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My verified account just got banned…WTF!

Geekout Newsletter
Issue #56 • View online
*View this newsletter online for the best reading experience*
Hello, Geeks!
To kick things off this week… Are you a YouTube thumbnail champion? Take the test to find out! PS. My highest score was 5 (must do better!)
🔥 GEEKOUT HOT 10
  1. GREAT READ: The professionalisation of becoming a social media manager 
  2. Twitter launched new in-app Shopping features 
  3. Mark Zuckerberg revealed his plans for the future of Facebook 
  4. Snapchat is making SnapMaps much more useful
  5. LinkedIn is quietly testing a Premium News subscription service
  6. TikTok unveiled a bunch of useful new features for live streaming
  7. WhatsApp has improved its archive chat feature
  8. Pinterest added new monetisation options for creators 
  9. Instagram is testing fade in/out feature for audio in Reels
  10. Facebook launched cloud gaming on iOS 
True story from my week… I opened up [WELL-KNOWN SOCIAL MEDIA APP NAME REDACTED] and found my account had been logged out. I re-entered my login details and was then presented with a message telling me “Your account has been permanently banned due to multiple violations of our Community Guidelines”. I spent a short while trying to recall anything I had done which might warrant such a harsh punishment, but couldn’t think of anything.
After a few calls and emails to contacts at ******, and a day without my account, I was told my fate. My account was fully reinstated. Reason given for ban? Apparently, the platform’s auto-moderation systems flagged my account as belonging to an underage user (<13) based on content I had posted.
I’m not sure which is worse, not having access to my account OR my content looking like the sort stuff an 11 year old might post 😏
💎 HIDDEN GEM | Advanced Social Media Strategy Certification
NEW Course Content: Hootsuite’s super-useful platform picker framework - A handy guide to help you decide which social networks your business NEEDS to be on.
*Worth checking out* | [LEARN MORE]
FREE STUFF FOR SOCIAL GEEKS…
🎙 GEEKOUT LIVE ON TWITTER SPACES
SPECIAL GUEST: Sophia Smith-Galer, BBC World 🌍
WHEN: Monday 2 August @ 4pm (BST)
Join me LIVE on Twitter Spaces next week when I will be joined by the BBC’s Sophia Smith-Galer. We will dig into the role of being a journalist in the era of TikTok.
We will also get Sophia’s take on how the way we use social media is rapidly changing, and the role and responsibility big social media platforms have in fixing the long list of problems they are often blamed for bringing about. 
🔊 GEEKOUT PODCAST - NEW EPISODES! 
Don’t miss the NEW episodes of my Geekout podcast (Season 3).
You can download and listen to episodes 1 & 2 now (free):
  • Episode 1: The future of messaging with Will Cathcart (Head of WhatsApp)
  • Episode 2: The social shopping revolution with Shimona Mehta (MD, Shopify)
🎉 GEEKOUT GROUP ON FACEBOOK HITS 25K MEMBERS
My Geekout group on Facebook just passed the 25,000 members milestone this week. A big thank you to all of you who are part of the community. Each month, the community generates 10,000 reactions, 3,000 comments, and over 600+ new posts.
— 
Before we jump into this week’s TOP STORIES, here are a few other things I stumbled upon around the web this week:
ICYMI…
— Matt
P.S. 🗣 Don’t forget to join my weekly Geekout debrief LIVE on Twitter Spaces every Friday at 4pm (BST). We will walk through this week’s edition of this newsletter, discussing all the top stories and interesting NEW features spotted on the big social platforms.
Keep an eye on my Twitter account to be alerted when we go live!

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
With products that now are now actively used by a total of 3.5 billion people (nearly half the population of the planet!), Facebook’s profit for the past quarter doubled compared to the same period last year. Impressive stuff, but with warnings that sales growth will slow due to new regulations and Apple’s changes to tracking in iOS, the company is keen to show that it’s not heading into tougher times.
In an update to users, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook’s main focuses as it moves forward are creators, commerce, and the metaverse.
This will be no surprise if you read this newsletter each week, but it’s good to see Zuck paint it so clearly.
