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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #81 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello geeks! 
Kicking things off this week…
Bad news, social media managers… It’s happening again!
💥 This is well-worth a look 👇
This free tool could save you hours every week.
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  1. Facebook user numbers fell for the first time in its history [LINK]
  2. Twitter spotted working on an ‘Articles’ feature [LINK]
  3. Meta revealed enhanced Avatars [LINK 1] [LINK 2]
  4. U.S Gov still thinks TikTok could pose a security risk [LINK] 
  5. Twitter is expanding its Reddit-like Downvote button test [LINK]
You ready? Okay… Let’s run through the most attention-grabbing bits ‘n’ pieces spotted in my feeds this week:
Instagram was spotted testing a Story highlight to Reel converter feature…It’s also experimenting with a bunch of other new features including longer 90-second Reels, ‘Pin to Profile’ option, an ‘Undo’ button for Stories editing, a ‘Recreate’ + ‘Use as template’ option for Reels, and a handy improvement to editing carousel posts
Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s boss said he’d love to build an iPad version of the app
Twitter is going to beam Super Bowl tweets on to a giant LED roof… Independent journalists are still pissed about Twitter’s verification policy… Twitter revealed it’s extending its test of prompts nudging people to rephrase their mean tweets… And it’s trying out a new DM icon in tweet replies to help users take Twitter conversations into their DMs.
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A question about LinkedIn etiquette sparked fierce debate… And Amazon delivery drivers are the target of a (demeaning?) new TikTok trend.
Meanwhile, over at Snap HQ…Snap revealed it made a profit for the first time ever… Also, it’s still working on a selfie drone. Money must be burning a hole in Evan Spiegel’s pocket.
Finally… Remember Elon Musk offered $5k for a teenager to delete his Twitter account which tracked his private jet? Elon has now blocked him… Predictable… Google’s CEO no longer follows Google (or anyone else for that matter) on Twitter… Apple threw shade at Spotify… Facebook may be about to kill Crowdtangle (it was on the cards tbf)… 
AND this tweet is now my most liked / retweeted tweet ever.  
My Twitter stats got a nice bump. 😮
👥 INSTAGRAM: How to view your ‘least interacted with’ friends on Instagram [HOW TO]
💼 HIRE ME: Mr Beast is hiring an army of new social media pros [GET A JOB]
🤪 WTF: Why it’s not your fault you’re a jerk on Twitter [I’M A JERK]
😳 LOL: GTech’s bold “relatable content” strategy on TikTok [WATCH]
Okay… you’ve had your fun. Now let’s get serious with the headlines triggering people in this week’s news.👇
— Matt
P.S. Join us for the Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 8AM PT / 1PM ET / 4PM UK today (Fri 4 Feb). 
SPECIAL GUEST: Inventor of the hashtag and friend of Geekout, Chris Messina!

👷 Job of the week
Wanted: Social Media Manager [Fully remote]
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Mark Zuckerberg has had a few bad weeks in his career, and this was up there with the worst.
Meta’s financial results, while largely healthy, revealed slowing growth, and the first ever drop in Facebook users. The market reaction was brutal. Tech stocks haven’t had the best of times lately, but Meta saw the largest single one-day market value drop for a company in US history, with the stock price falling 26%. Mark Zuckerberg’s personal net worth was slashed by $29 billion.
The market knows that Meta is a company in transition, whose days of continual growth are perhaps nearly over. Almost entirely reliant on advertising revenue, it is vulnerable to shifts in user tastes, competition from the likes of TikTok, and an ageing userbase. Throw in Apple’s painful user tracking changes and looming regulation from governments around the world, and the company isn’t short of challenges.
Never one to be backed into a corner without an escape plan, Zuckerberg signalled to us all months ago that he’s aware of Meta’s problems. That’s what the shift to the metaverse is all about. It’s a bold, expensive bet on a future that might still not come to pass. But with billions in R&D investment, lobbying, advertiser briefings, and advertising (look out for a Super Bowl ad this month), Meta is willing to spend-spend-spend its vision of the metaverse into existence.
In the meantime, it has to shore up its traditional social offerings. Eyes rolled around the world at the news that Zuckerberg has told staff to focus on video products. Given how disastrous the company’s last ‘pivot to video’ was, it’s understandable that people are cynical.
But this time it really is different. This ‘pivot to video’ isn’t about forcing publishers to invest in expensive video production operations, it’s about Reels everywhere. We’ve already seen how Instagram is focusing on becoming a video-first app this year, and increasingly we’ll see Reels pop up on Facebook too.
Yes, this is largely just copying TikTok, but when has shameless copying ever held Meta back? And hey, it’s working for Snap.
Well, well, well… What’s this all about then? Code-digger Jane Manchun Wong this week revealed that Twitter is working on something called Articles, as Social Media Today reports:
Twitter’s currently working on a new option called ‘Articles’, which appears to provide a means to create blog posts within the app, which would then, you would assume, be shareable, in some form, via tweet.
How exactly that would work is unclear, but it is definitely something Twitter is developing – as a spokesperson explained to SMT:
“We’re always looking into new ways to help people start and engage in conversations on Twitter. We’ll share more about our work here soon.”
