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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #31 • View online
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Hello, geeks!
O.M.G. So much went down this week on social! But first off… I found out something about you. You’re a hero. 😝
A big (virtual) round of applause for Weetabix’s social team (and Frank PR), who hit it out of the park this week with their Weetabix x Heinz Baked Beans viral tweet. We should also salute the many social managers for all the brands who got in on the action with some epic reply tweets.
My personal fav? Sainsbury’s with this tweet. It was disappointing to hear so many people being scornful of brands engaging with other brands on Twitter, suggesting it was dumb, pointless, or doesn’t drive any meaningful business results. I beg to differ. To save space here, check out my good friend Kineta Kelsall’s LinkedIn post, which nails it with her points about the value of this sort of Twitter activity. Also, THIS.
Oh… And lets not forget THIS AND THIS happened earlier this week. Jackie Weaver + Zoom lawyer cat! See, I told you a lot went down on social this week. There’s not enough time/space in this newsletter to dig into these, but they were social content gold and shared everywhere online. 
HIDDEN GEM | Check out Koji! It’s a FREE tool for social media creators + influencers to help boost engagement + monetize your audience. Use its built-in templates to create interactive posts you can share on ANY platform. 
Yesterday, I opened up Twitter to discover I had access to Spaces, its rival to Clubhouse. I tweeted a few screenshots of how it looks when you get access. Although I had a few audio issues in the first five minutes of the session, I was mostly impressed. It felt like a natural extension to tweeting, and the mechanics to setting up and hosting a Twitter (audio) Space were effortless.
I’m keen to see how audience (room) sizes compare when both Clubhouse and Spaces are opened up to everyone, and whether the quality of such rooms/spaces is impacted. Look out for me starting a new Twitter Space again next week, or join us on Clubhouse for Geekout Weekly later today (Fri 12 Feb @ 4pm UK).


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Before we dive into analysis of this week’s big news stories, here are a few more random things I spotted this week:

Right… Let’s dig into this week’s big news stories in the world of social…
— Matt

P.S. 🏠 Join us on Clubhouse TODAY (FRI 5 FEB) at 11AM ET / 8AM PT / 4PM UK in our Geekout Weekly room!