And while creators and commerce are pretty obvious moves, the metaverse stuff is more than just hand-waving to appear futuristic. This week Facebook announced a new metaverse product group, headed up by Instagram’s (now former) VP of Product, Vishal Shah. As Protocol reported:
Facebook’s VP of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth, who announced the founding on his Facebook page Monday afternoon. “To achieve our full vision of the Metaverse, we […] need to build the connective tissue between these spaces — so you can remove the limitations of physics and move between them with the same ease as moving from one room in your home to the next,” Bosworth wrote. “To focus our efforts and deliver on this vision, we are bringing together the teams that have been driving some of this fundamental work.”
We’ll have to wait and see if Facebook’s metaverse ambitions amount to much beyond selling a lot more Oculus headsets (or smart glasses like the ones it plans to bring to market with Ray Ban), but one thing to watch out for from the announcement of this new team is how Instagram might change now its product chief has moved on. Might we see a more focused and streamlined version of the feature-packed app in the future?
Another important nugget from Facebook’s quarterly earnings announcement was the growth of video on the company’s platforms. As Engadget reported:
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that “video now accounts for almost half of all time spent on Facebook.” And on Instagram, TikTok competitor Reels is the “largest contributor to engagement growth.”
Unlike last time Facebook said video was the new hotness—when publishers mistakenly ‘pivoted to video’, leading to significant job losses for journalists as everyone raced to capture a supposedly huge video audience that simply wasn’t there—this time it feels more real.
Last time, the video boom made no sense if you looked at your own Facebook experience and that of your friends. But now with Instagram heavily pushing Reels, it feels there’s more than incorrect metrics behind a video boom.
Even if Reels isn’t as refined as TikTok, it’s still easy to find yourself sucked into its content. And while we don’t hear a great deal about Facebook Watch these days, it’s surprisingly easy to find yourself consuming video after video there too.
I’m still not sure a wholesale ‘pivot (back) to video’ would be sensible for many publishers, but at least this time video really is a big part of what Facebook has to offer.
Campaigners for safer online spaces for children had mixed news from Instagram this week. It announced a bunch of changes to the accounts of users aged under 18. As NBC News reported:
Starting this week, when people under 18 join Instagram, the accounts default to private. That means people have to follow the users to see and comment on their content. The company will also show users who already have public accounts a notification highlighting the benefits of switching to a private account and explaining how to do it…
The company said it has also developed a tool that automatically detects potentially suspicious adult accounts and stops those accounts from interacting with teens’ accounts on the app. An adult’s account might be marked as suspicious if it has been blocked or reported by multiple teen accounts, said Instagram’s head of public policy, Karina Newton in a separate interview. Once they are flagged, adults won’t be shown teen accounts in discovery tools. They also won’t be able to follow young people’s accounts, leave comments on their posts or see comments from teens on other people’s accounts.
These are positive changes, and child safety campaigners have given them cautious approval, but the other piece of related news might not be quite so welcome. NBC News reported that Instagram’s controversial special version of its app for under-13s was still in development “in ‘deep consultation with experts in child development and privacy advocates’ so the product addresses the ‘needs of families and youth.’”
