I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed…

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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #55 • View online
*View this newsletter online for the best reading experience*
Hello, geeks!
First off this week…Don’t miss the latest Global State of Digital report. 200+ slides FULL of NEW social media stats, trends, & insights. View the full report here.
🔥 GEEKOUT HOT 10
  1. Facebook’s NEW Prayer posts feature is rolling out to all Groups in the U.S 
  2. Twitter went full Snapchat with this experimental Spaces feature (see it in action here)
  3. Instagram has launched a new anti-harassment feature called ‘Limits’ 
  4. This is how TikTok’s algorithm sees inside your brain 
  5. LinkedIn is adding a Canva integration for LinkedIn Stories
  6. Instagram has extended Insights data to 60 days 
  7. TikTok revealed a bunch of NEW live streaming features
  8. Clubhouse has a new logo + you no longer need an invite
  9. Instagram unveiled its NEW Collab feature
  10. Snapchat launched 3D Bitmoji for profiles 
—-
So… The ‘All-New’ TweetDeck was finally launched this week. I didn’t have high expectations, if I’m honest. Several contacts who’d been testing it for several months had already warned me it lacked any killer new features and was pretty disappointing - especially given how long we’ve all been waiting for Twitter to overhaul TweetDeck.
Therefore, it came as no surprise when social media managers tweeted things like this and this. And tech journalists piled in with scathing reviews.
I hope Twitter listens to its power users and dials back some of the changes, or at least fixes some of the bigger issues people are highlighting. For now… Go check it out for yourself and see what you think. Use this clever hack to gain access.
🌟 TRY THIS: Socialbakers and Astute are now Emplifi, tying social engagement, commerce, and customer care into one slick platform. Check it out. [Ad]
Before we dive into this week’s big news stories, here’s a few FREE things from me that you might like:
🎙NEW EPISODE! Geekout with Matt Navarra
Don’t miss the latest episode of the Geekout podcast. 
Spotify listed it as one of its ‘Top Tech Podcasts’ of the week!
We were joined by Will Cathcart (Head of WhatsApp) who talked about WhatsApp’s controversial plans for encryption, the future of messaging apps, NEW features coming soon, and more… [LISTEN]
🔥 FREE Social Media Training Workshop with Me!
Hate social media analytics? Not sure which SM metrics to track? This is for you!
Join my ‘Social Media: Metrics That Matter’ workshop to learn how to analyse social media activity in a more meaningful way. [GET FREE TICKET]
🗣 My EXCLUSIVE interview with Social Media Today
I spoke to SMT about future social media trends, my favourite social media platforms, Facebook’s Donald Trump ban, the creator economy, TikTok vs. Facebook, and more. [READ Q&A]
ICYMI…
Ok… Let’s dive into the top talking points for social media geeks this week 👇
— Matt
P.S. 🗣NO GEEKOUT TWITTER SPACE THIS WEEK… We’ll be back next week.

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
If you want to be ahead of the curve, you should stop calling Facebook a social media company. That’s according to Mark Zuckerberg at least, who told Casey Newton this week:
Over the next five years or so, in this next chapter of our company, I think we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company. 
You could be forgiven for replying “a what-averse company?!” Metaverse is a buzzword in Silicon Valley right now, covering VR, AR, virtual worlds like Roblox and Fortnite, and anything else that creates an alternative, internet-connected world users can drop into.
It’s worth reading the whole interview, in which Zuck is clearly excited by all the opportunities presented by virtual worlds and activities. The conversation also touches on the potential problems of a future where people inhabit completely different virtual versions of the same world.
But as with anything to do with Facebook, you have to remember that this is an advertising company following the money. If the metaverse is the next big thing, Facebook wants to be there, pushing ads into your face wherever it can. Or as Can Duruk put it particularly bluntly on Twitter, “Facebook’s ‘metaverse’ effort is better explained as an advertising company with questionable morals wanting to control every single sensory input to your brain.
Just as Instagram’s new focus on video is all about staying relevant to the audience it serves, here Zuckerberg is planting his flag in the meta-soil to make sure anyone entering the market with eyes on becoming ‘the Facebook of the metaverse’ knows they’re going to have some serious competition.
But intentions aren’t everything. Facebook may have a dominant position in VR gaming right now thanks to Oculus, but that doesn’t mean consumers will necessarily agree with whatever Facebook’s vision of the metaverse ends up being.
Given the amount of negative energy floating around on Twitter on any given day, it’s understandable that many users might instinctively hate the idea of a downvote button users can hit if they see a tweet they don’t like. Surely it will just be used for harassment?
But it turns out the idea is a little more thoughtful than that. Dislike counts are hidden, and are being used to help train Twitter’s algorithm. As product chief Kayvon Beykpour put it: “we’re interested in whether downvotes can help disincentivize low-quality replies.”
