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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #93 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
Well that escalated quickly. Elon really is buying Twitter. What a crazy week!
But first…
Randomly…
Also… 
✨ This is a super-useful blog post is stuffed full of useful tips ✨
Okay… Intro done. Let’s take a look at the week’s BIGGEST stories…
🔥 GEEKOUT HOT 5
  1. Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion [DEAL DONE]
  2. Snapchat revealed its $230 selfie drone [TAKE A LOOK]
  3. Instagram expands test of longer 90 second Reels [MORE INFO] 
  4. YouTube revealed Shorts generates 30 billion views per day [FULL STORY] 
  5. Snapchat + TikTok are not social networks…according to Snapchat and TikTok [OH REALLY?]
There were more than 250 social media-related news updates this week. I have read them all to save you time. These are the most noteworthy developments you should know about:
TikTok is rolling out its LinkedIn-style ‘who viewed my profile’ feature (no incognito mode found yet)… YouTube appears to be hiding Like counts on videos for some users (but they’re not gone entirely)… TikTok is now showing a ‘Favorites’ count / button on videos for some users…YouTube is testing ads in its TikTok rival platform Shorts
Meta’s Q1 2022 results are out. Here’s everything you need to know. Check out Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post about the results + future plans for Meta (well worth a read)… Meta says Reels now makes up over 20% of the time users spend on Instagram. Video in general now makes up 50% of the time users spend on Facebook.
📊 NEW INSIGHTS | FREE Social Media Benchmarks Report Q1 2022
  • The latest trends in paid and organic social media
  • Facebook + Instagram engagement benchmarks
  • New Global ad spend, CTR, CPC industry averages
This new report from Emplifi will help shape your social strategy: CHECK IT OUT
LinkedIn is working on a new slideshow feature. This is how it works… Instagram is working on a ‘nudge’ feature (remember Facebook’s Poke?)… Instagram may soon let you pin posts on your profile… Instagram is also testing a useful new templates feature for Reels.
Meta explained what the metaverse is… (again)… Meanwhile, Nike is selling $8k NFT sneakers in the metaverse… Twitter creators can now get paid in cryptocurrency… And finally… Britney Spears says she’s quitting social media for a while (thanks for letting us know, Britney).
WORTH A LOOK 👀
⭐️ TWITTER: Join Geekout on Twitter Communities [REQUEST INVITE]
🤬 DUCK OFF: Why your iPhone adds annoying typos but fixes others [EPXLAINER]
😈 TIKTOK: How Duolingo built a $250m brand by being a jerk on TikTok [SHOW ME]
😎 PRO-TIPS: 14 social media tactics MTV used to get VMAs trending globally [REVEAL]
🤪 WTF: Shaking is the new photo dump in 2022 [WHAT NOW]  
Enough of the fun stuff. Let’s get down to business with analysis of the stories making headlines this week…👇
— Matt
P.S. Join us for the Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 4PM UK / 11AM ET / 8AM PT today (APRIL 29) - LISTEN / REPLAY

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
This is the fourth week Elon Musk’s picture has appeared at this point in the newsletter, and it won’t be the last. Proving he’s a shitposter who also delivers, Musk this week succeeded in his bid to acquire Twitter.
For a hostile takeover, it was a lightning fast affair that involved Musk selling almost $4bn of Tesla shares and taking out bank loans to fund his purchase.
The news has flung Twitter—both the company and the platform—into a state of uncertainty that could last as long as six months while the transaction is completed.
CEO (for now) Parag Agrawal assured staff there would be no layoffs for the time being (although Musk told bankers that he may well reduce the company headcount when he takes charge) and declared it should be business as usual at the company for now.
Still, while current and former CEOs Agrawal and Jack Dorsey can expect generous paydays if the deal goes through, rank-and-file staff were left wondering what would happen to their place at the company, and emotional about potential changes. Management temporarily banning most product changes in a sign of distrust couldn’t have helped.
Meanwhile. some of those same employees have felt the wrath of Musk’s unofficial army of trolls who hang on his every word. This came as Musk publicly questioned some of Twitter’s past moderation decisions. It prompted former CEO Dick Costolo to tweet “bullying is not leadership”.