But even if this new ‘Instagram for kids’ app is as safe as it can possibly be, many parents may wonder whether its existence is more useful for children, or for Facebook as it looks to capture the attention of a new generation as early as possible. After all, it still has more than half the world’s population to turn into users.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
  • Misinformation and racism are ‘inevitable’ on its platforms, Facebook has said. [Insider]
  • Facebook has announced a partnership that will provide its fact-checking partners with training on how to handle health and vaccine misinformation. [Axios]
  • Billionaire beef? Mark Zuckerberg ‘liked’ a meme on Instagram that criticised Jeff Bezos. [Insider]
  • Some Instagram creators are worried the app’s new sensitivity filter is blocking their work. [The Verge]
Twitter:
India Court Says Twitter in ‘Total Non Compliance’ of New Rules
  • It appears Twitter has removed support for Google’s controversial FLoC ad targeting tech. [TechRadar]
  • Twitter has recruited the team behind a subscription news app called Brief. [TechCrunch]
  • A grandfather died when he was ‘swatted’ because he refused to sell his Twitter handle. [New York Times $$$]
TikTok:
TikTok Asks for Remakes of Classic Skittles, Snickers and Old Spice Ads
And the rest…
YouTube Q2 Ad Revenue Hits Record $7 Billion
  • LinkedIn exceeded $10 billion in revenue for the first time in the most recent quarter. [Social Media Today]
  • Discord is a major vector for malware distribution, a report has found. [The Register]
  • UK communications regulator Ofcom has named its online safety chief as it prepares to take on new powers. [BBC News]
  • Substack has acquired a “public correspondence” startup called Letter. [Digiday $$$]
  • Pinterest’s share price took a beating as it missed investors’ user growth expectations. [TechCrunch]
  • The New York Times is developing a Substack competitor [Insider $$$]
❓ Question of the week
This tweet was a victim of my phone’s auto-uncorrect ‘feature’ (I *know* it’s ‘your’!), but the question still stands and there are some great answers already. Get involved! 👇
(PS: I still don’t want an edit button on Twitter)
Matt Navarra
you know you're boyfriend / girlfriend is a social media manager when they...
💬 You can quote me on that
When I get quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
The problem with social media infographics
📊 Numbers of the week
Spotify’s Clubhouse rival is not exactly a powerhouse yet.
Matt Navarra
Spotify’s Clubhouse rival, Greenroom, tops 140K installs on iOS, 100K on Android https://t.co/DbVsWRkfiH https://t.co/t2EV9DxOMz
🌟 New feature of the week
Instagram Expands Reels to 60 Seconds, Providing More Capacity for Creativity
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • Want some inspiration for your Facebook and Instagram marketing campaigns? Check the new Campaign Ideas Generator. [Social Media Today]
  • Snapchat has a new ‘Campaign Lab’ to help you make best use of ads on the platform. [Social Media Today]
  • Planning a Christmas marketing campaign? Reddit has a guide to help you with making the most of its platform. [Social Media Today]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook has launched a variety of Olympics-related features across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. [Facebook Newsroom]
  • Facebook has announced a new Oculus API allowing developers to create mixed reality experiences for the Quest 2. [The Verge]
  • Facebook has announced a series of women’s online safety training events. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook could integrate Oculus workouts with Apple Health. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Facebook Workplace has new mobile security features. [Adweek $$$]
  • A 128GB Oculus Quest will go on sale on August 24th. [UploadVR]
  • Oculus is taking steps to address reports of skin irritation from Quest 2. [@oculus]
  • Instagram is working on a Watch Together tab for Rooms. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is developing a Reels-style Explore section. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is testing a TikTok-style feed for Explore. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram could soon let you add a sensitive content warning to posts. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on the ability to send a post to multiple people simultaneously. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp is said to be developing a ‘transfer from iOS to Android’ feature for chat backups. [The Verge]
  • Twitter is testing a banner to help people with suspended or locked accounts understand what’s happening. [@TwitterSupport]
  • Twitter has improved tweeting from inside Spaces, with any hashtag the Space is using already included when you open the composer. [@TwitterSpaces]
Better tweeting from Spaces. [Credit: Twitter]
Better tweeting from Spaces. [Credit: Twitter]
  • Twitter’s Spaces tab (still in limited testing) now has a search feature. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter has improved guest management in Spaces. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • YouTube creators are now able to apply to test Google’s Stadia Crowd Play Beta. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube has launched updates to its ad offerings for connected TVs. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube is giving livestreams a boost with trailers and polls. [Social Media Today]
  • Pinterest now gives more data about the performance of idea pins. [Social Media Today]
  • Discord has launched threaded conversations. [The Verge]
  • Telegram’s beta now has video playback speed controls and improved video messages. [TestingCatalog]
📖 Weekend reading
The future of social media looks a lot like QVC
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
If you’re reading this bit, you’ve reached the part where I try to wrap things up in an original way without it just being a bland meaningless string of words just to fill a space. How am I doing so far?
Right… I’m off to re-work the copy on my Tinder profile. The weirdo/psycho : potential-life-partner ratio is way off right now. 
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
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Check out the NEW Geekout Jobs Bulletin.
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__________________
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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