but maybe not so great for jokes. The change will last until at least after US election day.
File this under ‘What took so long?’ Two years after Mark Zuckerberg said Holocaust denial was wrong but should still be allowed on his platform because of free speech, Facebook has finally banned it.
The move was swiftly followed by a ban on anti-vaccination ads, and a similar move by YouTube. Again, what took so long for such an obvious change?
But it’s not all good news. For some reason, you’re still allowed to deny other genocides. 🤔
10 tactics to increase Instagram engagement
 
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
On Facebook, Misinformation Is More Popular Now Than in 2016
  • Facebook and Instagram embeds will no longer work on many WordPress sites from 24 October. Publishers must have a Facebook developer account and app, or all existing and future embeds will not work. [Search Engine Journal]
  • Instagram will crack down on undisclosed ads and sponsorship deals in the UK. [The Guardian]
  • Facebook doesn’t consistently enforce the many new rules it has introduced this year. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Facebook is the biggest source of Covid-19 misinformation, according to a survey of journalists covering the pandemic. [The Guardian]
Twitter:
Shocking Twitter hack this summer started with tech support scam, New York regulators allege
  • May 31st, 2020 was the saddest day on Twitter in 13 years of tracking, according to a sentiment analysis project at the University of Vermont. [New York Times $$$]
  • Twitter has blamed a long period of downtime on Thursday on an ‘inadvertent’ systems change. [CNet]
TikTok:
Pakistan bans TikTok over ‘immoral and indecent’ videos
  • TikTok’s servers are already separate from ByteDance’s, the company says. [The Verge]
  • Triller has accused TikTok of bullying tactics. [Fox Business]
  • Internet collective MSCHF is paying people to attack brands on TikTok. [The Verge]
  • TikTok has announced a partnership with brand safety platform OpenSlate, focused on ad placement. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has launched a bug bounty programme with Hacker One. [AdWeek $$$]
  • TikTok’s rivals are already exploiting the app’s potential ban. the company’s lawyers said this week. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Beware fake TikTok ads deals. They’re being advertised on Facebook by scammers. [@Ishbel_Macleod]
And the rest:
New York Calls for Social Media Oversight After Twitter Hack
  • YouTube is more representative of Britain than TV, says the platform’s UK boss. [The Guardian]
  • YouTube is stamping down on QAnon, but stopping short of a full ban. [The Verge]
  • Snapchat has turned London’s Carnaby Street into an AR playground with an important new ‘Local Lenses’ feature. [Wired]
  • Snapchat will be among the first to take advantage of the iPhone 12 Pro’s LiDAR scanner, for enhanced AR. [TechCrunch]
  • Snapchat and Pinterest benefitted from the Facebook ad boycott. Ad spend on Snapchat reportedly doubled year-on-year over the summer. [The Information $$$]
  • Facebook and Twitter are supporting a campaign against discrimination in football, including a reporting system on Messenger, and education from WhatsApp and Twitter. [Kick It Out]
  • BBC News built its own in-house tool to help journalists create engaging Instagram Stories. [BBC News Labs]
  • Americans are pessimistic about social media. 64% believe it has a negative impact on the country’s direction. [Pew Research Center]
  • But 23% of Americans say social media changed their mind on issues such as Black Lives Matter. [Pew Research Center]
  • Image authentication could be built into smartphone hardware, making it harder to deceive people with deepfakes and other manipulation. [CNet]
🐣 Tweet of the week
❓ Question of the week
I’ve been asking my Twitter followers for their thoughts again. Click through on the tweet to read their responses, or add your own! 👇
Matt Navarra
The ONE key skill or talent all great social media managers possess...
🔨 Tool of the week
Tiklytics
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook could soon offer a 12-hour duration for Stories. [@alex193a]
  • Facebook now lets you create promotions with a hashtag sticker in Stories. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is sending notifications about users’ recently used hashtags. [@MattNavarra]
  • And Facebook continues work on a list to control exactly who sees your Stories. [@alex193a]
  • Facebook has offered tips on using closed captions in videos. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram is working on some kind of ‘edit avatar’ option. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram continues to develop an audio mix feature for Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a professional resources hub. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger got the cross-platform messaging feature that Instagram received last week (only in North America for now), along with a new logo, chat themes, and custom reactions. [Messenger News]
New-look Messenger. Credit: Facebook
New-look Messenger. Credit: Facebook
  • Messenger now has a home-working themed sticker pack. [@Messenger]
  • Oculus Quest 2 has started shipping. Facebook’s latest VR headset costs $299. [@boztank]
  • But for some users, the Quest 2 is a ‘paperweight’ due to a mess-up at Facebook’s end. [The Verge]
  • A new third-party Twitter app in 2020? Yep. Aviary for iOS makes good use of iOS 14 features. [9to5Mac]
  • Twitter is working on encouraging users to hide unpleasant replies. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter introduced another custom Like animation for the latest Apple event. [MacRumors]
  • Twitter has revised its ban evasion policy, to make it clearer how it handles people who try to sign up again after being banned. [@TwitterSupport]
  • Twitter has made its privacy and safety settings more understandable. [Social Media Today]
  • Classic John Lennon songs are now on TikTok, to mark what would have been the singer’s 80th birthday. [The Verge]
  • YouTube TV has incorporated NFL Fantasy Football as an interactive 'mini app.’ [Fast Company]
YouTube TV with added NFL. Credit: YouTube
YouTube TV with added NFL. Credit: YouTube
  • YouTube is rolling out new attribution features to help advertisers understand conversion rates. [AdWeek $$$]
  • YouTube has published updated details of its account verification process. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube now has a toggle on the web to mirror your browser’s dark mode setting. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube Music now has improved streaming to TVs. [TheVerge]
  • Snapchat finally lets users include music in their posts, TikTok style. [The Verge]
  • LinkedIn’s integrated video meetings have started rolling out. [@adzflowers]
  • LinkedIn has published an overview of how nonprofits can best take advantage of its platform. [Social Media Today]
  • Digital marketers are the most in-demand job this year, according to LinkedIn. [Search Engine Journal]
  • Google has launched a new podcasts analytics service so podcasters can understand how their output is faring on Google properties. [Search Engine Journal]
  • Spotify’s Anchor now lets you include full music tracks in your shows but those shows will only be playable on Spotify. [The Verge]
  • WordPress now offers a tool for converting blog posts to Twitter threads. It’s available through WordPress.com and Jetpack. A tool to do the reverse came out earlier this year. [TechCrunch]
📖 Weekend reading
Meet Ricky Desktop, the most viral beatmaker on TikTok
😳 And finally....
How normal are YOU?
📅 Back next week...
Stick a fork in yourself, because you are DONE!
Quick reminders before you head off into the weekend and ‘drink in moderation’:
You read all the way to the end.
You legend!
Prove it…
Hit ‘tweet’.
Confuse all the peoples.
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
❤️
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2020: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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