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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #43 • View online
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Hello, Geeks!
Before we get started… Pro-tip: Don’t miss this LIVE AMA event with McDonald’s Social Media Team. Get an inside look at their strategy and ask them anything! 
Also… How did I NOT know about this YouTube trick!?
Today I’ve got some exciting news about Geekout. It’s expanding! In addition to this Friday newsletter, we’re launching Tech Revolution.
Every Wednesday, Martin SFP Bryant (who also edits this newsletter and co-hosts live audio and podcasts with me), will make sense of where tech is going next. No cheap hot takes or fluff, just the stories from the week that deserve your attention most if you want to understand the future of tech and media. And it’ll all be delivered in a fun, easily digestible package just like this newsletter is.
Tech Revolution is actually a reboot of Martin’s Big Revolution newsletter, which has been running for nearly 1,000 issues. If you want to get in ahead of the relaunch, you can sign up here on the newsletter’s old page, and you’ll get the first new, weekly issue on Wednesday 19 May.
I’m thrilled that Martin has brought his newsletter in as part of the Geekout family. AND this is just the beginning! Look out for MORE exciting Geekout stuff launching soon, including a new LIVE audio show + a very special NEW THING for social media managers! 😎
HIDDEN GEM: UserHunt - Check if a username you want is available on hundreds of platforms in just one click
Join me + the ContentCal team next week at this free event.
It’s time to assess the changes we’ve faced in social media over the last 12 months, and look to the future as we discuss the ever-changing landscape and its impact on the role of social media managers [Find Out More + Get Free Tickets]
Right… Let’s jump into the BIG news stories shaping the world’s of social media managers everywhere this week…
— Matt
Join us for Geekout Weekly on Twitter Spaces today (Fri 7 May) at 4pm [UK] where we’ll be discussing all this week’s social media news, controversies, and new features. It’s geeky, but I think you’ll love it.

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
It was a bit like the world’s worst Apple event. Tech and politics watchers waited for the clock to tick over to 2pm UK time on Wednesday, when Facebook’s Oversight Board would reveal its decision about whether or not Trump would be allowed back on the company’s apps.
But the result wasn’t as clean-cut as it was expected to be. Essentially, the Board kicked the decision about Trump’s future back to Mark Zuckerberg.
The Board agreed that Trump’s actions warranted suspension, but argued that an ‘indefinite’ suspension was a wrong because no such thing exists in the company’s rules; Facebook basically made it up so they could pass the difficult ultimate decision to the Oversight Board. The killer paragraph in the Board’s announcement on Wednesday was this:
In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities. The Board declines Facebook’s request and insists that Facebook apply and justify a defined penalty.
The Oversight Board was highlighting a problem the Wall Street Journal wrote about earlier in the week [$$$]: Facebook’s real rules are often unclear and unpublished. Oversight Board member Alan Rusbridger has more detail on how the decision was reached in a piece for the Guardian.
What’s next? The Oversight Board says Facebook has six months to figure out a penalty for Trump that falls in line with its published content rules.
In the meantime, Trump has his own ‘social platform’, which launched this week. But far from the Parler rival it was being pitched as in the media, it’s… just a blog designed to allow fans to share his message onto the networks that have banned him.
But Trump appears to be out of luck if he thought his blog would let him sneak back on to Twitter. Seemingly official or semi-official accounts set up to share all posts from the new blog were shut down swiftly.
While Twitter may permanently be a Trump-free zone (even conversation about him on there has dipped to pre-presidency levels), the company still has to figure out a policy for how it should treat rule-breaking world leaders in the future. There’s a lot of public interest; Twitter says a recent survey on the topic received almost 49,000 responses globally, in 14 languages. It won’t be possible to keep all those people happy.
Meanwhile eyes are on YouTube, which has indicated Trump might be allowed to return if the threat of violence following the January storming of the Capitol subsides.
He might not be allowed to post on them right now, but Trump is still a big issue for the major social networks.
We knew they were building it but not that it was so close to going live; Twitter surprised everyone late yesterday with a tip jar feature that popped up on some users accounts. Now you can tip me a bit of cash for my tweets if you like.
The button itself is pretty simple. It just links to whatever payment service a user connects up. For example, on my profile, it’ll open Square’s Cash App if you have it on your phone, but PayPal, Bandcamp, and other services are also supported for users who choose to collect tips another way.
As with the upcoming Super Follow feature, the fact Twitter isn’t taking a cut from tips might upset shareholders, but it’s boon for users, at least for now.
