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Hello, geeks! This week’s edition of Geekout is absolutely rammed! Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and co s
Geekout Newsletter
Issue #17 • View online
Hello, geeks!
This week’s edition of Geekout is absolutely rammed! Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and co seem to have decided to spin out a ton of new features, policy changes, and product updates.
Here are THREE little gems I stumbled upon this week:
In other news, my Geekout group on Facebook got a brand refresh thanks to my friend (and design legend) Ryan Downie. We went with a messaging app design style, with an image of me made into a sticker, among a notebook of social media manager doodles. Check out the new designs here. Let me know what you think?
Quick plug: The awesome people at AgoraPulse will be running an EXCLUSIVE (and FREE!) Facebook Live training session in my Facebook Group next week. If you’re a social media manager and want to learn some time-saving tricks, sign up to attend asap. BONUS: There will be an exclusive SMGO AgoraPulse deal for all those who join the session.
Ok. Let’s dig into this week’s BIG news stories in the world of social media, starting with a hotly-debated change Twitter made this week…
— Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
The most talked about topic among social media geeks on Twitter this week? The change to retweets, and the confusion it caused among users when it rolled out.
Yes, you can still retweet normally by tapping the ‘Retweet’ button without adding a comment, but Twitter wants you to at least stop and think about about why you’re sharing what you’re sharing, so that extra pop-up should serve a purpose even if you don’t write out a quote tweet.
But not everyone is happy. Artists who use Twitter to get work find quote tweets of their output aren’t as impactful as straightforward retweets. “Many artists already had 'No QRT’ (for 'no quote retweet) or a similar request in their name, bio, or location,” The Verge reports.
And a joke won’t spread as effectively if people feel compelled to add their own commentary to it. Imagine going to see a stand-up comedian, only to find there’s someone standing next to them on stage, delivering a less-funny version of each joke.
But if the move causes less misinformation to spread across Twitter during the US election, it’s just an inconvenience that creatives will have to deal with. That said, if it works really well, it might end up being a permanent change.
This is an interesting project: 1,200 Americans will be paid to use a special web browser that tracks the way algorithms display information to them on Facebook and YouTube.
The plan is to get a statistically relevant understanding of how information (and misinformation) spreads through these networks. This is something we usually have to rely on small-scale studies, anecdotes, or data from the platforms themselves to understand.
But former Facebook employee Antonio García Martínez says: “it’s ironic that when a watchdog tries to monitor FB, they replicate its worst excesses. This is the data-leaky intermediation of every sketchy app on the former FB Platform.” He goes on to suggest that this project probably ignores participants’ friends’ rights to privacy, and could breach data protection laws like GDPR and CCPA.
So, could Facebook and YouTube find a way to block the Citizen Browser Project? It wouldn’t be surprising, would it?
Did a Dutch security researcher access Trump’s Twitter account simply by trying the password ‘maga2020!’? And did the account really not have two-factor security switched on?
Victor Gevers is said to have got into Trump’s account back in 2016, so it’s not completely beyond the realms of possibility that he did it again. And let’s face it, poor account security is something that could be true about Trump, no matter how many experts he has access to.
But the White House flat-out denies the claim, and Twitter says it’s seen no evidence to confirm it’s true. So, this one might have to slip into 'we don’t know for sure’ territory.
How to make the most of Google My Business
 
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook Manipulated the News You See to Appease Republicans, Insiders Say
  • Facebook’s Oversight Board is finally open for business, as a ‘supreme court’ for moderation decisions. [Facebook Oversight Board]
  • Facebook says it has removed 120,000 posts and rejected 2.2m ads for attempting to obstruct voting. It also placed warnings on 150 million posts. [AFP / The Guardian]
  • Facebook has brought Dating to Europe, after making changes to satisfy data protection regulators. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook is testing a Nextdoor clone for local communities, which will probably raise eyebrows among antitrust regulators. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook will start charging for WhatsApp Business. Although we don’t know when, or for what features. It’s also rolling out new shopping and hosting features. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook’s ad chief says she was “thankful” for the changes the summer boycott supposedly forced on the company. [CNBC]
  • Mark Zuckerberg told staff Facebook will probably introduce fewer content bans once the US election is over. [BuzzFeed News]
  • Facebook has sued four people offering fake engagement services for Instagram. [Facebook Newsroom]
  • The EU is investigating Instagram over its handling of children’s data. [BBC News]
  • The ad industry has welcomed Instagram’s increased policing of paid influencer marketing. [Digiday $$$]
  • The UK competition regulator is baring its teeth over Facebook’s Giphy acquisition. [Bloomberg $$$]
Twitter:
Twitter Adds New Prompts to Alert Users Before Sharing Any Tweet Flagged for Misinformation
  • A man who tweeted about his poor mental health received 14,000+ retweets and 300,000+ likes. [BBC News]
  • ‘We were hacked’ didn’t work as an excuse for a US Army base Twitter account that sent sexual messages to an OnlyFans artist. [Business Insider $$$]
TikTok:
TikTok removing accounts of users who share QAnon-related content
  • TikTok managed to have its ban lifted in Pakistan after promising to moderate content in the country according to “societal norms and the laws of Pakistan.” [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok will now tell creators which policy their video violated if their content is taken down, and it will provide a route to appeal. [TikTok Newsroom]
  • TikTok removed anti-Trump posts that did not disclose they were part of a paid arrangement with a marketing company. [BBC News]
  • TikTok is driving an increase in toy sales in the USA. [CNBC]
And the rest:
More than 50% of humans in the world use social media — here’s what you need to know
  • One in four online purchases are now made as a result of interaction with a social media outlet, according to Visa. [TechRadar Pro]
  • Snapchat added 11m more daily active users in Q3, bringing its total to 249m. [Social Media Today]
  • Faked images of more than 100,000 women have been created from social media pictures via a Telegram bot, and shared online. [BBC News]
  • Both Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey will be ordered to testify over their alleged censorship of the controversial New York Post article about Hunter Biden. [BBC News]
  • Twitch streamers suffered a “bloodbath” of takedowns due to copyright complaints for unauthorised music use. [The Verge]
  • AOC was a hit on Twitch. The politician’s ‘Among Us’ stream was one of the most-watched in the platform’s history. [The Verge]
❓ Question of the week
This week my followers have been sharing useful productivity hacks. Click through on the tweet below to learn something new. Then do your bit for the social media manager community by sharing your own time-saving tricks. 👇
Matt Navarra
the best social media manager time-saving trick you know?