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
It would have been bigger news if Facebook wasn’t working on a Clubhouse competitor, but this week we got word that it is doing exactly that. It’s reportedly still at an early stage of development, but it’ll add to the sense at Clubhouse HQ that a pack of hungry tech execs is chasing them down.
Aside from Facebook, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban is said to be building Fireside, a Clubhouse-style app that will reportedly focus on live podcasts.
Meanwhile, as Twitter’s Spaces gradually opens up to more people, the buzz is growing around it, with some commentators arguing that it’s going to be far more than a Clubhouse clone, and that the format may be better suited to Twitter than as a standalone app.
Twitter product chief Kayvon Beykpour has been discussing the thinking behind Spaces, and it’s worth reading a summary of his thinking in this thread by Will Oremus.
Meanwhile — competition be damned — Clubhouse’s growth continues apace. Invites for the iOS-only app are being offered for $125 each on eBay, and while a wide range of topics are being discussed on the platform, it already has a scammy-looking room problem to clean up.
And as a grim rite of passage, Clubhouse has already been blocked in China in what must surely be record time for an American social app.
In a bid to become less reliant on advertising, Twitter is said to be working on a range of ways to charge users money.
As Bloomberg reports:
A number of Twitter teams are researching subscription offerings, including one using the code name “Rogue One,” according to people familiar with the effort. At least one idea being considered is related to “tipping,” or the ability for users to pay the people they follow for exclusive content…
Other possible ways to generate recurring revenue include charging for the use of services like Tweetdeck or advanced user features like “undo send” or profile-customization options.
Rogue One — whatever it is — has already been spotted in Twitter’s code, so it may be sooner rather than later before we see more than rumours about whatever’s in the works.
Twitter may have posted record quarterly revenue this week, with a growth in users that shows Donald Trump wasn’t all the platform had to offer, but that doesn’t mean it can’t grow even more by offering new ways for users to engage with the product. As tech investor MG Siegler notes, the time may have finally arrived for a paid option within Twitter.
First there was the panic, then the months of uncertainty, and now Trump’s plan to force TikTok to become American seems to have died in a undramatic fizzle.
There will no doubt have been sighs of relief all round at TikTok HQ this week. The Biden administration has asked a court to suspend the case against TikTok, as it reviews security issues around Chinese tech.
It’s worth remembering that no clear evidence of any security risks within TikTok have ever emerged, and Trump seemed more interested in political grandstanding against a successful app that wasn’t American than finding a reasonable solution to the crisis he initiated.
It seems we all got forced to waste far too much time and energy thinking about something that ultimately was just a pet project that Trump quickly got bored of.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Instagram says its algorithm won’t promote Reels that have a TikTok watermark
  • Facebook is dialling down the politics in people’s News Feeds in Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia. This will come to the US soon, too. [New York Times $$$]
  • Facebook and Instagram will downrank or ban accounts that spread Covid-19 misinformation. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Facebook blocked images of animals, landscapes, and buildings, claiming they were ‘overtly sexual,’ scuppering a UK photographer’s advertising plans. [BBC News]
  • Security researchers allege that Messenger link previews collect more data than they may appear to. They pointed out that the feature has been removed in Europe, due to the EU ePrivacy Directive. [MacRumors]
  • Could the Facebook Oversight Board oversee moderation on other platforms? That’s what it’s co-chair suggested. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook says it has doubled the number bullying and harassment takedowns since last year. [The Verge]
  • Facebook’s A.I repeatedly blocks ads placed by small businesses that make clothing for the disabled. [New York Times $$$]
  • Facebook will now disable accounts that repeatedly send abusive private messages on Instagram. [BBC Sport]
  • Facebook is being sued in a class action, for allegedly “losing control” of around 1m users’ data in England and Wales. [BBC News]
  • Instagram is likely to introduce a new way to share feed posts to Stories, after it restricted on the practice due to overuse. [@MattNavarra
Twitter’s Jack Dorsey imagines an app store for social media algorithms
  • Twitter has suspended 500 accounts in India amid a tense dispute with the country’s government. It hasn’t suspended news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians, however. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitter says it’s considering investing in bitcoin. [The Block]
  • Twitter has confirmed that Trump’s ban is permanent… even if he runs for office again. [CNN]
TikTok takes on Facebook with US ecommerce push
  • TikTok and Universal Music Group have announced a partnership that they say will see artists better paid, and allow for promotional collaborations. [Variety]
  • UK TikTok users have been warned by the Financial Conduct Authority about taking dodgy financial advice on the app. [BBC News]
  • TikTok will sponsor the delayed Euro 2020 football tournament. [UEFA]
  • TikTok will livestream a full-length Justin Bieber concert on Valentine’s Day. [AdWeek $$$]
  • TikTok users are marking Valentine’s Day by sharing romantic Minecraft worlds. [Polygon]
And the rest:
Is This Beverly Hills Cop Playing Sublime’s ‘Santeria’ to Avoid Being Live-Streamed?
  • Microsoft offered to buy Pinterest recently, but talks are reportedly no longer taking place. [Financial Times $$$]
  • The EU is reportedly planning to follow Australia in making big tech companies pay to link to news publishers. [Financial Times $$$]
  • The UK’s enemies are trying to ‘tear society apart’ via social media, a top general has warned. [The Guardian]
  • Reddit bought a five-second Super Bowl ad to celebrate the GameStop episode and the power of its platform. [The Verge]
  • Pinterest will run its first-ever global advertiser summit, next month. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Triller has lost Universal Music Group artists after the music giant said Triller does not pay its bills. This was just days before UMG announced its TikTok partnership. [Variety]
  • Telegram has been ordered by an Israeli court to block pirated movies, TV shows and music. [TorrentFreak]
  • Sentropy is a new startup that helps Twitter users block trolls. [Axios]
❓ Question of the week
Well played, social media managers! The replies to this Twitter thread are SO good.
Check it out and add your own? 👇
Matt Navarra
tell me you're a social media manager without telling me you're social media manager
🔨 Tool of the week
🐣 Tweet of the week
No contest this week :)
Why should bread have all the fun, when there's Weetabix? Serving up @HeinzUK Beanz on bix for breakfast with a twist. #ItHasToBeHeinz #HaveYouHadYourWeetabix
🔍 Insights
  • TikTok has published its content trends report for 2021. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has offered new tips on creating engaging B2B content. [Social Media Today]
  • How was Messenger’s Rooms feature built? The team behind it explains. [Tech@Facebook]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook has added an ‘Account Status’ feature accessed via your personal profile. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook now auto-suggests multiple pending Group posts to decline if it thinks they’re duplicates or similar to posts you’ve previously declined. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Dating could be getting an ‘Explore’ section. [@alex193a]
  • Facebook has fixed an embarrassing glitch that displayed a Chinese takeaway food box when you searched for a ‘dog’ emoji. [BuzzFeed News]
  • Facebook Creator Studio has been updated with additional audience insights and click/comment data. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is testing a ‘get caught up’ feature for its Watch section. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook and Instagram have introduced features to mark Lunar New Year. [Social Media Today]
A new 'like' design is one of Facebook's Lunar New Year features.
A new 'like' design is one of Facebook's Lunar New Year features.
  • Instagram has added a ‘touch-up’ feature for Reels. [@MattNavarra]
  • Text in Instagram Stories can now be animated. [@mosseri]
  • Instagram could soon let you block multiple people at once. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is highlighting Black-owned brands at the top of the Shop tab throughout this month. [@mosseri]
  • Instagram’s Photobooth camera mode for Stories is rolling out to more users. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is rolling out video chat ‘Rooms’ to more users. [@GadgetsBoy]
  • Instagram appears to be working on support for affiliate marketing. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger has added new controls to help you manage who can contact you through the app. [Social Media Today]
  • Messenger has launched a Valentine’s Day sticker pack. [@Messenger]
Messenger's latest sticker pack
Messenger's latest sticker pack
  • WhatsApp is testing an option to let you mute videos before sharing them. [Gadgets360]
  • Twitter is expanding the labelling of government officials and governmental accounts. More countries will now be included. [Twitter blog]
  • Twitter’s Spaces developers are looking for feedback. [@Mr_DannySingh]
  • TikTok has added a replay feature for TikTok Live videos. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok now has a recipe card feature via an integration with Whisk. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok is working on a ‘Topics’ tab. [@alex193a]
  • New Clubhouse features include the ability to share a link to a room as a listener, and the ability to report a badly behaved user after they’ve left the room. [@MattNavarra]
  • Snapchat has a new ‘friend check up’ feature that reminds you to trim your friend list. [The Verge]
  • Snapchat will integrate Shout’s mental health crisis support service into its app in the UK. The app already offers a similar feature in the USA. [Mashable]
  • Snap’s Camera Kit has been integrated into Indian app Moj. [TechCrunch]
  • Pinterest has launched a new ‘Interests’ home screen widget on iOS. [Pinterest newsroom]
  • LinkedIn Stories has three new fonts, and new colour options for text. [@MattNavarra]
  • YouTube is testing a more prominent ‘Watch on YouTube’ badge on embedded videos. [9to5Google]
  • Discord’s latest iOS update makes it easier to steal memes from Twitter. [The Verge]
  • Third-party Reddit app Apollo has added Family Sharing support, new icons, and more. [9to5Mac]
  • Shopify’s Shop Pay checkout feature is being expanded to support purchases made on Facebook and Instagram. [Wall Street Journal $$$]

📖 Weekend reading
Why social networks like Clubhouse need better blocking tools
💀 Meme of the week
Credit: Workinsocialtheysaid on Instagram
📅 Back next week...
Bish, bash, bosh.
You. Are. Done!

JOIN ME on Clubhouse TODAY (FRI 29 JAN) at 4PM GMT / 11AM ET / 8AM PT for Geekout Weekly where we will walk through this week’s Geekout Newsletter while sipping badly made cocktails at our WFH desks!

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Goodbye geeks!

— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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