We don’t know much more than that about how Twitter will use dislike counts. People ‘disliking’ a ‘high-quality’ tweet because they don’t like what it says could end up burying useful information, and that could easily turn into a kind of harassment-by-algorithm.
But one way downvotes could be useful is if it trains people’s personal Twitter feed algorithm. If you downvote a load of tweets you hate, you might see fewer tweets like that in the future.. and maybe Twitter will become less of an angry place. Let’s face it, one reason many people complain about Twitter is because they have lots of things they hate flung in their faces every day and are encouraged to get upset about them.
Funnily enough, none other than actor and tech investor Ashton Kutcher made that very point just a week before Twitter announced downvotes. As CNet reported:
“If we just gave people a very simple, frictionless way to say, ‘I disagree with this,’ you would probably reduce a massive amount of the sort of negative swaller that exists inside of social media,” he said in an interview on Wednesday [last week]
Kutcher may have come to fame playing a character from the past, but it seems his head is very much in the future of Twitter’s product development roadmap.
One argument that made headlines throughout this week was Biden vs Facebook.
President Biden kicked it all off last Friday when he seemed to say that platforms like Facebook were “killing people” by not doing enough to remove vaccine misinformation on their platforms.
Facebook understandably fought back. Dangerous vaccine misinformation may well be a serious problem on Facebook, but there’s no direct evidence that it has directly led to anyone’s death. Claiming it has might suit the anti big-tech mood of the moment, but it’s not helpful if you want appear to have a proper understanding of the situation.
Biden walked back the statement a few days later, claiming he had actually been saying that the people who spread vaccine misinformation are the ones killing people, not the platforms.
But the spat was really just a sideshow. New reporting this week showed Facebook simply hasn’t done enough research into the problem of vaccine misinformation on its platforms. And with a recent poll showing 20% of Americans believe the US government is using the Covid-19 vaccine to microchip the population, it clearly is something that needs serious research.
The White House has continued to talk tough on the issue this week, so this conflict is unlikely to go away any time soon.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook content moderators call for company to put an end to overly restrictive NDAs
  • WhatsApp has blocked 2 million accounts in India as it battles spam. [CNN]
  • Civil rights groups in the US are increasingly turning to politics as they look to settle their differences with Facebook. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Instagram too easily pushes weight-loss content to teenagers, a study has found. [The Guardian]
  • Facebook blocked the #VaccinesKill hashtag this week, a whole two years after Instagram did the same. [CNN]
  • Facebook has published its own study look at how game and app publishers are dealing with Apple’s ad tracking changes. [VentureBeat]
Twitter:
Twitter Posts Steady Increases in Users and Revenue for Q2, with Good Growth in Ad Spend
  • Bitcoin will be a big part of Twitter’s future, Jack Dorsey says. [TechCrunch]
  • A UK man has been arrested in Spain over alleged involvement in the big Twitter hack last summer. [Engadget]
  • Twitter is updating its terms of service to cover the many new products and services it’s been busy launching. [@TwitterSupport]
TikTok:
TikTok Ads See Higher Emotional Response, According to New Report
  • TikTok now has TAG Brand Safety Certification worldwide, which will reassure big advertisers. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok and the White House have agreed to end a lawsuit against Trump’s plan to ban the app from app stores. [CNN]
  • Pakistan has banned TikTok yet again. [The Register]
  • ‘TikTok Boom’ is a new book looking at the story of the app’s rise to prominence. [Cult of Mac]
  • TikTok is a powerhouse for music discovery, a study has found. [Variety]
  • WWE is running a TikTok campaign to find its next SummerSlam ring announcer. [CNet]
And the rest:
Snapchat is growing faster than it has in years
  • Snap has acquired Vertebrae, a startup that will help it offer more AR shopping features in Snapchat. [The Verge]
  • India has decided Apple’s Messages app does not need to comply with strict new social media regulations. [AppleInsider]
  • YouTube has acquired an Indian social commerce startup called Simsim. [TechCrunch]
  • The UK’s communications regulator has vowed to tackle social platforms’ problems with addressing racist abuse of footballers. [The Guardian]
  • Twitter and Facebook have made progress on brand safety audits. [AdAge $$$]
  • And a top UK police figure says social media bosses should face jail over the worst content that makes it onto their platforms. [Sky News]
  • Children get targeted with inappropriate content hours after setting up social media accounts, a report has found. [Sky News]
  • A LinkedIn data scraper claims he lifted data from 700m profiles “for fun”… although he’s selling it too. [BBC News]
  • Two former WhatsApp employees have launched HalloApp, a private, ad-free social network. [The Verge]
  • Olympics social teams will be able to show athletes taking the knee, in a u-turn on previous policy. [The Guardian]
💬 You can quote me on that
When I get quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
BBC News: Under the skin of OnlyFans
I also appeared in:
  • IDing the problem of racial abuse on social media [Hot Press]
📊 Chart of the week
With YouTube introducing a new ‘Super Thanks’ tipping feature this week, here’s a look at tipping across major social platforms.
