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my Instagram DMs exploded and now I know why…

Geekout Newsletter
Issue #42 • View online
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Hello, Geeks!
I had a shock earlier this week when I stumbled upon this YouTube video. WTAF!
Makes sense now why my Instagram DMs got super-weird and busy.
Just to be clear, that video is obviously a scam. And no, I can’t help you get verified. :) Sorry.
DID YOU SEE…
I’ve spent a fair bit of time in recent weeks thinking about which platform I should invest more heavily in to build out Geekout. Facebook and Instagram revealed its plan, tools, and new features to develop and support a new ‘middle-class’ of creators.
Twitter is working on its own toolkit for creators featuring ‘Super Follows’ (subscriptions), newsletters (Revue), social audio (Spaces). Apple and Spotify will soon allow podcasters to better monetise their content… The list goes on.
The challenge for creators (including me) is picking a social ecosystem to make home as we enter this next phase in the creator economy. Especially when it comes to Facebook, which has a poor track record when it comes to leading creators down a new path only to change course unexpectedly (remember pivot to video?).
For many creators, keeping plates spinning on several platforms is one way to hedge your bets and shield yourself from such risks, but for most people, there will be one platform that they feel more at home on. For me, that would be Twitter. However, Facebook, with its near 3 billion users worldwide, and its plans for social audio, podcasts, and newsletters, still remains a tempting proposition. 
HIDDEN GEM: Memegine - A NEW Internet Meme Search Engine. Nuff said.
Quick plug…
  • BBC’s tech reporting legend Rory Cellan-Jones invited me on his Tech Tent podcast to have a quick chat about the future for Clubhouse and social audio in 2021. You can listen to the chat in full here.
  • Let’s collaborate! I currently have capacity to work with new clients… If you’d like to tap into my 15 years of experience working with some of the world’s biggest brands, or partner with Geekout for sponsorship or advertising opportunities, drop me an email: matt@mattnavarra.com / website.
ICYMI
Ok you lovely bunch of social geeks, let dive in to this week’s BIG talking points in social media land.
— Matt
P.S. 🗣 GEEKOUT on TWITTER SPACES
Join us for Geekout Weekly on Twitter Spaces today (Fri 30 Apr) at 4pm [UK] where we’ll be discussing all this week’s social media news + hot topics. Who knows who might drop in to join us!
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🚨 Everyone's talking about...
These days, every big platform wants to support creators in making money, and this week we heard about Instagram’s plans. They include:
  • a marketplace to match brands with creators
  • creator shops, allowing creators to sell goods to Instagram users via their profiles
  • an affiliate marketplace, allowing creators to get a cut of sales they generate through their posts
We don’t know when these initiatives will arrive, but like last week’s audio announcements, this is all about getting Facebook’s stake in the ground of what is rapidly becoming a packed landscape. Beyond Instagram, it seems the brand-creator marketplace will also come to Facebook’s main app.
What’s good about these initiatives is they don’t restrict a creator to making money on one platform. If you’re big on multiple platforms, you could have an Instagram creator shop and affiliate deals, and a Twitter Super Follow subscription offering.
Also this week, Facebook announced that it will pay $5m in total to independent local journalists in multi-year deals to develop local news offerings covering under-served areas of the USA.
That might sound like a great thing but as I’ve said a lot in this newsletter lately, Facebook likes to change focus and drop initiatives that aren’t working after news publishers have put a lot of resources into embracing them. Journalists taking up Facebook’s offer would be wise to build up an online presence elsewhere too, just in case, for their own sake — and for that of the communities they serve.
A puzzling situation emerged this week. It looked like Facebook had blocked posts calling for the resignation of India’s prime minister, but all was apparently not as it seemed.
Given this news came days after Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter complied with an Indian government order to remove specific posts critical of its handling on the pandemic (a country where social media has been flooded with appeals for help as Covid-19 runs rife), this looked like another example of authoritarian governments forcing a social media company to restrict public speech.
But Facebook was quick to say that the posts were hidden accidentally. A spokesperson told Gizmodo: “We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it… the hashtag was mistakenly blocked due to some content associated with it.“
The fact that many people immediately jumped to the conclusion that Facebook was pandering to an authoritarian government highlights a serious problem for Western tech companies. If they comply with laws and orders that restrict citizens’ ability to speak out against their governments in countries like India, Russia, and Turkey (bad enough for the people in those countries), they might start giving politicians closer to home some ideas, too.
Sports players are sick of receiving abuse on social media, leading to a UK-focused boycott that seems to have captured the public’s attention more than similar protests in the past. What started as a boycott limited to football clubs has expanded to rugby, tennis, and cricket clubs too. From this afternoon until Monday, the participating clubs will not post anything to social media platforms.
Boycotts like this often achieve little beyond raising attention about the issue, but the fact this one has been so widely taken up (I notice some Twitter users in my feed who are nothing to do with sport are joining in too) reflects just how strong the feeling is now that something needs to be done about the levels of abuse online.
