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i found Twitter’s verification easter egg

Geekout Newsletter
Issue #46 • View online
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Hello, Geeks!
First off this week… Twitter hid a secret message about verification in its app.
I’m just glad it doesn’t say “contact @mattnavarra for verification requests.”
DID YOU SEE…
Instagram upset a lot of social media managers this week. The ability to create carousel posts seemed to disappear for many users, much to their annoyance. However, several Geekout friends figured out a workaround to keep creating carousel posts. Turns out it was actually caused by a bug which Instagram eventually fixed. Social media manager meltdown averted.
HIDDEN GEM: 📊📱 Instagram Engagement Report 2021
Super-useful NEW report packed full of the LATEST stats, insights, tips, + tactics to help you optimise your Instagram strategy
I use a LOT of social media monitoring tools to alert me to the latest breaking news. However, they also alert me to a lot of random fun stuff not related to social. Geekout doesn’t have a home for this stuff (yet), so here are a few of the fun things I spotted this week
Before we jump into analysis of this week’s big news stories, here are the latest click-worthy things I think you will find interesting (or amusing!):
ICYMI
Okay…That was your warm-up. Let’s take a look at this week’s big news stories… 👇
— Matt
P.S. 🗣 GEEKOUT on TWITTER SPACES
Join us for Geekout Weekly on Twitter Spaces today (Fri 28 May) at 4pm [UK] where we’ll be discussing ALL this week’s social media news, scandals, and top new features.
Just tap this tweet to get notified when we’re about to go live!

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Yet another new social photos app with a unique spin on sharing launched this week. As TechCrunch explains:
If Instagram’s photo tagging feature was spun out into its own app, you’d have the viral sensation Poparazzi, now the No. 1 app on the App Store. The new social networking app, from the same folks behind TTYL and others, lets you create a social profile that only your friends can post photos to — in other words, making your friends your own “paparazzi.” 
Basically, it wants to be the perfect social app for young people as we approach the ‘hot vax summer’ Americans keep talking about. It’s an app that is only really useful if you’re taking lots of photos of your friends, and they’re taking lots of photos of you.
A rush of hype got it to the top of the App Store free apps chart, but the obvious question to ask is whether anyone will still love it tomorrow.
As Ed Zitron noted in a good piece this week:
Silicon Valley… fawns over anything that might resemble the future of how young people communicate, no matter how flimsy the utility and/or spuriously it connects with the younger generation. There was ColorViddyYikYakWhisperTBHFrontBackEllo…there are entire graveyards of careers and capital that have existed chasing the same dragon of trying to be the next Instagram, the next Facebook, the next Snap, the next something, all created for hip young people by people older than them trying to do a Steve Jobs “I know what people want before they know they do” thing with significantly less talent and foresight.
Like Dispo before it, Poparazzi is trying to claw open a gap in Instagram and TikTok’s dominance by exploiting a gimmick. While it’s easy to dismiss this approach as doomed, gimmicks aren’t always fleeting things. Disappearing posts were a gimmick when Snapchat arrived, and square photos with filters were a gimmick when Instagram launched. But let’s face it, Poparazzi’s chances of cutting through are pretty slim.
And there’s another reason to be wary of Poparazzi. The fact it forces you upload your contacts list to its servers (a violation of European data protection laws) in order to get any use out of at app—done no doubt safe in the knowledge most young users won’t realise they’re exposing all their friends’ contact details without permission—shows the ‘growth over all’ mindset is still alive and well in Silicon Valley.
Twitter is ready to start taking cash from its users. It seems Twitter’s subscription service is approaching launch, with an in-app purchase for ‘Twitter Blue’ already showing up for the iOS app. For $3 per month (£2.49 in the UK), you’ll get ‘undo tweet’ (a time delay to spot typos before a tweet goes out), a ‘reader mode’ to make threads easier to follow, customisable icons… and not much else.
Blue might not be a compelling buy for many right now, but at least it shows Twitter’s shift from relying solely on ad revenue to monetise its users has arrived. Features like Scroll integration will no doubt be added over time.
Also in the past week, ticketed Spaces were announced. Twitter will take a 20% cut of ticket sales *on top* of Apple/Google’s 30% app store ‘tax’. That means event organisers will receive just half of the ticket price paid by their audience.
A lot of people might start to wonder if Apple and Google deserve as much 30% of the ticket price of a live audio show that just happens to be happening via an app running on their operating systems and downloaded through their stores.