Twitter has a dedicated ‘Longform’ team which oversees products like its Revue newsletters, but there’s not a whole lot of ‘longform’ on Twitter itself.
Given how important threads are to the Twitter experience these days, it seems natural for the company to embrace blogging. Without damaging its core product (280-character tweets), Twitter could allow users to share increasingly more writing through threads, then going up to Articles, and finally up to a Revue newsletter like the one you’re reading right now.
Hopefully we’ll hear more about where Articles is going soon. But rest assured that unlike tweets, it seems you’ll be able to edit them.
TikTok has had a much easier time in Joe Biden’s America than it did in those chaotic months at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency where it perpetually seemed weeks from being banned entirely.
But concerns about Chinese apps remain front-of-mind for many in Washington, DC. As the Wall Street Journal reported this week, proposed new rules affecting Chinese apps could cause serious problems for TikTok.
The Commerce Department recently concluded a public-comment period on the proposed rule change, which would expand federal oversight to explicitly include apps that could be used by “foreign adversaries to steal or otherwise obtain data,” according to a filing in the Federal Register.
Under the rule, the commerce secretary could effectively bar foreign apps deemed unacceptable security risks. That could force social-media platforms such as TikTok and other software applications connected to the internet to submit to third-party auditing, source-code examination and monitoring of the logs that show user data, according to the proposed rule.
There’s still no clear, public evidence that TikTok is stealing Americans’ data and handing it to the Chinese government. But as long as Beijing and DC don’t trust each other, TikTok’s longterm future in the US will be in question.
And with a Chinese invasion of Taiwan suspected to be on the horizon, TikTok’s future could yet become just as hot-button an issue as it once was.
👀 Must-watch of the week
The Tinder Swindler
📖 Top read of the week
Why Francis Bourgeois' Gucci gig shows brands should subvert their core pillars on social
🔨 Tool of the week
❓ Question of the week
Matt Navarra
social media managers

the twitter account you'd love to manage for 1 day
Popular answers: Aldi UK, Innocent, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump… and my account 😬 But I’ve got to give a special shout out to Specsavers for this gem:
📈 Chart of the week
Matt Navarra
The World Map of Social Networks in 2022

[The most popular social networks, by country]
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
Britain’s Jonathan Cahill, convicted burglar, in police custody after viral mug shot
  • The UK government could follow Australia in making Facebook, Google, and Twitter pay to use British news content. I gave my take on this proposal to City AM. (Spoiler: it’s a dumb idea)
  • Why do news publishers struggle to embrace TikTok? I gave my thoughts to
  • How much internet regulation does Facebook really support? The Markup asked for my input.
🐣 Tweets of the week
The founder of Oculus isn’t too happy about the ‘Meta Quest’ rebrand….
And it’s good to know James Blunt is still doing what he’s best at… trolling. 👏
James Blunt
If @spotify doesn’t immediately remove @joerogan, I will release new music onto the platform. #youwerebeautiful
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond:
Meta-backed cryptocurrency Diem to shut down after regulators blocked
  • Meta has joined the Crypto Open Patent Alliance as its largest patent holder. [Protocol]
  • Meta has paused accepting new users for CrowdTangle. The company blames staffing constraints. [Reuters $$$]
  • Some Meta employees reportedly feel under-informed about the company’s shift in focus to the metaverse. [New York Times $$$]
  • Meta is to shutter its Express Wi-Fi service, which offered wireless internet access in more than 30 countries. [TechRadar]
  • An Australian billionaire has launched a criminal case against Meta over scam ads that used his image. [BBC News]
  • Meta has faced another report of a woman being sexually assaulted in its social VR. [The Independent]
  • WhatsApp’s boss has said they would “love” to make an iPad version of the app. [The Verge]
  • Instagram has shared details of its work to improve accessibility for visually impaired users. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • New Mentions and Tags tabs have been spotted in Facebook’s Business Suite app. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram now has 3D avatars. The updated avatars are also rolling out on Facebook and Messenger. You’ll see them first in the USA, Canada, Mexico. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram now lets you convert a Stories highlight into a Reel. [@WFBrother]
  • Instagram could soon increase maximum duration of Reels to 90 seconds. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is testing an ‘Undo’ button for Stories in Turkey. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram could soon let you pin posts on your profile. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has introduced stickers and an AR effect to mark Lunar New Year. [@mosseri]
  • Instagram has changed the Remix label in Reels. [@WFBrother]
  • Instagram has been spotted auto-playing all video posts shared in Stories. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram now offers sound effects on Reels. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Instagram could soon let businesses accept a calls through the platform. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon let you record a message that plays if you can’t answer a call. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘Use as template’ option for Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on the ‘Reaction’ sticker, and is adding the ability to set a custom emoji. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has added animated looping previews to recently uploaded Reels. [@YasserM86]
  • Instagram is developing the ability to quickly add interactive stickers. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘share to Facebook’ option for Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is testing a ‘Recreate this reel’ option for Reels. [@Hammodoh1]
