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leaks, aliens, and stalkers.

Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #100 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
Welcome to your weekly social media debriefing. 
This week’s had it all going on: Leaked Facebook memos, Elon Musk talking about aliens to Twitter staff, TikTok’s new tool to spot stalkers, and more! But first…
Did you see:
This is the 100th edition of Geekout! 🎉🍾
The first edition of Geekout was published on 26th June 2020. It all started with this tweet.
Now, two years later…  
  • Geekout has 20,000+ subscribers
  • Generates 10,000+ clicks on links in each weekly edition
  • Subscribers who work at Meta, Twitter, TikTok, Google, Apple
…And the best, most loyal readers (like you) every week. 
Thanks for being here and reading my newsletter. ❤️
Alrighty then… Let’s get back on track with the hottest stories in social media land this week:
  1. Facebook plans ‘discovery engine’ feed change to compete with TikTok [LEAKED MEMO]
  2. Elon Musk met Twitter staff for a Q&A session [READ HIGHLIGHTS]
  3. TikTok Testing Feature That Reveals Who Watched Your TikToks [STALKER ALERT] 
  4. EU launched beefed-up code to tackle fake news + disinformation [NEW RULES]
  5. Meta revealed new parental controls for its Quest VR headset + Instagram [SAFETY MODE]
I’m not even going to write a half-baked attempt at a witty intro here. You know what’s coming. Let’s get it done. Here’s everything else worth knowing about this week.
TikTok influencers are reportedly ditching TikTok Shops (much like TikTok UK staff would like to)… Meanwhile, another TikTok exec wants people to know TikTok is not social media… Snap is testing a new premium version of Snapchat called Snapchat Plus… Snapchat is also testing a new ‘Ring flash mode’ and a Spotlight replies feature
Twitter’s ‘Location spotlight’ feature for professional profiles is rolling out… And its working on two interesting changes to tweets and profiles: Merging tweets + replies tab on profiles and a redesigned set of reply icons for tweets.
How does a top global accessory brand ensure that they reach their desired audiences and achieve peak performance on Instagram and TikTok? 
By streamlining content creation, approval, publishing, and analysis through one social media management solution. SEE HOW [ad]
Instagram is testing a tweaked version of its new full-screen, immersive feed… There’s a new ‘Remix this photo’ feature for Reels (Bonus: You can now create Reels from your existing videos via Meta’s Creator Studio platform)… Instagram is also working on a new ‘Welcome Reel’ + ‘Promo Reel’ feature for profiles… And for British Metaverse fans there is good news. Meta launched Horizon Worlds in the UK.
YouTube says it’s gaining on TikTok with Shorts… Pinterest launched TikTok-style Pin Idea ads… eBay unveiled plans for its live shopping platform… Twitch revealed plans to give streamers more money with an improved revenue share deal… 
Adobe confirmed it will make Photoshop free on the web for everyone (the Canva effect)… Telegram’s boss confirmed the launch of Telegram Premium (jumping on the trend of adding premium subscriptions for popular social media apps).
And finally… A new law in Japan makes ‘online insults’ punishable by one year in jail! 
💀 MEMES: The weirdest memes generated by DALL-E A.I image generator [WTF IS THAT?!] 
🐾 EASTER EGG: How to activate Google’s cute dog-themed easter egg [WOOF!] 
🎞 WATCH: Adobe’s AI-powered Neural Filter instantly restore old family photos [CHECK IT OUT] 
🪦 RIP: Internet Explorer is finally dead at age 26 [IE IZ DEAD] 
🎨 CREATORS: Google is working on a new secret new tool for creators [REQUEST ACCESS] 
Fun stuff done. Let’s dig into the top stories getting the most attention with some analysis of this week’s top stories. 👇
– Matt
P.S. Our Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces is taking a break this week, but it will be back next Friday.

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🚨 Everyone's talking about...
In order to make Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse vision a reality, Meta needs to keep its existing apps raking in the cash. And that means it’s time for yet another change of direction.
A leaked memo from April seen by the Verge explains:
The Meta executive in charge of Facebook, Tom Alison, spelled out the plan: rather than prioritize posts from accounts people follow, Facebook’s main feed will, like TikTok, start heavily recommending posts regardless of where they come from. And years after Messenger and Facebook split up as separate apps, the two will be brought back together, mimicking TikTok’s messaging functionality.
Alison then gave an interview with the Verge in which he explained this is part of the vision for Facebook as a ‘discovery engine’, which Mark Zuckerberg mentioned in Meta’s most recent earnings call.