🔨 Tool of the week
Descript
🐣 Tweet of the week
ADWEAK
BREAKING: Tik Tok "Star" With 25k Followers Honestly Thought Shit-Ton Of Money From Advertisers Would Be Rolling In By Now
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook’s Audience Network will go bidding-only for iOS in Q2 2021, spurred by upcoming changes to user tracking on the platform. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Facebook has launched new advertising features for shops. [Search Engine Land]
  • Facebook has started directing searches for QAnon terms to information from the Global Network on Extremism and Technology. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Facebook has announced new ways to order the News Feed, based on a test I noted in June. [@AlexVoica]
  • Facebook now lets you manage Instant Articles in Creator Studio. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is using A.I. to predict Covid-19 spread across the USA. [Engadget]
  • Facebook changed its shield icon for Group admin tools to the more recognisable ‘hamburger’ menu shortcut. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook’s photo and video export tool now supports Backblaze. [@AlexVoica]
  • Facebook has relaunched its Spark AR Partner Network as it looks to make a bigger deal of AR. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook has launched Topics in Watch to help you find content you like. [Social Media Today]
Facebook Watch Topics
Facebook Watch Topics
  • A new TV ad asks Mark Zuckerberg if Facebook makes his kids proud. [Mashable]
  • Facebook has detailed how its attempts to catch scammers are improving. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook has shared six strategies that brands use for successful marketing on the platform. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook has published a report on ‘mindful wellness’ and what it means for marketers. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook has added an 'Off-Facebook Previews’ privacy setting for your posts in public groups shared outside of Facebook. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has launched a new podcast called 'Boost My Business’ [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook Group admins and mods will now be able to use the 'Mute’ option to stop community members 'reacting’ to posts. [@MattNavarra]
  • Businesses can now handle Instagram messaging via Messenger API. [VentureBeat]
  • Instagram will let more creators sell badges during live streams, while it’s expanding its test of ads in IGTV. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram now lets businesses to set minimum age requirements for branded content. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram users changed their app icon over 100 million times in the first day of the icon easter egg launching. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram now supports the Android 'app shortcuts’ feature. [Android Police]
  • Instagram is still working on ‘Multi-Capture’ camera mode for Stories. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is testing letting users view in-feed videos in a full-screen preview. [@raisedbystyle]
  • Instagram has marked National Bullying Prevention Month with a new guide and AR filter. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Instagram could let you follow an account with your other accounts, without having to switch first [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp might soon let you make calls from its desktop app. [TNW]
  • Fisher Price has put a vintage toy museum on Instagram. [Business Insider $$$]
  • Twitter is launching a new composer window for creating ad campaign content. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter now lets you share Topics. [@TwitterSupport]
  • Twitter is encouraging US users to vote early. [The Verge]
  • Twitter’s custom share sheet on iOS is coming to Android. [Android Police]
  • TikTok now adds warning labels to videos containing inaccurate or misleading info. [@MattNavarra]
A new warning from TikTok
A new warning from TikTok
  • YouTube is testing option to set default video quality for all videos. [Android Police]
  • YouTube is testing a new Android share sheet, but it’s “basically useless.” [Android Police]
  • YouTube’s TikTok-clone ‘Shorts’ now has its own shortcut button in main app. [@MattNavarra]
  • YouTube for Android no longer lets you tap the seek bar to skip. [Android Police]
  • LinkedIn has officially launched video meeting support in private messages. Teams, BlueJeans, and Zoom are supported. [LinkedIn blog]
  • LinkedIn Stories has launched in the UK as its global rollout continues. [The Drum]
  • LinkedIn has added new features to its virtual events offerings for company pages. [AdWeek]
  • LinkedIn now shows an additional insights label to page admins about activity on posts. [@MattNavarra]
  • Snapchat can now scan food and wine labels. [Neowin]
  • Snap’s AR tech is now used in Major League Baseball’s app. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Pinterest now lets business founders self-identify if they’re from an underrepresented group, so they can receive additional promotion. [Social Media Today]
  • Discord has added in-chat stickers, but some will cost money. [Android Police]
  • Yahoo Groups (remember that?) will fully shut down on December 15th. [Search Engine Journal]
  • NewsWhip has launched a Crisis Dashboard to help PR and comms professionals. [NewsWhip blog]
  • Cameo wants to help B2B marketers clinch deals via celebrity messages. [Wall Street Journal]
  • News sites turning off comments doesn’t lead to a meaningful uplift in social media engagement, a study has found. [NiemanLab]
📖 Weekend reading
I Watched My Friend Dying on Facebook. But It Was All a GoFundMe Scam.
😳 And finally....
Someone showed me a trick to make it impossible for anyone to skip your Instagram Story. Not sure if it’s evil or genius…
📅 Back next week...
…I told you it was super-busy week of news + updates this week!
Good news: Your weekend is about to start. Go enjoy.
BUT… you know what to do with this link if you’re a Geekout regular 😉
Goodbye geeks!
Matt
❤️

This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2020: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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