  • Instagram now lets you delete a single photo from a carousel on Android. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram could soon let you change the privacy settings for mentions, posts, and guides on the web. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on letting you share upcoming Live videos to a Story and externally. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is improving the guidelines in the Story and Reels editors. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger is marking Lunar New Year with themed stickers, AR effects, and the ability to send red letter envelopes via your avatar. [Social Media Today]
  • WhatsApp’s emoji reactions for messages may be close to launching. [@WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is readying extended time limits for deleting messages for all users. [WABetaInfo]
  • It looks like Google might soon limit the size of WhatsApp backups in Drive. [WABetaInfo]
  • Meta has released hand interaction and tracked keyboard SDKs for Quest developers. [UploadVR]
🐣 Twitter news
  • Freelance journalists have criticised Twitter’s “irrational and opaque” account verification process. [Press Gazette]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to get more out of Twitter? The company has compiled a ‘toolbox’ of recommended third-party apps. [@TwitterSupport]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter is developing an ‘Articles’ feature, although details are scant. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is expanding its test of reply downvoting worldwide. [@TwitterSupport]
  • Another image has emerged of Twitter’s in-development ‘trusted friends’ feature, currently called ‘Twitter Circle’. [@wongmjane]
  • More details have emerged of the Clips feature in development for Twitter Spaces. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter has officially launched the ‘add sensitive content warning’ feature to all users on Android and the web, and it’s rolling out on iOS. [@TwitterSafety]
  • Twitter is testing a DM button for tweets on iOS. It opens a DM conversation with the author. [@TwitterSupport]
  • Twitter is working on a reworked reporting flow. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is rolling out a new iOS feature for Super Follows creators. Super Follower interactions will get their own tab in Notifications. [@SuperFollow]
  • Twitter has confirmed it’s testing a feature to help users discover new Communities. [@HiCommunities]
  • Twitter will make it easier to share Communities with a ‘Copy Link’ option. [@nima_owji]
🔺 TikTok news
New features and tests:
  • TikTok is testing a Duets mode under the ‘+’ Create button. It shows ‘Suggested Duets’ if selected. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok has been spotted offering a new Inbox tab that merges the existing message inbox and notifications tab. [@MattNavarra]
💥 More social media news and updates
Snapchat Rises to 319 Million Daily Users, Posts Strong Revenue Result for Q4
  • Pinterest’s user numbers continue to decline. it seems the growth days of lockdown are way behind it. [Social Media Today]
  • A company that owns popular Instagram meme accounts has raised $21.5m in investment. [Forbes]
  • YouTube beat Netflix’s ad revenue for the past quarter. [Hollywood Reporter]
  • YouTube has announced its 2022 Super Bowl ads showcase. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitch has been accused of encouraging streamers to spend too much time online. [Eurogamer]
  • Twitch has partnered with indie music licensing group Merlin, in its latest effort to ensure music on the platform is legit. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn says it is removing increasing amounts of misinformation from its platform. The news came as part of its latest transparency report. [Social Media Today]
  • Snap is teaming up with Jennifer Lopez for a virtual concert in Snapchat. [Engadget]
  • Snap has published a report looking at the importance of privacy tools. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok have joined forces to take on the German government over its latest online hate speech law. [Politico]
  • The UK’s online harms watchdog should have a watchdog of its own, a think tank has proposed. [The Register]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube is rolling out a revised full-screen video player in its mobile app. [The Verge]
  • YouTube has a new ‘Hide user from channel’ option for comments. [@TechnicalGulab]
  • YouTube has extended testing of iOS picture-in-picture support with premium subscribers until14 February, but says it will eventually roll out to all US users. [MacRumors]
  • YouTube for Android could soon add a shortcut to open the YouTube Music app. [XDA Developers]
  • Snapchat now has AR story tools to mark Lunar New Year. [Social Media Today]
  • Snap is still working on a selfie drone, and Snapchat’s map may be getting a mute location feature. [XDA Developers]
  • LinkedIn has added an Employee Verification feature for Company Pages, but it doesn’t stop people from claiming to be an employee of a business. [@MattNavarra]
  • Pinterest now has AR features focused on furniture shopping. [Engadget]
  • Discord has launched its much anticipated PlayStation integration. [The Verge]
  • Telegram’s latest update adds video stickers, enhanced reactions, and more. [Android Police]
  • Cameo is to start selling NFTs. [Adweek $$$]
  • Nintendo has released a collection of Pokémon music for use in personal video and music creation. Look out for it in plenty of YouTube videos! [Digital Trends]
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Get in touch:
📖 Weekend reading
Hollywood agencies are betting big on TikTok talent as they seek to woo Gen Z audiences
😳 And finally...
The greatest meme template ever
📅 Back next week...
Right, you lovely bunch of geeks….
You’re done! Time to get the hell outta here!
❤️ Can I ask you for a favour?
I would be so grateful if you helped spread the word about Geekout.
I’m heading off to watch Netflix’s new documentary ‘The Tinder Swindler’.
Compared to him, dating me is a breeze.
Now, if only I wasn’t so damn picky.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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