The main tab will become a mix of Stories and Reels at the top, followed by posts its discovery engine recommends from across both Facebook and Instagram. It’ll be a more visual, video-heavy experience with clearer prompts to direct message friends a post. To make messaging even more prominent, Facebook is working on placing a user’s Messenger inbox at the top right of the app, undoing the infamous decision to separate the two apps eight years ago.
Longtime Facebook users are used to the app changing, but no matter how Meta tweaks it, there could be a struggle to bring lapsed users back into the fold. It’s unclear whether the existing standalone Messenger app will be ditched, for example. That would seem like a pretty forceful way of pushing people back to Facebook.
Users want to be served by apps, not pushed into behaving in ways that best suit the business goals of the people who make those apps. But if it wants to keep Facebook relevant, what choice does Meta really have?
Meanwhile Instagram announced that a test of a TikTok style, almost-full screen home feed is set to roll out to a limited set of users, while Meta keeps adding new ways to make Reels on Instagram and Facebook.
The battle to stay fresh and relevant never ends, no matter how big and powerful you might be. In many ways, size and power just makes that battle all the more difficult.
The acquisition deal might still be far from complete, but Twitter employees yesterday got their first taste of what Elon Musk will be like as their boss.
After turning up late for the video call, Musk answered an hour’s worth of questions from employees in the form of a moderated Q&A.
Significantly, we got confirmation that Musk very much wants to lead the product vision for the company. And adding nuance to his views on free speech, he said “outrageous” opinions should be allowed, just not necessarily amplified.
Musk says he recently started using TikTok and wants Twitter to learn from the way TikTok makes sure you don’t get bored.
More depressingly, he added weight to speculation that layoffs are likely at the company, which is spending more than it brings in. Bloomberg has more key takeaways from the call.
But as Casey Newton explains, Musk seemed vague about a lot of the details, and didn’t win everyone over:
Employees told me that the conversation had reinforced the beliefs they had about Musk heading into the meeting. If I were to make a word cloud of employee responses, some bigger ones would be: incoherentramblinguninspiring.
As for why he suddenly started talking about aliens… 🤷‍♂️ but maybe rolling out to other planets is how Musk plans to get Twitter up to his 1 billion daily users target.
In the meantime, Twitter employees might be more gutted at the news this week that their Disneyland retreat has been cancelled.
It’s the thing many of us want to know, but I suspect few of us want to share. TikTok is testing the ability to see which of your followers have viewed your posts.
I first spotted the test, and as TechCrunch explains:
The screenshots indicate that TikTok is referring to the feature as “post view history.” They also show that you can turn the feature off at any time from the Settings menu. In addition, it appears that post view history will only be available for seven days from the date that a video was posted.
Being able to see exactly who viewed a piece of content isn’t all that common on social media. Instagram offers it for Stories, and LinkedIn has it for profiles but otherwise it’s just not really a thing.
Knowing you might look like a stalker for viewing someone’s content quickly after it’s published could be off-putting and harm engagement, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this test doesn’t become a fully rolled-out feature.
TikTok this week reiterated its wish to be seen as an entertainment platform rather than a social network. Aside from the question of what that means for Meta and Twitter wanting to copy TikTok (will they become less ‘social’ as a result?), it’s hard to see how exposing the names of specific viewers fits into a chilled-out and fun entertainment experience.
👀 Read of the week
The next big social platform is the smartphone’s homescreen
🐥 No-context tweet
Can someone check Elon’s okay?
rat king
I think Musk spoke about aliens for a minute?
🖥 Gear of the week
LG’s 16:18, 32-inch DualUp monitor is now available for $699
😮 WTF?!
Why you may have a thinking digital twin within a decade
📄 Report of the week
Digital News Report 2022
🤦‍♂️ Fail of the week
Instagram repeating Stories bug fix arrives with iOS update
🤔 Thought for the week
It sounds like working in the metaverse will be a hoot…
📈 Chart of the week
I’ve already mentioned this report above, but this chart is particularly worth flagging up…
Reuters Institute
A theme in this year’s report is the difficulty in engaging younger users with news

🙋🏾‍♀️78% of 18-24s access news via side doors such as social media. Across all countries, 40% of 18-24s use TikTok for any purpose, with 15% using it for news. This is higher in the Global South
📊 (Questionable) stat of the week
Metaverse Spending to Total $5 Trillion in 2030, McKinsey Predicts
🔥 Hot social media job
This looks like a fun job, although some say Star Wars fans are among the most intense on social, so it could be a challenge!