The platform side of Twitter is having just as rocky a time. Musk has said he wants the company’s moderation to be ‘politically neutral’, which sounds fair until you realise he’s used right-wing memes (more than once) to illustrate his point, suggesting his own idea of neutrality might be a little skewed.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, conservatives were happy with the idea of a more ‘free-speech’ focused Twitter. Seemingly organic follower count increases for conservatives and follower losses for liberals followed the announcement of Musk’s deal. It was all enough to prompt Donald Trump to feel the heat and finally post to Truth Social as he vowed to remain off Twitter even if Musk allowed him back.
But Musk’s understanding of content moderation issues (and how Twitter handles them) have repeatedly seemed simplistic and naïve. A ‘free-speech’ Twitter could undermine a lot of the company’s progress on user safety and drive away as many users as it attracts. And advertisers might not be too keen on it, no matter how much the company reassures them
The fact is, we just don’t know what Musk will really do when he takes control. It might not be quite the total hellscape some predict. He’s called for things like encrypted DMs—widely requested over the years by the kinds of people fearing his ownership of Twitter—for example.
For all the drama this week, the deal could still unravel for a number of reasons, including Tesla’s ties to China. But Musk can not simply get bored and walk away unless he wants to pay a $1 billion termination fee. Whatever ends up happening, the uncertainty will continue for sometime yet… but it’s worked wonders for Musk’s Twitter clout.
Snap has for a long time described itself as “a camera company”. Now though, it’s a flying camera company, after it announced the $229 Pixy drone, available now in the US and France only.
As the Verge explains:
The small yellow puck takes off from your hand, follows you around, and captures video that can be sent back to Snapchat. It’s Snap’s attempt at making a drone that’s friendlier and more approachable than other products on the market — and it may hint at the more advanced, AR-powered future Snap is building toward.
Pixy was announced yesterday alongside a bunch of other developments that show Snap’s progress in the field of enhanced photography and AR. It revealed Lens Cloud to help developers build multi-user AR experiences, AR experiences at concerts and festivals in partnership with Live Nation, and new video production tools in Snapchat called Director Mode.
Snap is cautious about talking all this stuff up too much right now. CEO Evan Spiegel told the Verge: “there’s a lot of technical constraints that exist today that mean that it will be hard for AR glasses to reach scale in the near term. And so I don’t think that the prudent approach for us would be to try to push scale for a product that isn’t ready yet.”
Meanwhile, Spiegel said the word ‘metaverse’ isn’t used in Snap’s offices. “The reason why we don’t use that word is because it’s pretty ambiguous and hypothetical. Just ask a room of people how to define it, and everyone’s definition is totally different.”
This came in the same week that Meta reiterated its focus on the metaverse in its quarterly earnings call, though investors are concerned that all that R&D spending is unjustified for a payoff so long in the future.
Sure, Meta has products available today in the form of Quest and software like Horizon Worlds, but up against its metaverse teaser videos, they look disappointing.
Snap’s approach to the future of visual computing is practical and meaningful right now for users and developers alike. It avoids the hype and hyperbole that accompanies many of Meta’s metaverse pronouncements, with a more measured communication style that makes today’s products feel fun and exciting, rather than mere rough sketches of something far more advanced that’s still years away.
This week we finally got to see details of the EU’s new Digital Services Act (DSA). As the Verge reported:
Early Saturday morning, after hours of negotiations, the bloc agreed on the broad terms of the Digital Services Act, or DSA, which will force tech companies to take greater responsibility for content that appears on their platforms.
New obligations include removing illegal content and goods more quickly, explaining to users and researchers how their algorithms work, and taking stricter action on the spread of misinformation. Companies face fines of up to 6 percent of their annual turnover for noncompliance.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the new rules “will protect users online, ensure freedom of expression and opportunities for businesses,” although victims of online sexual abuse could feel short-changed by the Act. To help with enforcement and build bridges with Silicon Valley, the EU plans to open a San Francisco office.
The DSA was welcomed by ‘Facebook Papers’ whistle-blower Frances Haugen, who called on the US to follow the same approach.
The DSA currently leaves many details undecided, it’s broadly a step in the right direction, but we’re still a long way from appropriately regulated social platforms all around the world. In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with the ‘Declaration for the Future of the Internet’ announced this week by the US, EU, and 32 other countries including the UK and Canada.
