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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #88 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, Geeks!
Get yourself comfy. 
Switch your device(s) to ‘do not disturb’ for the next 10 minutes. 
I’ve got your weekly debrief of everything new and noteworthy in the world of social media. 
But before we get started…
My unpopular opinion? A chronological feed on Instagram is dumb. It will make your IG experience worse. Nobody really needs it. FACT!¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Aaaaaanyway…
On with news.
___
🔥 GEEKOUT HOT 5
  1. Instagram’s chronological feed is back [FEED ME]
  2. Russia officially labelled Meta an extremist group [FULL STORY]
  3. Instagram went all-in on shopping with product tag rollout [KA-CHING!]
  4. Twitter looks set to start charging for TweetDeck [TWITTER BLUES]
  5. EU published its groundbreaking legislation to regulate big tech companies like Meta [NEW RULES]
___
Okay… time to switch your brain to skim-read mode. I’m going to take you on a byte-sized blitz of everything else worth knowing about this week… Let’s go!
You can now livestream your work Zoom meetings on Twitch (riveting corporate Twitch channels coming soon)… The FBI is using highly targeted Facebook Ads to troll disgruntled Russian Embassy staff (targeted advertising really does work, kids)… Snap bought a brain-computer interface startup for future smart glasses (good luck finding beta testers for that one).
Twitter rolled out DM search tools (innovation!)… Twitter has also added a GIF creation tool (Don’t get excited. It’s super-basic)… Twitter has started testing its Audio Clipping Tool for Spaces. Here’s how it works
 🔥 PRO TIP | SOCIAL MEDIA CASE STUDY: VIRTUAL ABU DHABI
Discover how against the odds, savvy social marketers from the Abu Dhabi tourism board created a slick virtual tour to promote their city generating 15.9 million video views whilst lowering social media advertising costs by 90%! | REVEAL HOW THEY DID IT
LinkedIn will now let Company Pages create Newsletters… And it’s giving creators way more support via its new team of Creator Managers… Instagram has a new ‘Scheduled’ sticker for Stories to promote your upcoming events… Also, Instagram has been spotted working on a ‘Community Stories’ feature.
Facebook appears to be considering renaming Groups to ‘Communities’ Facebook is also testing: A dedicated ‘Feeds’ tab and Emoji Reactions for Reels… Page Admins will like Facebook’s ‘Moderation Assist’ feature spotted in the wild this week… YouTube’s got a colourful new 👍 Like button animation.
And finally…
Russian social media giant VK plans to relaunch a state-censored version of ICQ.
Yup. ICQ. The OG messaging app from the 1990’s. 😆
WORTH A LOOK 👀
⭐️ TWITTER: You can now join Geekout on Twitter Communities [REQUEST INVITE]
🎬 GIF NOT JIF: The animated history of the world’s fav format [GIF IT TO ME]
💩 WTF: A viral Twitter thread of insane facts that look like shitposts [THE FACTS]
🛸 GEAR: The new $14,000 all-weather drone from DJI [THE DRONE]
Enough of the fun stuff. Time for some geek brain food. Analysis of the week’s biggest developments in social media coming up next.👇
— Matt
P.S. The Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces will be back next week!

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
We knew it was coming as they told us months ago, but Instagram’s new feed options started rolling out this week. Receiving the most attention in media reports was the fact that the new ‘following’ and ‘favorites’ options are chronological by default.
In a world of algorithms, many people crave the simplicity of a time-sorted list of the latest posts, and Instagram is giving it to them. But as TechCrunch explains, it’s not all sunshine and roses for algorithm haters:
There is one big caveat to these new options: neither Following nor Favorites can be set as the default.
Instagram says its research indicates people are “more satisfied” with a ranked feed, so it will not default users into a chronological feed experience when they open the app.
This is understandable. If you follow a lot of people, Instagram is probably hiding a lot of boring dross from your attention in its main feed.
Casey Newton argues that chronological feeds help platforms build trust with their users, but the ‘you can have it but we won’t let you set it as default’ approach reflects another truth: that Instagram is only really doing this to throw a bone to politicians and pundits who complain about the ‘evils’ of algorithms.
Russia this week made its Instagram and Facebook ban official, as the Kremlin declared Meta “extremist” following its recent (u-turned) policy to allow some threats of violence against Russian fighters and leaders.
Apparently, an “extremist” organisation’s encrypted messaging app is still perfectly acceptable, as WhatsApp is allowed to continue to operate. As Wired reported, this is “a sign that the Kremlin is worried that ordinary Russians, who are already wrestling with sanctions and shortages, will only tolerate so much disruption to their daily lives.”
But those who built their livelihoods around Facebook or Instagram are already a disturbing case study in what happens when you no longer have access to the platform that provides your income. As NBC News reported, the impact has been huge for some:
That’s been the case for designer Elena Igonina, who launched the first collection of her Moscow-based fashion label just as the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
The brand has relied on Instagram to drive sales, with around 90 percent coming from the platform, she said. The block has meant her brand has taken a “huge financial loss.”
