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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #84 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, you! 
Let’s not waste any time. I’ve got a lot of geeky social media updates to fill you in on. First off this week…
Meanwhile, there’s been some big developments in the world of social…
  1. Meta has gone all-in on Reels [FULL STORY] 
  2. Trump’s Truth Social had an abysmal launch [FULL FAIL] 
  3. UK plans to limit reach of unverified accounts [MORE BLUE TICKS?]
  4. Social media adds a new dimension to the war in Ukraine [FULL STORY]
  5. Instagram made a sneaky change to its time limit tool [WE SEE YOU IG]
I finally got round to reconfiguring my TweetDeck (still not a fan of the new design btw)… Here’s a few more bits and pieces spotted in my TD columns and worthy of your attention:
Twitter is still working on a collaborative tweets feature. This is what it looks like right now… LinkedIn says it’s working on new analytics features for creators (long overdue imo). It’s also considering adding a new laughing emoji reaction… Tumblr will now let you pay to hide its awful ads.
Reddit has added an Instagram-style Discover feed (actually looks pretty useful tbf)… And they’ve added some new image editing tools (they’re pretty basic, though)… There’s a new Twitter DM scam going around… And Instagram scammer’s latest trick exploits people’s close friends… Meanwhile, YouTube’s auto-captioning AI is upsetting parents. Oops!
🔮 💬 Customer Service and Support Predictions for 2022:
Read insights in this Gartner® Report, compliments of Emplifi.
Reddit finally killed Dubsmash (RIP)… Meta Quest app VRChat is apparently letting kids enter virtual strip clubs (d’oh!)… Instagram has a new gesture control feature for Reels… Remember Facebook Notes? Well, it’s back but they’ve tweaked it and called it ‘Columns’… Linkedin has launched (what it’s calling) a new ‘Podcast Network’… LinkedIn also showed its thirst for gen-z users… they’ve got MrBeast to join the platform.
OnlyFans has been accused of more super-shady behaviour… Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev claims he’s a legit businessman (my eyes can’t roll any further)… Facebook locked down its profile image frames feature due to abuse by anti-vaxxers (this is why we can’t have nice things)… Facebook also reminded people its jobs feature is shutting down shortly… AND FINALLY… @Ukraine’s official account on Twitter has gone full troll mode on @Russia. Not sure how this one is going to end.
🛬 BIG JET TV: The best & worst Big Jet TV tweets from big brands [LOOK]
😱 OUCH!: Why depending on Facebook is a really bad idea [LEARN]
🤖 METAVERSE: 10 Metaverse jobs that will exist by 2030 [READ]
📱 USEFUL: Reliable Twitter accounts to follow what’s happening in Ukraine [VIEW]
🦇 FUN: How to activate hidden Batman-mode in Google Search [REVEAL]
Right then… Let’s dig into the stories making the most headlines this week  👇
— Matt
P.S. Join us for the Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces as we round up all the week’s biggest social media news, *one hour later than usual* at 9AM PT / 2PM ET / 5PM UK today (FRI 25 FEB)
✨ SPECIAL GUEST: Andrew Hutchinson, head of content and social media, Social Media Today

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Even after a slow-motion build-up over several months, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was still a shocking act. And the first war in Europe for decades is also the first chance Westerners have had to experience close up the way social media interfaces with modern warfare.
Follow the right Twitter accounts and you can get information about Russian troop movements, Ukrainian experiences on the ground, and what the politicians are saying, often far quicker than you’ll get from news outlets. But as the Washington Post explained, social media also creates a ‘fog of war’ as “rapid-fire disinformation” tries to distort reality.
Indeed, reports of fake hostilities shared via platforms like Telegram were key to Putin’s fake pretext for starting the war. The Kremlin painted a picture of increasing attacks on Russians by Ukrainians. They were often quickly debunked by open-source intelligence enthusiasts, but as long as there was enough of a sense among Russian audiences that some of it was true, that was enough to establish the narrative Putin needed.
Now the invasion has begun, the role of social media has ratcheted up a gear. The major platforms have a role to play in keeping users safe amid a heightened risk of attacks on accounts and the spread of propaganda. Twitter posted safety advice in Ukrainian (and in English, if you prefer), Facebook bolstered account security in the country, and YouTube is being pressured to clamp down on pro-Russian disinformation.
Elsewhere, Ukraine’s official Twitter account has been posting political cartoons and calling for @Russia to be suspended as it rallies popular support from the world.
But the fragility of support on social media was clear when Twitter mistakenly removed a bunch of open-source intelligence accounts tracking the build-up to war. They were quickly reinstated.
If you’re diving into following the war via social media, CNet has a list of reliable sources, and remember to beware of old media posing as new - be careful what you share!
Ever since he was kicked off Twitter, Donald Trump has longed to launch his own social platform. Following his short-lived blog last year, his alternative to Twitter finally launched this week.