🔭 Trendwatching
Matt Navarra
Gen-Z is shifting away from social media platforms in favor of engagement in other interactive apps, like Roblox, Fortnite and Twitch
🤖 Future tech
Meta’s Prototype Photoreal Avatars Can Now Be Generated With An iPhone
📝 Twitter research spotlight
It looks like Twitter’s prompts to get users to rethink rude messages are actually pretty effective in the long term.
Matt Navarra
Twitter Shares New Research into the Effectiveness of its Offensive Reply Warnings

For every 100 instances where these prompts are displayed (on average):

- 69 tweets were sent without revision
- 9 tweets were not sent
- 22 were revised
⭐️ New feature of the week
YouTube Adds New 'Corrections' Feature to Add Relevant Update Notes to Your Clips
❓ Question of the week
Social media managers… time to vent! Get involved… 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

what's a🚩 that your new social media boss is going be hard work?
🔵 Meta news
Meta’s Giphy acquisition remains blocked after UK appeals tribunal judgment
  • Meta’s content moderation problems can’t be fixed with A.I. alone, according to whistleblowers. [Insider]
  • Facebook has refused to answer questions about evidence it tracks users seeking abortions. [Gizmodo]
  • Meta has shown off a futuristic headset design and fingertip input device. [UploadVR]
  • Facebook has again failed to spot hate speech in ads, this time in Ethiopia. [AP]
  • Meta’s investigation into Sheryl Sandberg reportedly focuses on the extent to which staff worked on her personal projects. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • WhatsApp is looking for research proposals related to privacy issues. [Meta Research]
  • Meta is gearing up for a sizeable presence at Cannes Lions this year. [@MattNavarra]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Meta has launched new tools, case studies, and events to help LGBTQ+ owned small business. [Social Media Today]
  • 58% of consumers purchased a product in the past six months because of a creator’s recommendation, according to a new Meta survey. [TubeFilter]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook appears to be working on a Udemy competitor. [Class Central]
  • You can now create Reels from your existing videos in Creator Studio. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has launched Group Sets, a custom News Feed of posts from Groups you’ve joined. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is rolling out its parental supervision mode in the UK, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, France and Germany. [Meta newsroom]
  • …along with new behavioural nudges for teens. [Protocol]
  • Instagram is testing collaborative collections. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram has been spotted testing new ‘Welcome’ and ‘Promo Reels’ features for profiles. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram is rolling out ‘Add more people to your story’ to more users. [@jonah_manzano]
  • More users have access Instagram’s reaction sticker now. [@WFBrother]
  • Instagram has added a ‘Reviews’ option to the Interactions page. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram is testing making Reels the first option on the Create page. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram could soon let you use the Question sticker in Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is rolling out the ‘remix for photos’ feature that was in testing earlier this year. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is still working on a Communities feature. You will be able to create a community from the Create menu. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is building a templates browser for Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon let you view NFTs in augmented reality. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a Subscribed tab. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has been spotted changing the DMs logo to the Messenger icon. [@kerempekedis]
  • Messenger is building out its calls interface to reflect how many calls are now made through the app. [@loredanacrisan]
  • WhatsApp now lets you move your chats from Android to an iPhone. [The Verge]
  • WhatsApp has rolled out disappearing messages across all personal chats. [@WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp has introduced the ability to mute of message people on a call, plus an indicator to help you see when more people join large calls. [@wcathcart]
  • WhatsApp has partnered with the UN to offer a climate-friendly advice chatbot. [@WhatsApp]
  • WhatsApp is adding new gender-neutral emojis. [@WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is going to let you limit who joins your group chats. [WABetaInfo]
  • Quest is getting parental supervision features. [Meta newsroom]
  • Horizon Worlds will soon feature an option to garble voice chats from strangers. The platform is also launching in the UK. [TechCrunch]
  • Horizon Home is rolling out as an easy way to socialise in VR. [TechCrunch]
  • Prototype Photoreal avatars can now be made on iOS. [UploadVR]
  • Rumours say Roblox will be coming to Quest 2. [Android Central]
🐣 Twitter news
The teen who tracks Elon Musk's jet agreed to stop monitoring Mark Cuban's flights on Twitter
New features and tests:
  • Twitter has rolled out its new flow for reporting rule breakers. [The Verge]
  • Twitter has removed the ‘nofollow’ attribute for search engines from tweets. [Search Engine Land]
  • Twitter Communities mods and admins can now pin tweets on the web and Android, with iOS to follow. [@HiCommunities]
  • Twitter has swapped the locations of ‘Copy Link’ and ‘Bookmark’ on Android, leading some users to inadvertently bookmark tweets. [9to5Google]