“Our reach on Instagram has already dropped by 70 percent,” she told NBC News in messages on WhatsApp last week. “A small business without big investment had a chance only with Instagram.”
Some such businesses have managed to continue operating with a VPN but with rising inflation and an audience who might not find them via VPNs, the outlook isn’t good for these businesses.
Of course, this is nothing compared to Russia’s devastatingly brutal impact on Ukrainian lives over the past month, but the Russian Instagram ban is an example of just how integrated platforms have become in our lives, and how fragile our relationship with them really can be. There might be more to follow. Bloomberg reported that YouTube is at risk of a similar ban.
Meanwhile, Telegram—an app with stronger Russian ties than Meta's—is thriving in Russia, and there was even news of a potential state-censored rebirth of ICQ.
In other news relating to the ongoing war in Ukraine, a study found TikTok’s algorithm is a little too good at surfacing misinformation about the conflict.
And for a little background reading, why not find out how the Kremlin manipulates Twitter, and how the war has been a coming-of-age moment for the open source intelligence movement.
Until now, only creators and businesses could tag products in their posts, but now Instagram is opening up the option to all US users.
Product tagging was first introduced to Instagram in 2016 but as integrated shopping has become one of hottest trends among platforms, it’s now far more important.
As the Verge explains:
Other users will be able to see the product tags in your post and can tap them to make a purchase. Meta spokesperson Anne Yeh told The Verge that influencers won’t receive a kickback from any purchases made through product tags, but the platform is currently testing an affiliate program with select creators that lets them earn a commission through tagged products.
Not getting a cut of a sale feels a little unfair, especially if your post generates lots of sales, but it’s easy to imagine Instagram becoming a spam city if everyone could get paid for recommending products.
Shopping on social is a key battleground for social networks in 2022. Instagram’s latest move here will significantly expand the discoverability of shops and products across Instagram. TikTok is already creeping ahead in this area, and Instagram needs to keep up.
Instagram says the US rollout will take several months, so a launch in other markets might be some time away.
👀 Must-read of the week
Instagram Is Giving You Babies What You Wanted And Now You Have To Deal With It
🌟 New feature of the week
Reddit Tests 'Mod Notes' to Provide More Insight on Users and Their Contributions in Communities
🐣 Tweet of the week
Instagram announcing its new chronological feed options spurred an amusing back-and-forth with @Twitter, which ended in a clear win for @Instagram. Tap through to see the full exchange 👇
✅ Quick poll
Instagram has brought back the Chronological feed. But how many of you plan to actually use it?
Tap the poll to submit your response and view the results:
❓ Question of the week
The perils and pitfalls of working in social media: I asked my followers to tell me their biggest social media management fails. Some of the responses made me break out in a cold sweat. Others just made me laugh (sorry!).
Tell me your epic fail, or just enjoy all the responses here 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

Your biggest work-related fail... what happened?
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond:
Facebook ads are suddenly doing better despite Apple advertising debacle
  • Facebook locked some users out of their accounts for failing to activate Facebook Protect, and the recovery processes didn’t work for many. [The Verge]
  • Meta’s leadership is working REALLY remote from the company’s Silicon Valley HQ. Top execs are spreading out as far afield as Hawaii, the UK, and Israel. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Mark Zuckerberg cannot be personally named in a privacy lawsuit against Meta, a Washington, DC judge has ruled. [New York Times $$$]
  • Meta has rebranded its automated ad products as ‘Meta Advantage’. [Meta for Business]
  • Small business owners lacking video-editing skills are struggling to adapt to Instagram’s pivot to video. [New York Times $$$]
  • Meta is offering VR developers $500,000 funding and cash reward, along with a Horizon Worlds bootcamp. [UploadVR]
  • The NFL has plans for a new annual VR game series for Meta Quest and PlayStation VR. [The Verge]
  • The UK government has been accused in court of misusing WhatsApp to obscure decision-making. [The Guardian]
  • A malicious Android app that steals users’ Facebook credentials has been installed more than 100,000 times via Google’s Play Store. [Bleeping Computer]
  • Meta has done a deal that will see 12 Instagram influencers reporting from backstage at the Oscars. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • People are spending less time on Facebook, according to BuzzFeed’s quarterly financial report. [CNBC]
  • WhatsApp is making a big marketing push in the US. [CNN]
  • …but use of WhatsApp can be tricky for highly-regulated Wall Street bankers. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • The FBI is using highly-targeted Facebook ads to reach out to ask disgruntled Russian diplomats. [Washington Post $$$]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • How does playback speed of a video affect your viewing metrics on Facebook? Meta has shared some details. [Meta for Business]
  • What makes MGM Resorts’ social strategy tick? The company has shared details in a new Meta video. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
Facebook:
  • Facebook is rolling out redesigned Pages to more users. [@ItsJeffHiggins]
  • Facebook has added a ‘Feeds’ tab. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is testing new settings to schedule, share to Groups, or boost posts. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Facebook is testing renaming Groups to Communities. [@isajorsergio]
  • Facebook has been spotted offering a language selector for video captions. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Facebook is working on reactions for Reels. [@alex193a]
Instagram:
  • Instagram now lets all users in the US tag products in posts. [The Verge]
