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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #47 • View online
*View this newsletter online for the best reading experience*
Hello, Geeks!
First off this week… Facebook has been spotted testing a controversial NEW feature. 🙏
I wondered if it was April 1st when I spotted it. Snopes even fact-checked my tweet and passed it as ‘True’! TBH…It feels like a feature Facebook’s PR team will end up using a lot.
DID YOU SEE…
Back to Twitter verification news…Twitter finally launched the ability to request verification in-app only seven days ago. However, earlier this week it closed the gates to new verification requests after (unsurprisingly) being flooded with applications. D’OH! Fear not though, Twitter’s verification gods are now back at work declining all your requests.
HIDDEN GEM: 🎨 Creatopy - Create high-engagement social media ads with this powerful all-in-one tool. Try it out (free) [ad]
Good news for Geekout fans! If you can’t catch my Geekout Weekly show live on Twitter Spaces (every Friday at 4PM UK), you can listen any time you like via SpaceCasts. SpaceCasts is a NEW collective of creators (including me) who’ve teamed up to record + share our Twitter Space events as podcast episodes. [🔊 Listen to last week’s Geekout Weekly
Great news for social media managers this week…! You’ll soon be able to manage Instagram messages directly via your favourite social media management tool. It’s super-useful for brands handling a lot of messages from customers….AND…Hootsuite is one of the first to roll out the feature. [Everything you need to know]
ICYMI
Okay… Time to dig into this week’s BIGGEST stories and social media manager talking points 👇
— Matt
P.S. 🗣 GEEKOUT on TWITTER SPACES
Join us for Geekout Weekly on Twitter Spaces today (Fri 4 June) at 4pm [UK] where we’ll be discussing ALL this week’s social media news, scandals, and top new features.
Just tap this tweet to get notified when we’re about to go live!. 