Also in ‘Twitter KEEPS. DOING. INTERESTING. STUFF’ news this week, it announced its acquired ‘authorised adblocker’ service Scroll.
Scroll integrates with sites like The Verge and Insider to hide ads, while giving them a cut of your monthly Scoll subscription fee, based on the number of pages you view on each participating site.
Scroll will be integrated into the upcoming premium Twitter subscription, which may well also include things like access to Tweetdeck.
Scroll also owned many a curator’s favourite secret weapon, Nuzzel. The app, which let you browse the links most shared by the people you follow on Twitter, has now shut down 😢 but on the upside, you can sign up for information about a new version of Nuzzel, which Twitter plans to build into its main app 🙌 …at some point in the future ⏳
Following the ups and downs of the Clubhouse story is exhausting from the outside, so I can only guess how they feel on the inside.
This week it started a closed beta of its long-awaited Android app and announced 50 audio shows it would fund pilots for, to boost the quality of content on the platform.
That would all be exciting news for any one-year-old startup, but headlines like ‘Clubhouse downloads are falling off a cliff’ must be dispiriting for the team there. The app was downloaded 900,000 times in April, compared to 9.6m in February, according to SensorTower.
Meanwhile, Twitter isn’t slowing down at building Spaces into Clubhouse’s most serious social audio rival. This week it opened the feature up so anyone with more than 600 followers can launch a Space on iOS or Android. It also confirmed that it will soon be possible to sell tickets to Spaces, alongside building in features like scheduling and co-hosting, which Clubhouse already has.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Zuckerberg’s Plan to Repair Facebook’s Image: More Zuckerberg
  • Facebook’s latest ‘educational’ splash screens about user tracking in iOS 14.5 imply Facebook and Instagram could not be free without tracking users around the web. 🤔 [The Verge]
  • Facebook is said to be worried Starbucks will withdraw from the platform over hateful comments left on its posts about social issues. [BuzzFeed News]
  • More than 60% of eligible Instagram users have opted into the ability to exchange messages with people on Messenger, Messenger’s chief says. [CNBC]
  • Signal and Facebook have traded barbs after the secure message app company claimed to have tried to run an Instagram ad campaign highlighting the problem with targeted ads. Facebook says Signal is lying. [CNBC]
  • Facebook has acquired Downpour Interactive, the game developer behind VR title ‘Onward’, to join its Oculus team. [The Verge]
  • Facebook is scrutinising agencies pitching for its $1bn ad budget to an unusual degree, it’s been reported. [Insider $$$]
  • UK health leaders have urged Instagram to stop influencers promoting an appetite drug. [The Independent]
  • Facebook Workplace has reached 7 million paid subscribers and launched a new Q&A feature. [Facebook Newsroom]
Billboard Teams Up With Twitter to Create Chart for Most-Tweeted Songs
  • Twitter has announced new exclusive sport and news video partnerships with MLB, WNBA, NHL, and NBC. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter has launched a US ad campaign promoting the value of local news. [Axios]
TikTok names new CEO: Shouzi Chew, former ByteDance CFO
  • Third-party apps will be able to offer a ‘login with TikTok’ option as part of a set of new developer tools. [TechCrunch]
  • And Streamlabs is one company using the new tools, to offer Twitch-style tipping for TikTok livestreamers. [Engadget]
  • TikTok is losing prospective employees who learn it has a hardcore, Chinese-style ‘996’ work culture that can lead to people working 72-hour weeks. [CNBC]
  • TikTok has joined the Technology Coalition to help it protect young users. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide for April 2021, clocking up more than 59 million installs. [SensorTower]
  • TikTok can reduce users’ TV time. American TikTokers watch less TV after joining the app, according to a Kantar study. [@kerrymflynn]
  • A teenager who accidentally moved into a complex for senior citizens is a TikTok hit. [New York Times $$$]
And the rest:
Teens, tech and mental health: Oxford study finds no link
  • Spotify plans to hire 100 people in its Clubhouse-style social audio push, it has been reported. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Sony has invested in Discord and the service will be tightly integration with PlayStation consoles. [The Verge]
  • Snap can be sued over Snapchat’s alleged involvement in a fatal car crash, a US court has ruled. [NPR]
  • YouTube is spending $7m on a drive to get more journalists using the platform. [Axios]
  • YouTube is automatically opting videos into be turned into other channels’ Shorts without creators’ consent, but an option will soon make it easier to opt out. [Android Central]
  • Snapchat has announced a new creator marketplace, along with a slate of new Originals shows. [Social Media Today]
  • Notorious video sharing site LiveLeak has shut down. [Mashable]
  • Twitter and Facebook have both signed up to stream WNBA games this summer. [Engadget]
  • Welsh political parties will be investigated in an inquiry to see whether disinformation was spread via social media during the country’s Senedd elections. [BBC News]
  • Tumblr says its users are 193% more likely to be LGBTQIA+ compared with other social networks. [Adweek]
❓ Question of the week
Looking for super-useful new tools for image / video editing?