As the Verge reports, it “highlights goals like affordability, net neutrality, and removing illegal content without curtailing free expression — although it offers few specifics for achieving them”.
❤️ SUPPORT GEEKOUT ❤️
I spent 18+ hours writing this week’s Geekout newsletter.
I’d love it if you supported my work by:
👀 My read of the week
Social Media Managers: The Hats We Wear
🤦 Fail of the week
Twitter says it overcounted users by as much as 1.9M
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m mentioned in the news, you’ll find it here…
Elon Musk officially buys Twitter — what it could mean for you
TikTok isn't a social media platform, according to TikTok
Also…
🚨New feature alert
Twitter Tests New Option to Attach Video, Images and GIFs to a Single Tweet
🤔 Thought for the week
Snap’s innovation chart leaves certain others in the dust…
Benedict Evans
Comparing this with an equivalent version for Twitter would be… painful https://t.co/GPSghVLzzT
📈 Chart of the week
Ouch.
📊 Stats of the week
Buying Twitter has already paid off for Elon Musk… in engagement. Click through to see the stats in all their glory. 👇
🌟 New feature of the week
LinkedIn adds its own 'link in bio' feature
🐣 Tweet of the week
A top bit of brand cattiness here, with a 👌 comeback:
KFC UK
To put things into context, Elon Musk could have bought 17,424,242,424 Twister Wraps at £1.98 each or two large pizzas from Dominos
Domino's Pizza UK
@KFC_UKI Correction: he could have got 4... It's Two for Tuesday 😘
❓ Question of the week
Time for a rebrand? Some of the ideas here were original, some were predictable, and others were just WEIRD 👇
Matt Navarra
if elon musk renamed twitter it should be called...?

*wrong answers only
🔵 Meta news
Facebook Doesn’t Know What It Does With Your Data, Or Where It Goes: Leaked Document
  • …and Meta expects to receive more GDPR fines in the future. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta will open its first retail store next month. Meta Store in Burlingame, California will be focused on VR headsets, Portal devices and Ray-Ban Stories glasses. [The Verge]
  • Reels now accounts for more than 20% of the time users spend on Instagram. [TechCrunch]
  • Investor reaction to Meta’s latest quarterly results saw Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth rocket by $11bn. [CNN]
  • Mark Zuckerberg claims an exodus of employees isn’t a bad thing. [Input]
  • Meta fell for fake legal requests, meaning it gave up data that was used to harass and sexually extort minors. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta says it will tighten its rules around ads for financial promotions. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has been in court trying to overturn the UK’s block on its Giphy acquisition. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Abuse and racism in social VR apps on the Quest platform has been exposed in a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary. [The Times $$$]
  • WhatsApp wants to boost its payments business in India with a plan for cashback rewards and incentives for merchants. [Reuters]
  • Instagram is increasingly popular with central banks around the world. [Bloomberg $$$]
New features and tests:
Facebook:
  • Facebook is removing the option to receive login alerts via SMS or Messenger. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook now lets you add music to comments. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook now shows new posts you missed in your recent search pages. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Facebook’s subgroups feature is rolling out to more users. [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • Facebook News has recently added a colourful new Explore tab. [@MattNavarra]
Instagram:
  • Instagram has begun testing the ability to pin grid posts to your profile. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram has expanded testing of a new maximum length for Reels of 90 seconds. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram is testing the ability to copy Reels formats as templates. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram is rolling out a new UI for Reels. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram has launched dark mode on desktop. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram now offers ‘suggested Reels for you’ between Stories, for some users. [@marselladondi]
  • Instagram now shows you how many saved posts you have. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram has been spotted displaying upbeat messages to users as their Reels get views. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Instagram looks close to launching ‘double-tap to like’ for Stories. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on QR code sharing for posts. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram continues to work on its own communities feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is building a ‘nudge’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is further rolling out avatar creation. [@jonah_manzano]
WhatsApp:
  • WhatsApp is developing quick reactions to status updates. [WABetaInfo]
Quest/VR/devices:
  • Meta’s ‘Project Cambria’ headset could have 12GB RAM to support multitasking. [UploadVR]
  • The Oculus Quest 2 name is finally dead, as the headset received a new website design. [Android Central]