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
It feels like we’ve been talking about Twitter’s subscription offering forever, but finally it’s launched. If you live in Canada or Australia you can now subscribe to Twitter Blue to get features like ‘undo send’, bookmark folders, a thread reader view, custom app and icon colours, and dedicated customer support (you’re a customer now, not just a user!).
Right now it won’t be a really compelling offer for many users, even at the low price of $3.49 CA per month. But Twitter likely just wants to pull in the Twitter obsessives who are happy to pay for something for a closer connection to their favourite app.
Twitter Blue will no doubt add more features over time. But what? Casey Newton suggested a bunch of ideas in his Platformer newsletter [$$$] today; things like better analytics, no ads, better muting features, reviving Nuzzel… and an actual edit button (let’s face it, that’ll probably never happen).
These are good ideas, and hopefully Twitter implements some of them, but right now Twitter Blue feels like a mixed bag of things they thought people might possibly pay for.
Perhaps instead of one subscription, Twitter needs different tiers. Rather than bundle power users all into one bucket, maybe the company needs to segment them by needs. Journalists and other information curators might pay for an updated TweetDeck and access to Nuzzel-like features, while another type of ‘power user'—people who use the app all the time socially—might pay for better noise control in the app, no ads etc.
Could we see different coloured subscription offerings? Twitter Blue, Twitter Red, Twitter Orange…?
Meanwhile in other 'Twitter is shipping good stuff on the regular’ news, Spaces is getting a dedicated tab in the main icon bar, showing a feed of live audio you may enjoy. And Twitter is launching a local weather service in the US that takes advantage of all the company’s creator offerings, like Spaces and Revue newsletters.
We still don’t know whether Facebook will ban Donald Trump for good, but one big outcome of the whole journey towards making that decision seems to be on the horizon.
The Verge reports:
Facebook plans to end its controversial policy that mostly shields politicians from the content moderation rules that apply to other users, a sharp reversal that could have global ramifications for how elected officials use the social network.
In a bid avoid the ire of politicians and be seen to not take sides in elections, Facebook has shied away from being too harsh on politicians that break its content rules. It argued that the speech of those in public office is inherently newsworthy.
But now, following recommendations from its Oversight Board, Facebook appears set to apply the same rules to politicians that everyone else must follow.
This could go one of two ways: either rule-breaking politicians will clean up their act, or they’ll not change and will just complain about being ‘cancelled’ by Facebook when it takes action against them. Let’s face it, in the current political climate it’s often going to be more like the latter, isn’t it?
Whatever Facebook does, it can’t win here. But by holding politicians to the same standards as everyone else, Facebook will hopefully at least appear to be standing against the increasingly toxic environment encouraged by certain kinds of political speech.
Just a month after it launched, Donald Trump’s blog has shut down. It was supposed to be his way around bans on mainstream social media platforms, but it seems that—robbed of a massive audience equipped with retweet buttons and angry quote tweets—Trump just wasn’t getting the reaction he wanted.
However, it appears the former US President isn’t giving up on social media. CNBC reports:
…asked online later Wednesday whether the move was a “precursor” to the former president joining “another social media platform,” [Trump senior aide, Jason] Miller replied: “Yes, actually, it is. Stay tuned!”
Whether this will be his own platform or a deal to exclusively post to another network remains to be seen. What also remains to be seen: whether starved of a megaphone on Twitter—the network where all the journalists hang out—Trump can ever really recover his social mojo.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook F8 Refresh: All the key announcements
  • The UK and EU have both announced separate competition probes into Facebook’s use of advertiser data. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp’s boss got into a chat with WABetaInfo to confirm multi-device support (at last!) and ‘view once’ disappearing messages. [WABetaInfo]
  • The US is the top target for disinformation campaigns on Facebook, the company has said. [Axios]
  • Instagram has adjusted its algorithm after being accused of suppressing pro-Palestinian content. [Social Media Today]
  • And more than 200 Facebook employees signed a letter requesting a moderation audit over the allegations. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Details of UK Special Forces personnel was spread around WhatsApp in a leaked Army spreadsheet. [The Register]
  • Instagram posts by three reality TV stars have been banned in the UK for being misleading about debt management. [BBC News]
Twitter:
Twitter starts rolling out Birdwatch fact checks inside tweets
  • Twitter trending topics are subject to widespread manipulation, according to a new study. [TechXplore]
TikTok:
TikTok just gave itself permission to collect biometric data on US users, including ‘faceprints and voiceprints’
  • Political influencer campaigns avoid detection on TikTok by exploiting loopholes, a new report alleges. [The Independent]
  • The EU has given TikTok one month to respond to concerns about child safety on its platform. [TechCrunch]
  • Half of TikTok users buy products they see advertised on the platform, according to a recent survey. [TubeFilter]
  • L’Oréal has partnered with TikTok to explore new ways of selling products. [AdAge $$$]
  • TikTok was knocked off the US iOS App Store top spot by a simple keyboard app that teens have used to spam a phrase around the internet. [Gizmodo]
  • TikTok parent ByteDance appears to have sent a cease and desist letter to the organisers of a ‘YouTubers vs. TikTokers’ boxing match. [Insider $$$]
And the rest:
YouTube touts record Premium subscription growth in Q1, paid $4B to music industry over the last year
  • Clubhouse now has more than 2 million users on Android. [Android Police]
  • But while Clubhouse downloads are healthy on Android, they continue to decline on iOS. [Insider $$$]
  • Twitch has warned creators about copyright infringement, after it said it had received around 1,000 individual DMCA takedown notices. [Engadget]
❓ Question of the week
With the news that Twitter is working on emoji reactions, I asked what emojis they should use. Click through to see my followers’ ideas and share your own… 👇
Matt Navarra
if twitter added reaction buttons to tweets...

Which emoji reaction button would you want?