Still, with Spaces coming to desktop this week, the potential audience for live audio on Twitter just increased, and 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
We knew this was coming, but this week Facebook and Instagram made it official. Users will be able to hide Like counts on their posts if they choose, in a change rolling out now.
While hiding Likes might not have the positive mental health impact many assumed, some users loved the idea, so giving people a choice is the fair outcome here.
Let’s hope the days of social media companies deciding they know best on every user experience decision are over.
As Casey Newton wrote this week:
I think it highlights a lesson that social networks are often too reluctant to learn: rigid, one-size-fits-all platform policies are making people miserable.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook Board Rejects Proposals to Reduce Zuckerberg’s Power
  • Instagram is “exploring” subscriptions and a marketplace for NFTs. [The Information $$$]
  • Facebook has developed A.I. that can learn speech recognition without the aid of text transcriptions. [Engadget]
  • Facebook faces an EU antitrust probe over its impact on the classified ads market. The investigation could reportedly be announced within days. [Financial Times $$$]
  • WhatsApp will not restrict the accounts of Indian users who do not accept the app’s new terms of service, after the country’s government pressured Facebook. [Android Authority]
  • Pro-Palestinian activists targeted Facebook with one-star app store ratings over alleged censorship of Palestinian accounts. [The Verge]
  • Facebook funded a report that says Apple’s privacy features are anticompetitive 🤔 [Cult of Mac]
  • Facebook is getting better at identifying fake accounts, but there are more of them than ever before. [Engadget]
  • Facebook’s Nick Clegg wrote another opinion piece laying out the company’s views on social media regulation. [Protocol]
  • Facebook has shared an update on its efforts to remove ‘pirated’ content proactively. [TorrentFreak]
  • Mozilla will start publishing a library all its active ads and targeting used when it advertises on Facebook. [Mozilla blog]
  • Instagram’s first Creator Week will feature guest speakers like JoJo Siwa, 50 Cent, Yung BBQ, and Elsa Majimbo. [TubeFilter]
Twitter:
Twitter fears for freedom of expression in India
  • “You should be able to click and buy something on Twitter,” the company’s CFO has said, suggesting the company is serious about pushing into eCommerce. [CNBC]
TikTok:
SiriusXM is starting a TikTok music channel to appeal to the teens
  • TikTok parent ByteDance’s video editor app CapCut hit the number 1 spot in the US Apple App Store this week. [TechCrunch]
  • Netflix and Adobe are hunting for fresh creator talent on TikTok, with support in making short films and a cash prize for three winners. [Fast Company]
And the rest:
Russia Raises Heat on Twitter, Google and Facebook in Online Crackdown
  • Snap is acquiring the company that made the AR displays for its new Spectacles. The price of the deal is reportedly more than $500m. [The Verge]
  • Snap has bucked the trend of criticising Apple’s 30% cut of iOS transactions, saying they’re ‘happy’ to pay it. [CNBC]
  • The European Commission is proposing a new code that would make social media platforms toughen their stance against disinformation. [The Guardian]
  • Twitch has added a ‘Hot Tubs’ category after it was criticised for demonetising some creators who proved unpopular with advertisers. [Engadget]
  • Clubhouse has more than 1m Android users already. The Android version should reach feature parity with iOS within the next two weeks. [Adweek $$$]
  • Canada is proposing a law that would force social media companies to prioritise Canadian content in the country. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Pinterest has opened up applications for the second phase of its creator fund. [Social Media Today]
  • The NFT of Charlie Bit My Finger ended up selling for $760,999, and the video is set to be removed from YouTube. [BBC News]
❓ Question of the week
We all like to complain about our jobs, and sometimes it helps us come up with ways of improving them.
Check out the replies to this tweet, and add your own 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers.

if you could change one thing about your job...?
_________________
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📩 In the DMs
Geeky social media gossip and red-hot rumours…
What’s going on here? Have there been algorithm changes and a bot purge at Twitter?
Matt Navarra
A few people in my DMs saying they’ve noticed big drops in Twitter impressions, clicks and also a big drop in followers recently.

Anyone else seen the same?
Also in the DMs:
💬 You can quote me on that
When I get quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
Instagram will let users hide the “like”. Should brands care?
🤔 Thought for the week
Tipping is all the rage on social media, but who does it best?