Well, perhaps “launched” is a better way to put it. It’s in a buggy state with a long waitlist. But it did manage to top the US App Store chart, so Trump’s media and tech company can at least be reassured that there’s a clear audience for an ‘official’ MAGA social platform.
In practice, Truth Social looks almost identical to Twitter and is based on the open-source Mastadon code. It enters a crowded field of ‘free speech’ apps that seem to be able to attract an initial audience but fail to make much of a cultural impact. Let’s face it, without the friction of ‘owning the libs’ on Twitter, is there much appeal in sharing your oh-so-controversial opinion with a bunch of people who agree with you?
But with surprisingly restrictive terms of service that would surely have prohibited some of Trump’s own tweets back in the Twitter days, can Truth Social attract a loyal audience and become the American Right’s platform of choice? In the long term, the answer might lie in whether or not he clinches the nomination to run for President in 2024.
Remember when Mark Zuckerberg went big on ‘time well spent’? Instagram introduced the ability for users to impose a hard limit on their usage of the app if they felt they were in it too much.
Well, as TechCrunch reported this week, Meta appeared to think those limiting their Instagram usage were limiting it too much:
Previously the company supported a user-defined limit for Instagram that could be as low as 15 minutes — or even 10 minutes — per day, when it was making a big PR push to suggest that more ‘mindful’ usage of its services was possible, as concern over social media addiction surged.
But it seems the attention-loving adtech giant now wants Instagram users to spend longer eyeballing content feeds on the photo- and video-sharing platform where it can cash in by targeting them with ads. Which could be a result of pressure from the business side to eke out growth…
Thus we now have options to limit time in the app to no less than 30 minutes per day, graduating up to a three-hour limit.
Meta later told TechCrunch that it now lets users additionally ‘take a break’ from the app for periods as short as 10 minutes, but the fact this wasn’t clearly communicated with users of the existing daily time limit feature does kind of suggest that Meta values its business more than your wellbeing.
A more generous interpretation would be that the communications were simply messed up, but either way, user wellbeing clearly doesn’t get as high a priority at Meta as it perhaps should.
📃 Report of the week
TikTok Publishes New Rising Trends Report, Including Insights and Tips for Marketers
👀 Must-read of the week
TikTok Wants Longer Videos—Whether You Like It or Not
🤦 Fail of the week
Coinbase CEO Says QR Code Super Bowl Ad Was The Company's Idea — But Ad Agencies Are Like, Ummm…
🤔 Thought for the week
📊 Stat of the week
❓ Question of the week
There’s lots of useful stuff in the replies here… check them out 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

the best tip or piece of advice you've ever been given?
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
Inside Donald Trump’s new ‘truth’ app
🌟 New feature of the week
When you just want to check out…
🐣 Tweet of the week
Don’t bore us, skip to the chorus…
Austen Allred 🇺🇦
F*** these Twitter threads bruh.

You fit a banger in 280 or GTFO.

Stop corrupting the medium.
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond:
Facebook Reels rolls out worldwide along with new creative tools and ads
  • Meta has faced more calls for better moderation in VR, after a third-party Quest app called VR Chat was found to let kids into virtual strip clubs. [BBC News]
  • Meta allegedly misled investors about its handling of misinformation on its platforms, according to whistleblower Frances Haugen. [Ars Technica]
  • New research has investigated the extent of the company’s ‘shadow profiles’ of non-users. [CESifo]
  • Meta has dropped out of the list of the 10 largest companies. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has been sent another draft decision on the future of its controversial data transfers from the EU to the US. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook is missing a lot of climate misinformation on its platform, researchers say. [Engadget]
  • Meta has restricted the creation and use of profile image frames after they were abused by anti-vaxxers. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta fired its head of global community development after he appeared on a video in an underage sex sting. [TechCrunch]
  • Meta argues it’s not liable for scam cryptocurrency ads bearing the unauthorised image of Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest. [The Guardian]
  • And crypto scammers are using Facebook ads to pose as Tesla, Amazon… and even Facebook itself. [Mashable]
  • Oh, and Instagram hackers are exploiting close friends to promote crypto scams. [Insider $$$]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • What cultural trends should you be aware of online? Meta has published a report featuring new insights. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook has been spotted offering a new video uploader. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Facebook is pushing users to turn Stories into Reels. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook now shows who follows you after watching one of your Reels. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Protect is rolling out to more users with large followings. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is surveying users on whether it’s too hard to remove personal information from the platform. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook ‘Columns’ for Groups is now showing up as an option for some users. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is testing a feature called ‘Music Drops’ that alerts users to new releases by their favourite artists. [@seaninsound]