  • Instagram has rolled out a ‘scheduled’ sticker for stories for some users. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram’s feature to help you discover places nearby feature appears to be rolling out to more users. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram is rolling out the ability to see Reel insights from Facebook alongside native Instagram stats. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram is still working on the Status feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram might soon show your online status in more places. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram’s subscriber features will include an option for exclusive Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on Community Stories. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon add an emoji bar in chats. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is building a thread preview via a long tap in the conversations list. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is redesigning the message thread details page. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on the ‘Add Yours’ sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon bring the Reels duration picker to Android. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘Coachella’ chat theme. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is developing a single immersive feed for all content [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is testing a disappearing reactions feature for stories [@alex193a)
WhatsApp:
  • WhatsApp has started rolling out message reactions in beta. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp could soon let you override your phone’s default language on Android. [WABetaInfo]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter leads call for EU lawmakers to ‘think beyond Big Tech’
  • US markets regulators have warned a judge not to let Elon Musk tweet freely. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitter has launched a community for Super Follow creators. [@SuperFollows]
  • Twitter will hold a series of watch parties for the new Halo TV series. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter has launched full DM search capability, but it currently only goes back as far as the start of 2020. [@Twitter]
  • Twitter has added a GIF creation tool to the in-app camera on iOS, but it’s pretty basic. [9to5Mac]
  • It increasingly looks like TweetDeck is set to become a Blue subscriber perk. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitter has started testing analytics for Spaces. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter seems to be rolling out edge-to-edge media to more users on iOS. [@JackHorwood]
  • Twitter could soon show you how many people you might know have requested to DM you. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter’s API v2 now supports managing and looking up bookmarks. [@TwitterAPI]
  • Twitter is now promoting its Tips feature in the home feed. [@chrismessina]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok Fund Glitch Prevents Rising Stars From Getting Paid
  • Giving unlicensed financial advice via TikTok in Australia could land you in jail. [The Guardian]
  • TikTok star Khaby Lame has been signed up to front the launch of Nitro Pepsi. [AdAge $$$]
  • Brownie recipe comment spam is the latest annoying TikTok trend. [Mashable]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • TikTok has announced a second marketing summit, this time focused on the South East Asian market. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok is surveying users about its text-to-speech features. [@jonah_manzano]
💥 More social media news and updates
EU targets Big Tech with sweeping new antitrust legislation
  • Snap bought a brain-computer interface startup to help with its plans for a future AR smartglasses product [The Verge]
  • Facebook, Google, Twitter and TikTok have signed up for a pilot to help the UK’s ASA enforce online ad rules. [Adweek $$$]
  • Adidas has launched a huge affiliate programme for student athletes, paying them to post positively about the brand on social media. [CNBC]
  • Telegram was banned in Brazil for just two days, before the company started acting to fight misinformation in a way that allowed regulators to reverse the ban. [New York Times $$$]
  • YouTube is caught in the middle of being both a classroom distraction and a classroom aid in the US. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • The UK government has appointed veteran broadcasting industry figure Michael Grade as chair of soon-to-be social media regulator Ofcom. [The Guardian]
  • Snap has lined up its first ever Oscars night ad. [Variety]
  • BuzzFeed will adapt its business model to include TikTok and Instagram, as it faces a challenging time. [Poynter]
  • Tinder parent Match Group has launched a new dating app for single parents, called Stir. [TechCrunch]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube has added new live-streaming features. They include the ability to add live guests.. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube now offers 4,000 TV show episodes to stream for free in the US. [The Verge]
  • YouTube now has a colourful new Like button animation. [@MattNavarra]
  • YouTube is expanding health labels to more regions. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube answered FAQs from creators about Shorts [Social Media Today]
  • Reddit has added a ‘Mod Notes’ feature to let moderators share info about the contributions of different members of a subreddit. [Social Media Today]
  • Reddit is working on a new video commenting feature with ‘reactions’. [TechCrunch]
  • Snapchat is building a ‘Family Center’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • LinkedIn now lets you download the Company Engagement Report as a CSV file. [Adweek $$$]
  • LinkedIn has launched newsletters for company pages. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has updated industry options for LinkedIn Pages. Page admins can now select from 400+ different industries. [@MattNavarra]
  • LinkedIn is increasing the support offered to certain creators. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitch has rolled out new reporting features and a more informative appeals process. [The Verge]
  • Twitch now has an easy Zoom integration. [The Verge]
  • Shopify has launched a ‘link-in-bio’ tool for creators. [TechCrunch]
  • Discord is rolling out a new Mac version with Apple Silicon support. [MacRumors]
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You should advertise in Geekout!
Get in touch: matt@mattnavarra.com
📖 Weekend reading
Digital rest stops are the antidote to social media doomscrolling
😳 And finally...
'Let's Reject Him:' Man Gets CC'd Into Company Email After Applying for Job
📅 Back next week...
…And You. Are. Done! 👊
Your Social Media IQ: +3pts⬆
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Right… I’m heading off to watch some seriously trashy TV. 
…Don’t judge me.
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
________________
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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