😮 ?
😡 ?
🖕 ?
🤦‍♂️ ?
📩 In the DMs
Geeky social media gossip and red-hot rumours…
  • 🤫 INSTAGRAM TESTING REPLACEMENT FOR SWIPE UP LINKS?: Instagram appears to be testing a possible replacement for swipe links. The new ‘Link’ sticker for stories has been spotted in use by a few Instagram influencers. Some people are reporting they have the new link sticker, but have also lost the ability to add swipe up links
  • 🤫 INSTAGRAM STORIES BUG OR NEW FEATURE?: Typically, if you add a long video to your story, it gets split up into multiple story frames. However, some people are telling me they were able to add a 2-3 minute video in one Instagram story frame earlier this week. Glitch? New feature?
💬 You can quote me on that
When I get quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok: The social shopping race
  • And thanks to Joe Pulizzi for the mention of my Geekout newsletter in his book!
🤔 Thought for the week
It’s funny because it’s true… Click through to read more ‘honest trends’ in the thread. 👇
📈 Chart of the week
Why brands need to give more autonomy to social media managers, in one chart:
📊 Stat of the week
Digital marketing skills are on the up as the pandemic starts to subside….
Matt Navarra
📈 @LinkedIn data shows BIG growth in digital marketing skills in 2021 📈

- Instagram (up 72%)
- Content marketing (up 63%)
- Hootsuite (up 39%)

Other fast-growing skills include:

- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Marketing automation
- Facebook marketing

https://t.co/1hYaJpVF3D
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • How can you get more engagement on Instagram Stories? Try these tips. [Conviva]
  • How can newsrooms incorporate more audio into their work? Here are some pointers. [Journalism.co.uk]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • You can now embed Facebook videos to start at a specific timestamp. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook is adding shared AR experiences to video calls in Messenger and Instagram. [CNet]
  • Facebook has added new features and support initiatives across both its main app and Instagram, marking Pride Month. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook has added new insights features to the Rights Manager for Images dashboard. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook has been spotted prompting a user to ‘attach a fact about Covid-19 vaccines’ to a comment. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram has updated its branded content settings, including allowing two brands to be tagged in one piece of content. [Adweek$$$]
New branded content options in Instagram. Credit: Instagram
New branded content options in Instagram. Credit: Instagram
  • Instagram now auto-suggests creating a Boomerang when it detects a ‘Live Photo’ on iOS. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is working on a help section for monetisation features. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp is testing a sticker suggestion feature. [Android Police]
  • WhatsApp has opened a public beta on iOS, although all slots on the TestFlight are full at the time of writing. [@WABetaInfo]
  • Messenger will soon follow Android’s system dark mode setting. [Android Police]
  • Oculus Quest lets Facebook employees use some Android apps like Google Docs in VR. [UploadVR]
  • Oculus Quest 2 may soon support any keyboard. [UploadVR]
  • The Oculus Quest could soon get face and eye tracking, plus Guardian Intrusion Detection. [The Ghost Howls]
  • Twitter has added climate change to its list of topics users can follow. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter now lets Spaces creators edit the details of scheduled Spaces. [@TwitterSpaces]
Editing the details of a Twitter Space. [Credit: Twitter]
Editing the details of a Twitter Space. [Credit: Twitter]
  • Twitter is testing ads in fleets for the first time. [The Verge]
  • Twitter is testing three misinformation labels it could attach to misleading tweets. [Android Central]
  • Twitter has set up a hashflag for Apple’s upcoming #WWDC21 event. [9to5Mac]
  • TikTok is marking Pride Month by highlighting users who are ‘LGBTQ+ Trailblazers’ and introducing new creative features. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has added a new accessibility overview page to its website, highlighting the ways it makes increasingly easy to use for more users. [Social Media Today]
  • Snapchat now has a dedicated Spotlight Payouts section in its UI. [@KenSchillinger]
  • An updated LinkedIn post UI has been spotted in the wild. [@LindseyGamble_]
  • YouTube has added more analytics features covering memberships, revenue, and more. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube has added a Loop button on mobile, so you can replay your favourite songs over and over. [Android Police]
  • YouTube has updated eligibility for its Partner Program. You must have no active community strikes, in addition to all the other requirements, in order to qualify. [@BenWardOnline]
  • Discord has launched a new badge for moderators who have passed the company’s certification tests. [Discord blog]
  • Salesforce is to let marketers target consumers via Snapchat and WhatsApp. [AdAge $$$]
📖 Weekend reading
Hashtags have fallen out of style — but not for influencers
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s pretty much it for this week!
Social media news debriefing…. DONE! ✅
___________________
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___________________
Time to go prepare for this week’s Geekout Weekly show on Twitter Spaces. Maybe I’ll see (well, hear) you there later.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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