  • Twitter has rolled downvotes out to more users. [@JackHorwood]
  • Demo code for Twitter’s upcoming Custom Timelines feature has been uncovered. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter’s has expanded its location spotlight feature to all businesses in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter could soon show a different reply button depending on whether anyone has already replied or not. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is working on a redesigned audience picker. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter Blue’s custom nav bar could soon be available on Android as well as iOS. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is working on merging ‘Tweets’ and ‘Tweets & replies’ into one tab with a filter option. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter could soon let you search for specific hashtags in a Community. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on a new analytics section called ‘Audience’. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter could soon introduce ‘tap to search’. [@alex193a]
🔺 TikTok news
Influencers abandon TikTok Shop in latest blow to UK ecommerce venture
  • TikTok UK is now offering shipping subsidies to TikTok Shop merchants. [@MattNavarra]
  • Viral foot fetish videos on TikTok are often undisclosed sponcon. [NBC News]
  • TikTok is more unclear than other tech companies over how long it keeps deleted content, and how accesible it is to law enforcement. [Forbes]
  • TikTok parent ByteDance is preparing to expand its Pico VR division into the US. [Protocol]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has added a Shops tab, including Orders, Vouchers/Coupons, and your Cart. [@MattNavarra]
💥 More social media news and updates
EU unveils tougher industry Code to combat disinformation
  • YouTube says it’s closing in on TikTok in the short video race. [TechCrunch]
  • Google has reportedly offered to let intermediaries post ads to YouTube as a concession in the EU’s antitrust probe. [Reuters $$$]
  • A backlash against beauty filters is growing. [Glossy]
  • The White House has launched a task force to tackle online abuse and harassment. [Washington Post $$$]
  • Insulting someone online in Japan could land you in prison for a year. [CNN]
  • YouTube has opened up the masthead ad spot to some sports betting, alcohol, and prescription drugs ads. [Search Engine Land]
  • Pinterest has signed a deal with Tastemade, which will see 50 shows debut exclusively on the platform. [Social Media Today]
  • Reddit has acquired a startup called Spell to beef up its machine learning chops. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Amber Heard has criticised the influence she says social media had on her trial against Johnny Depp. [Rolling Stone]
  • The Depp v Heard trial was a moneyspinner for some YouTubers. [Insider $$$]
  • Most Australians believe journalists should stick to the facts on social media. [The Guardian]
  • People lost more than $1 billion to cryptocurrency scams on social media last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. [TubeFilter]
  • Telegram’s founder has criticised Apple for limiting the functionality of web apps on iOS. [9to5Mac]
  • Twitch has expanded its ad incentives programme to include more streamers, and to pay them more. [The Verge]
  • Amazon has been flying influencers to luxurious resorts to woo them to into influencer programme. [CNBC]
  • Domino’s has extended its ‘mind ordering’ campaign with Snapchat AR lenses in a Stranger Things tie-in. [AdWeek $$$]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
New features and tests:
  • YouTube has added the ability for creators to add corrections to videos as text notes. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn is working on supporting Canva templates in carousels. [@nima_owji]
  • Snapchat is working on a Twitter Blue-like subscription plan called Snapchat+. [The Verge]
  • …and the custom app icons available to subscribers have been uncovered. [@alex193a]
  • Snapchat is testing replies in its TikTok-like Spotlight feed. [Axios]
  • Snapchat could soon offer transcription for voice notes. [@alex193a]
  • Snapchat has a new ‘Ring’ flash mode. [@MattNavarra]
  • Reddit is rolling out its Talk Live bar on the web from next week. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Pinterest has launched TikTok-esque Idea Pin ads. [TechCrunch]
  • Truth Social has reportedly banned users for posting about the January 6th hearings. So much for ‘free speech’, eh? [Variety]
  • Discord has added a new Twitch-like AutoMod feature to help with user safety. [TechCrunch]
  • Telegram has officially launched its premium subscription package. [Android Police]
  • eBay is joining the interactive live shopping trend with its own offering. [TechCrunch]
  • GoDaddy has launched its own ‘link in bio’ tool. [TechRadar]
📖 Weekend reading
How Louis Theroux Became a ‘Jiggle Jiggle’ Sensation at Age 52
😳 And finally...
When texts suddenly stop: Why people ghost on social media
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s a wrap on the 100th edition of Geekout! 💯
Thanks for reading my geeky social media mind dumps every week :)
I appreciate you. ❤️
If you know a social media geek who DOESN’T subscribe to Geekout… 
…Send them this link OR share it on your socials. 
Right… I’m off to start finalising plans for my summer vacay to Los Angeles in July/Aug. 
If you’re based in LA and fancy meeting up, HMU via this tweet
Goodbye geeks!
– Matt 
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant
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