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • How can SMBs up their TikTok game? A new ‘Behind the Camera’ series can help. [Social Media Today]
  • How is AR being used in commerce? Snapchat has shared the findings from new research. [Social Media Today]
  • Want to understand flagging on YouTube? The company’s Creator Liaison has clarified in a guide. [Search Engine Journal]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook seems to be working on making Reels a post type. [@Shreateh]
  • Facebook is changing the default setting for breaking news notifications to ON for all users. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is now suggesting music to use in a new story. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has shut down its experimental collage-making app, E.gg. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has started to share ‘post ideas’ with Page admins. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Facebook is also notifying Page admins about upcoming events they could post about. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Facebook Gaming has new tipping and advertising features for creators. [VentureBeat]
Support Facebook Gaming streamers with Stars. [Credit: Facebook]
Support Facebook Gaming streamers with Stars. [Credit: Facebook]
  • Facebook has teamed up with 14 Canadian news publishers in a new initiative to promote a healthy news ecosystem. [Adweek $$$]
  • Instagram has built a feature for letting creators get paid directly for Reels… but hasn’t released it yet. [Insider $$$]
  • Instagram has launched a new shopping feature to support product ‘drops’. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram has extended its test of ads in Reels to Canada, France, the US, and UK. [Adweek $$$]
  • Instagram’s new ‘link’ sticker for stories appears to have been spotted in the wild. [@socailaktuell]
  • Instagram for iOS now shows viewing statistics for live videos and Reels. [Engadget]
  • Instagram is working on a new ‘thanks’ sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has added an ‘Audio’ tab in search results. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram has launched #Instagram21Under21: a list of young creators driving culture forward on Reels. [@alexvoica]
  • Instagram is working on a new ‘Shopping’ sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has been cooking up redesigned Share and Save buttons in Stories. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is building a text-to-speech feature for Reels. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is still working on ‘Safety Check’ but the feature has been renamed ‘Public Event Settings’. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon show how long is left before a Story disappears. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is working on bringing the Reels feed to desktop. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger has launched a 360-degree background for ‘Friends: The Reunion’. [Adweek $$$]
360-degree backgrounds are a 'Central Perk' of using Messenger (sorry). [Credit: Facebook]
360-degree backgrounds are a 'Central Perk' of using Messenger (sorry). [Credit: Facebook]
  • WhatsApp has opened voice message speed controls up to all users on mobile. [Android Police]
  • And WhatsApp playback speeds are coming to the web, too. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp has launched a new ‘Laugh It Off!’ sticker pack. [WABetaInfo]
  • Oculus Quest 2 now works with the Cybershoes footwear peripheral for VR. [TechRadar]
  • Twitter is testing a ‘Super Followers’ counter for profiles ahead of the subscription offering’s launch. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is testing a ‘quote in fleets’ feature for retweets. [@Shreateh]
  • TikTok is rolling out scheduling for ‘live events’. It lets you record a promotional video to tell followers about your upcoming livestream. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok now tags ‘dangerous driving’ videos. [TNW]
  • TikTok has launched a new text-to-speech voice, after an actor sued over alleged unauthorised use of her voice. [The Verge]
  • YouTube has enabled 4K video playback at 60fps in its Apple TV app. [MacRumors]
  • YouTube is more widely rolling out an expanded mobile video description UI with more prominent Likes and View counters. [9to5Google]
  • Clubhouse now lets all US users on iOS make use of the payments feature. Android will follow soon. [Adweek $$$]
  • Clubhouse has revealed the participants in its first accelerator for creators. [Clubhouse blog]
  • LinkedIn has launched new features for pages, events, livestreams, including a “Boost” button for organic posts. [VentureBeat]
  • The US Government is using Snapchat lenses to share vaccine information with younger audiences. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitch has added 350 tags to bolster representation on the platform. They include ‘Transgender’, ‘Black’, ‘Disabled’, and ‘Veteran’. [TubeFilter]
📖 Weekend reading
How a 17-Year-Old’s Birthday Party Became the Biggest Thing on the Internet
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
Gold-star reading by you this week.
You just nailed this week’s Geekout newsletter. 👊
I’m off to check how many people have NOT swiped right on my profile on Tinder.
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
PS. Just because you read this far… I have 5 invites to the NEW bebo.
Send me a DM on Twitter if you want in. (first come, first served)
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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