  • Meta has updated Spark AR Studio to add new immersive audio capabilities and more. [Spark AR]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter Censored Tweets on HBO QAnon Show 'Q: Into the Storm'
  • Elon Musk still needs to have his tweets about Tesla checked by a lawyer, after he lost a legal challenge. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Twitter suspended, and then allowed back, a crypto exec who claimed he’d been appointed Twitter’s ‘interim CEO’ by Elon Musk. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Twitter has banned climate change propaganda ads. [Washington Post $$$]
  • …but Twitter is the worst major social platform when it comes to policing climate denial, according to a report. [Gizmodo]
  • A bot on Twitter called out agencies for alleged hypocrisy on Earth Day. [AdWeek $$$]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter and Stripe have partnered to support payments via the USD Coin stablecoin, with support for more cryptocurrencies to follow. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Twitter is testing the ability to toggle video captions on and off. [@TwitterSupport]
  • Twitter’s Circles feature appears almost ready to launch. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter has been spotted testing a new design for displaying tweet engagement in-feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter might limit the number of times you can edit a tweet when it launches the edit button. [@alex193a]
  • …and tweets seem to have an edit time limit of 30 minutes after publication. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on new artwork for the ‘scheduled’ tab. [@nima_owji]
🔺 TikTok news
UK publishers take £6.7bn in sales as TikTok crazes fuel purchases
  • The Taliban has banned TikTok in Afghanistan for allegedly ‘misleading’ young people. [BBC News]
  • A TikTok account purportedly belonging to actor Robert Pattinson is raising suspicions. [NBC News]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok is rolling out the ability to see who’s viewed your profile. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok has added the ability to edit your profile on desktop. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok has been spotted opening in-app Instagram links on iOS in the browser rather than the app. [@hammodoh1]
  • TikTok is testing a Favorites button and count on videos. [@MattNavarra]
💥 More social media news and updates
Google tells shareholders that YouTube Shorts is doing great, don’t worry about TikTok!
  • Russia has fined Meta $53,000 and TikTok $26,000 for spreading ‘LGBT propaganda’. [Gizmodo]
  • YouTube has hired an Amazon veteran to run Shorts, Gaming, Livestreaming and Community Products. [Variety]
  • Snap and Disney have created an AR mural at Disney World. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn’s revenue is up 34% as it sees “record levels” of engagement. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitch is could cut the revenue share for top creators in its partner program to 50%, as it looks to boost its revenue. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Pinterest added 2 million Users in Q1, but is still down 9% year-on-year. [Social Media Today]
  • Reddit has announced a $1m community fund for “projects, events, contests, giving, almost anything you can think of to bring people together for inspiration and delight”. [Social Media Today]
  • Linkin.bio maker Later has been acquired by Mavrck for $135m. [TechCrunch]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to make more of LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Form Ads? The company has published a guide. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube has started to run ads on Shorts. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • YouTube has further rolled out its Super Thanks tipping tool. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube’s colourful new ‘Like’ button animation is rolling out more widely. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube has been spotted hiding like counts for some users. [Android Police]
  • YouTube’s ‘pre-publish checks’ tool is now available on mobile. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has added analytics for group posts, video trimming on mobile, and more promotion opportunities for LinkedIn newsletters. [@MattNavarra]
  • More details have emerged about LinkedIn’s forthcoming ‘slideshow’ feature. [@nima_owji]
  • Snapchat has added assistive devices like hearing aids for Bitmoji. [TechCrunch]
  • Reddit is working on comment search on mobile. [@alex193a]
  • Reddit’s forthcoming video threads feature has emerged in screenshots. [@alex193a]
  • Telegram has launched a crypto payments feature. [Protocol]
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Get in touch: matt@mattnavarra.com
📖 Weekend reading
Meet the Shitposter Who Started a Right-Wing Moral Panic About the Snickers Dick Vein
😳 And finally...
The metaverse is going to be creepy af…
📅 Back next week...
And that is pretty much everything you need to know…
…In the week where Twitter was sold for £44 billion to the world’s richest and most infamous shitposter.
Buckle yourselves in folks. This Twitter drama is only just getting started.
Status update: My future on Twitter… Uncertain.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
________________
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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