This Twitter thread is stuffed full of them!
Find a hidden gem or share your own top tool tip: 👇
🟣 Matt Navarra
The best image / video tools for social media managers others may not know about... ?
🔨 Tool of the week
🐣 Tweet of the week
Never gets old. 
We salute you, N Sync.
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook is testing a Nextdoor-style feature called Neighborhoods in Canada and four US cities. [CNet]
  • Facebook has announced a grant programme to help people use Groups to make an impact in their community. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook is working on end-to-end encryption for Rooms. [@alex193a]
  • Facebook is highlighting the problem of anti-Asian hate in a new US-focused campaign. [Engadget]
  • Facebook is teasing a new post composer via label in Creator Studio. [@Gini_L]
  • And Facebook’s Creator Studio on desktop now displays ‘Release notes’ listing new features and product updates. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook appears to be trying a growth hack with a new ‘Referrals’ feature in Facebook Marketplace. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has launched a new Emotional Health Center, coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook and Messenger launched stickers for Star Wars Day and Selena: The Series. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook has launched a Portal promotion campaign around US Mother’s Day. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook is running a Quest 2 ad campaign focused on using VR for fitness. [UploadVR]
  • Instagram is rolling out automatic captioning via a new sticker. We’ve known this has been coming for a while. [TechCrunch]
Auto-captions on Instagram. Credit: Instagram
Auto-captions on Instagram. Credit: Instagram
  • Instagram may soon show draft messages in the conversations list. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘Prompt’ sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is developing a notice that tells you when someone is receiving a lot of messages and may be slow to respond. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is building the ability to schedule livestreams. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram appears to be testing revised menus on iOS. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is working on two new ‘share post’ options: ‘call and watch together’ and ‘create group’. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger has marked Teacher Appreciation Day by letting users record tributes to their favourite teachers. [Messenger News]
  • WhatsApp payments have been relaunched in Brazil. They first launched last summer, but the country’s central bank forced it to be withdrawn. [The Verge]
  • WhatsApp will now show more of an image in-line, rather than cropping it significantly. [Social Media Today]
  • WhatsApp is working on a way of making it easier to listen to your audio messages before you send them. [9to5Mac]
  • WhatsApp has launched six new cartoony sticker sets. [TechRadar]
  • WhatsApp is testing a sticker suggestions feature. [WABetaInfo]
  • Twitter has launched new ‘reply prompts’ that alert users when they’re about to send a potentially abusive tweet. [TechCrunch]
Twitter reply prompts. Credit: Twitter
Twitter reply prompts. Credit: Twitter
  • Twitter Birdwatch users can now more easily access the feature, via a listing in the main menu. [@Birdwatch]
  • Twitter has launched a podcast about how the company uses user research. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter has introduced a hashflag for Google’s upcoming developer conference. [9to5Google]
  • TikTok has launched new promotions, ad tools and education sessions to help SMBs make more of the platform. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has started a new ‘TikTok for Business’ Club on Clubhouse. [@MattNavarra]
  • YouTube’s TikTok-copycat ‘Shorts’ is officially rolling out to all US creators. [TubeFilter]
  • And YouTube Shorts is also showing in the app for some users in the UK. [@MattNavarra]
  • YouTube is testing automatic caption translation. [Android Police]
  • YouTube TV has launched on PlayStation 5. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube’s ads on TVs are now more interactive thanks to a new ‘Brand Extensions’ tool for advertisers. [CNet]
  • YouTube is testing listening controls that make the main app act like a music player. [9to5Google]
  • Pinterest has expanded its ads product to Brazil. [Social Media Today]
  • Tinder has started quizzing users on their opinions as a new way of giving matches something to talk about. [The Verge]
📖 Weekend reading
The Inside Story Of TikTok’s Tumultuous Rise—And How It Defeated Trump
💀 Meme of the week
Credit: @workinsocialtheysaid on Instagram
📅 Back next week...
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Time for me to go lose three hours endlessly scrolling my TikTok FYP.
Goodbye, geeks :)
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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