Quite what that should be is a different matter, and one the social platforms being boycotted will no doubt be pondering. There are no simple solutions beyond ‘people just being better behaved online’. Banning anonymous accounts is often raised as a solution, but that has all sorts of free speech problems for people who feel more comfortable communicating (in a non-abusive way) behind the shield of anonymity.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook Posts Strong Revenue Result, Though Active Usage Growth is Slowing in Key Markets
  • Facebook Marketplace has 1 billion users, Mark Zuckerberg revealed in Facebook’s latest earnings call. [Yahoo Finance]
  • A senior Facebook ad exec warned the company should “prepare for the worst” over claims it overstated the potential reach of ads, according to court filings. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Facebook detailed the impact of tracking changes in iOS 14.5, in a memo to some advertisers, which leaked. [9to5Mac]
  • Facebook is failing to tackle scam ads, according to a Which? report that also criticises Google. [Sky News]
  • Facebook has allowed advertisers to target children based on interest in smoking, alcohol, and weight loss, according to an Australian organisation. [The Guardian]
  • Some credit card advertisers were allowed to target by age, violating a Facebook anti-discrimination policy. [The Markup]
  • Instagram has shared updates from its Equity team, which addresses “the challenges that people from marginalized backgrounds may face on Instagram”. [Instagram blog]
  • Facebook did not offer to buy Clubhouse, according to Facebook’s head of audio. [@JoshConstine]
  • AR glasses are “one of the hardest technical challenges of the decade,” according to Mark Zuckerberg. [ZDNet]
  • Facebook sells a version of the Oculus Quest 2 that doesn’t require a Facebook account to use. But it will cost you more than twice the price. [PC Gamer]
  • And it seems the Quest 2 may have already sold 5 million units overall. [Android Central]
  • Facebook employees can buy an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset on expenses, Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly said. [@alexeheath]
Twitter:
TikTok:
  • TikTok will open a European ‘Transparency Centre’ to give experts information about the platform’s approaches to content moderation and recommendation, platform security, and user privacy. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTokers Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson have launched their own sports agency. [TubeFilter]
And the rest:
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter execs grilled by senators over addictive nature of their apps
  • The EU has adopted new rules that will force online platforms to remove terrorist content within one hour of a request from a member state’s government. [TechCrunch]
  • Live audio is the new ‘Stories’, Spotify chief Daniel Ek has said. Locker Room, recently acquired by the company, will be rebranded as ‘Spotify Green Room’ as it looks to join the craze. [TechCrunch]
  • Snap has acquired Pixel8Earth, a 3D mapping company, as it looks to boost Snapchat’s AR capabilities. [Social Media Today]
  • Clubhouse has announced a content deal with the NFL that will see exclusive programming on the platform in the lead up to the 2021 draft. [Social Media Today]
  • And Reddit has announced a similar partnership with the NBA. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube pulled in $6 billion in ad revenue last quarter, up 49% year-on-year. [TubeFilter]
  • LinkedIn is booming. It reported a 29% increase in sessions over the last quarter in Microsoft’s latest earnings filing. [Social Media Today]
  • Pinterest’s growth is slowing in the US as the pandemic begins to ease off there, the company has warned investors. But it now boasts 478m monthly active users [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Twitch is proving lucrative for some far-right activists. [New York Times $$$]
  • A teenager’s 2017 rant on Snapchat will be discussed in the US Supreme Court, in a case about how much control schools have over students’ off-campus speech. [BBC News]
  • The woman who starred in the ‘disaster girl’ meme has sold an NFT of the photo for around half a million dollars. [New York Times $$$]
❓ Question of the week
Bearing in mind what I said at the top of the newsletter, this is a timely question. Reply to the tweet 👇 and let me know!
🟣 Matt Navarra
If you were just starting out as a 'creator' today...

Which social media platform would you pick as home for your content?
🔨 Tool of the week
Mighty
🐣 Tweet of the week
Sometimes, simple typos in tweets are like a gift from the Twitter gods.