  • Instagram has added gesture control for audio when creating Reels. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Instagram could soon let you pin comments on Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on letting you react to a Story with an avatar sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on invite links for groups. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon show if a user is online in the Stories viewer. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram’s under-construction ‘Add Yours’ sticker has seemingly been renamed ‘Remix Me’. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram now lets you show a user’s profile category info when you tag them in a post. [@WFBrother]
  • Instagram is working on letting you like comments in livestreams. [@alex193a]
  • And Instagram could soon let you reply to sponsored posts, Stories, and Reels. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp is working on a redesigned interface for voice calls on iOS. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp’s scrollable camera media bar is coming back on iOS. [TechRadar]
  • WhatsApp’s forthcoming reactions are also coming to the Mac app. [9to5Mac]
  • WhatsApp is testing a shortcut to search messages. [WABetaInfo]
  • Meta has shared its latest developments in building better conversational A.I. to control its devices. [CNet]
  • Meta has developed an A.I. prototype than lets you build VR worlds simply by describing them. [The Verge]
  • Meta could be working on headsets with cellular data connections, judging by new job ads. [UploadVR]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter and Google blocked ads from a medical journal about health and racism
New features and tests:
  • Twitter Articles will seemingly let you embed tweets in your posts. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter might soon let you specify the timeframe for the ‘Top Articles’ Twitter Blue feature. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter has added a search box in Settings. [@TwitterSafety]
  • Twitter is still working on ‘circles’ that might let you tweet different things to multiple subsets of your followers. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter has made it easier to manage the moderators of your Community. [@HiCommunities]
  • Twitter could soon let you search a Community’s members. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter has launched the previously spotted ‘copy link’ option to easily share Communities.[@SBkcrn]
  • Twitter has added text to describe retweets and quote tweets.[@BrajBliss]
  • Twitter is working on a membership requests page for Communities. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter is still working on its ‘collabs’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter could soon launch ‘Report Center’ for managing your reports about tweets and users. [@wongmjane]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok Announces New, Exclusive Content Deals with the NHL and Other Media Entities
  • TikTok is said to be rife with scammy fake advertisers. [Morning Brew]
  • TikTok is hiring a product counsel for games, suggesting a ramp-up in the gaming space. [@JoshuaOgundu]
  • TikTok is making a fresh push to promote safety initiatives in Europe and Australia that it previously announced for the US. [TechCrunch]
New features and tests:
  • TkTok has been spotted letting users create collections of their favourite posts. [@marselladondi]
  • TikTok is now showing Likes and Comments in separate tabs. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok has been spotted displaying auto-scrolling comments over users’ own videos. [@jonah_manzano]
💥 More social media news and updates
Influencers played outsized role in pushing anti-vax conspiracies
  • Retailers are already experimenting with selling in the metaverse. [Financial Times $$$]
  • The UK cabinet has backed tough new rules that, if passed into law, would force platforms to find and remove both illegal and legal content that is harmful to children. [Financial Times $$$]
  • And platforms could have to give UK users the chance not to see posts from users who haven’t verified their ID, or who are anonymous. [The Guardian]
  • YouTube will hold its annual sales pitch event for marketers the same week as TV’s upfronts in the US. [Variety]
  • Oops. YouTube sometimes inserts explicit language into kids’ video captions. [Wired]
  • Reddit has shut Dubsmash down. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Reddit banned 2,625 subreddits for excessive copyright infringement last year. [TorrentFreak
  • Reddit has announced five community values. [Adweek $$$]
  • Amazon scored the most-viewed Super Bowl ad on YouTube this year. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitch has invited certain partners to try a new ads incentive programme. [Adweek $$$]
  • OnlyFans has been accused of conspiring to blacklist rivals. [BBC News]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Use LinkedIn for marketing? A new group on the platform could be a big help. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube is adding TikTok-style rings to show when a channel is streaming live. [The Verge]
  • Snapchat has launched real-time location sharing. [The Verge]
  • Reddit is rolling out image editing tools in its iOS app. [Adweek $$$]
  • Reddit has added an Instagram-like Discover feed. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn has launched its own podcast network. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn is working on new analytics features for creators. [LinkedIn Pulse]
  • And MrBeast has joined LinkedIn as it makes a big creator push. [TubeFilter]
  • Tumblr has launched an ad-free option for $4.99 per month. [The Verge]
  • Clubhouse has added in-room chat. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitch has added a ‘Play with Luna’ button to integrate with Amazon’s cloud gaming service. [9to5Google]
  • Twitch streaming is back in the Xbox dashboard. [The Verge]
📖 Weekend reading
The Hidden Image Descriptions Making the Internet Accessible
😳 And finally...
🙌 They did the meme!
Matt Navarra
Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield Recreate Classic Spider-Man Meme
📅 Back next week...
DOWNLOADING: Everything new in social.doc
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Right… I’m off to appeal that Facebook fact-checking strike against the Geekout group. Joy!
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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