Matt Navarra
How Tipping Features Compare Across Social Media Platforms

h/t @kyurieff / @theinformation https://t.co/pT7zQ79gZY
🌟 New feature of the week
Instagram Stories Drafts are Now Available to All Users
🐣 Tweet of the week
Reddit finds out Twitter is testing a downvote button…
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • Learn how to write much better social media copy in just 10 tweets. [@GrowthTactics]
  • Facebook is launching two new career certificates, covering Marketing Analytics and Software Development. [Facebook Business]
  • Want to show off your LinkedIn marketing knowledge? The company has launched new certification courses. [Social Media Today]
  • Do you know these 12 Facebook Ads features? [Search Engine Journal]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook has added new shopping features for Groups. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook’s BlenderBot chatbot A.I. has had an upgrade. [Engadget]
  • Facebook has added a bunch of new writers to its Bulletin subscription platform. [Axios]
  • Facebook has an iOS 14 widget that can display notifications or Stories. [@KenSchillinger]
  • Facebook’s Audio Rooms now lets you replay rooms if you miss them live. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has tightened up its rules around promoting prescription drugs. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook is asking some users if they’d like to see more or less of certain posts in the News Feed. [@wongmjane]
  • Instagram Reels now has a TikTok-like effects grid. [TestingCatalog]
  • Instagram has introduced automatic translation of text in Stories. [The Verge]
  • Instagram appears to be rebranding IGTV Ads as ‘In-Stream Video Ads’. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram appears to be testing full-screen-length ads in the feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is working on a widget that will let you quickly switch between accounts. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has a new feature that lets you manage how much sensitive content shows up in Explore. [Instagram blog]
  • Instagram now lets you share a post from the likes page. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram is working on a new ‘birthday’ chat theme. [@alex_193a]
  • Instagram is building an ‘account health’ section in the Account menu. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger has made some improvements with how it handles emoji. [TechCrunch]
Messenger is now more emoji-friendly. [Credit: Facebook]
Messenger is now more emoji-friendly. [Credit: Facebook]
  • WhatsApp is rolling out a new calling interface on iPhone. [9to5Mac]
  • WhatsApp is testing encrypted cloud backups on Android. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp will now let you join group calls after they start. [The Verge]
  • Oculus Quest 2’s base storage may soon be increased to 128GB. [UploadVR]
  • Oculus has updated its software with improved social and security features. [Oculus blog]
  • Twitter is working on a tab dedicate to tweets from accounts you pay to ‘super follow’. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter is testing an auto-generated colour background below images in some ad formats. [@TheRealAmosZ]
  • Twitter is working on a way for speakers to signal that they want to say something without interrupting. [@c_at_work]
  • Twitter’s ‘log in with Google’ option is now being testing in its Android beta. [9to5Google]
  • And the Twitter iOS beta now has sign-in options for both Google and Apple accounts. [MacRumors]
  • Twitter will soon make it easier to tweet about a Space when you’re speaking live inside it. [@legion_mj]
  • Twitter has unveiled new hashflags, a dedicated Explore tab, Topics, and list features for the Tokyo Olympics. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is developing a button to quickly scroll through a conversation. [@alex193a]
  • TikTok has launched Spark Ads, allowing advertisers to use organic user posts as part of their ad campaigns. [AdAge $$$]
  • TikTok now lets some users reply to comments with a video. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok has released videos to help users identify accurate diet and exercise information on the platform. [TikTok newsroom]
  • TikTok has partnered with Vimeo to help small businesses make video content for its platform. [AdAge $$$]
  • YouTube has launched its first official TikTok-like ‘Dance Challenge’ on Shorts, in collaboration with BTS. [TubeFilter]
  • YouTube is rolling out a ‘New to You’ feed featuring videos beyond your normal recommendations. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube is testing shopping from livestreams with some creators. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube now lets some creators accept tips through a new ‘Super Thanks’ feature. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube will add labels to some health videos amid concern over vaccine misinformation. [CNBC]
  • Snapchat is hosting samples of HBO Max shows to help expose them to a wider audience. [Adweek $$$]
  • Snapchat has updated Lens Studio with upper garment segmentation, multiple object detection, and more. [Next Reality]
  • LinkedIn has published an overview of how data scraping as cases of LinkedIn data plucked from the platform continue to emerge. [Social Media Today]
  • Tumblr has introduced a paid subscription option for bloggers. [The Verge]
📖 Weekend reading
The next big social network trend? Shortform audio
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s pretty much everything you need to know this week!
If you enjoyed reading it and found it useful…
I’d really appreciate you SHARING it in a tweet OR FORWARDING it to a colleague ❤️
RIGHT… I need to go get ready for a Bumble date tonight. Wish me luck :)
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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