This one (it’s WALES!) was crying out to be memed. Check out the replies… 😀
Politics For All
🚨🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 | NEW: Whales are now vaccinating those aged 30 and over

Via @BBCNews
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to understand YouTube’s algorithm? Here’s an up-to-date explainer. [Search Engine Journal]
  • How can social media managers better manage their time? Here are some tips. [Insider $$$]
  • What are the latest trends on Pinterest? The company has shared some insights. [Social Media Today]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook is building its own podcast player, separate to the new Spotify feature it launched this week. [The Verge]
  • Facebook is tackling the new iOS 14.5 tracking popup with pre-emptive pop-ups of its own. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook has added new layout options for Memories. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has been spotted testing a tweaked desktop web design. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Facebook is nudging people to add their Facebook friends as connections on Oculus via the News Feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is urging some Group admins to watch a video discussing #StopAsianHate. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram Live is becoming more Clubhouse-y, with options to mute microphones and turn off video. [TechCrunch]
Instagram Live embraces audio. [Credit: Instagram]
Instagram Live embraces audio. [Credit: Instagram]
  • Instagram is building a collaboration feature, but it’s not clear exactly how it will work. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is developing an ‘Inspiration Hub’ option for when users create promotions. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is working on the ability to quickly create a Layout story from the gallery. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is building the ability to watch Live in picture-in-picture mode. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is developing a ‘Private Stories’ option, although it’s unclear exactly how it will work. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on the ability to send video longer than one minute in a private message. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is developing support for multiple audio tracks in Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could be adding a ‘Sell’ button option for profiles. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram plans to highlight trending Reels with a 🔥 icon. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘limited comments’ privacy option. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is building a ‘Stitch’ feature for Reels that lets you edit a copy of a Reels video. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has launched its own digital fashion and beauty magazine. [@instagram]
  • The New York Times has created an Instagram effect based on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic ‘Vertigo’. [Adweek $$$]
  • Messenger is marking National Teacher Appreciation Day with a new initiative. [Social Media Today]
  • WhatsApp’s business tools will soon let you create Facebook ads. [Social Media Today]
  • WhatsApp briefly enabled playback speed control for voice messages. [Android Police]
  • WhatsApp is testing an option for disappearing messages to be removed after 24 hours. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp could introduce a chat import feature to make it easier to switch between iOS and Android. [Ubergizmo]
  • Oculus has rolled out improved avatars, appearing first in three games on the Quest VR platform. [The Verge]
The new Oculus avatar editor. [Credit: Oculus]
The new Oculus avatar editor. [Credit: Oculus]
  • Oculus Airlink has been launched for Quest users with PC v28. [The Verge]
  • Oculus Quest now has improved hand tracking at 60Hz. [UploadVR]
  • Twitter is working on the ability to tip users money from their profiles. [The Verge]
  • Twitter is developing the ability to appeal tweet warnings from a tweet’s own context menu. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter Spaces has rolled out more widely on Android. [9to5Google]
  • Twitter has started directing users in 16 countries to official Covid-19 vaccine information via in-app prompts. [Adweek $$$]
  • Twitter continues to improve its Birdwatch tweet annotation product, still only open to a limited number of US users. [@birdwatch]
  • TikTok has launched lead generation ads to help advertisers collect information about their audience. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has fixed an issue that censored the term ‘Asian women’ in its automatic captions. [Mashable]
  • TikTok is marking Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with new stickers and effects. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is asking users to confirm if specific tweets fit with a Topic. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok has a new picture-in-picture feature for livestreams. [@MattNavarra
  • YouTube is testing SoundCloud-style comments linked to specific times in a video. [Android Police]
  • YouTube’s mobile apps are getting more revised video quality controls. [Android Police]
  • YouTube Kids is now available in Turkey, meaning the app is now available in 44 languages and 106 countries. [Android Police]
  • YouTube has launched a series of Covid-19 vaccination PSA videos. [The Verge]
  • LinkedIn is rolling out an Employee Advocacy Analytics feature for Company Pages. [@MattNavarra]
  • LinkedIn has announced a ‘Learning Hub’ that will act as a focus for ways for users to gain new skills and further their careers. [Social Media Today]
  • Clubhouse has started offering creators more invites they can send related to specific events. [@MattNavarra]
  • Snapchat is working to improve its camera software’s ability to work well with a wide range of skin tones. [Axios]
  • Reddit has previewed a new follower management tool for users. [Adweek $$$]
  • Pinterest is marking Mental Health Awareness Month by adding mental health related content to its Today Tab, and committing $10m in funding over the next year to mental health organisations. [Social Media Today]
  • Telegram has launched two new web apps, and a new ‘tap to jump’ feature for video playback. [SlashGear]
  • Telegram plans to launch group video calls next month. [TechCrunch]
  • Cameo has introduced a Wallet feature for talent on its platform, so they can more easily manage payments. [Adweek $$$]
  • Peanut, a social app for women is the latest app to add live audio rooms. [TechCrunch]
📖 Weekend reading
Why TikTok's inverted filter is turning people's self-esteem upside down
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
… And that’s a wrap! 
Your social media IQ score just went up a few points.
BEFORE YOU GO…
💲 ADVERTISE IN GEEKOUT
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Check out Geekout Newsletter’s great value classified ad option! Book your ad
Want to learn more about other Geekout advertising options? Email: matt@mattnavarra.com
_________
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Thank you! :)
_________
Time for me to go prep for this week’s Geekout chat on Twitter Spaces (maybe see you there at 4pm UK time / 11am Eastern / 8am Pacific?)
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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