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social media managers have a new hero

Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #80 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks! 
First off this week… 
  • TikTok thinks I’m passive aggressive…WTF!? 
  • The Twitter trick you’ll wish you’d known about sooner 
  • Social media managers have a new hero ❤️
Also…Don’t miss this! 
300+ slides full of the latest social media stats & insights.
Check out the Global Digital 2022 report. It’s free!
  1. Hank Green sparked TikTok backlash over low payouts for creators [LINK] 
  2. Meta killed-off the Oculus brand name…It didn’t go down well [LINK] 
  3. Amazon ditched its controversial Twitter influencer program [LINK] 
  4. Messenger added missing features to encrypted chats [LINK] 
  5. YouTube revealed new ways for its creators to make money [LINK]
What else went down in social media town this week? Here are a few bits and pieces that got my attention…
YouTube wants to help rule breakers understand where they screwed up… YouTube’s boss explained further why it removed the dislike counter… TikTok megastar Khaby Lame signed a deal with Hugo Boss (boy done good)… A UK watchdog wants to fine influencers who fail to declare sponsored activity…
TikTok is testing a long-list of new things including a ‘Dislike’ button for comments, a LinkedIn-like profile views feature, memoji-like avatars, screen-sharing in livestreams, group chat, and more… Messenger added a screenshot alert for disappearing messages… Facebook is getting rid of profile videos… 
📊 USEFUL NEW INSIGHTS | Social Media Benchmarks Q4 2021
Get the latest insights on the trends shaping paid and organic social media.
How does your brand stack up? [View Benchmarks] 
Instagram improved its Poll Sticker for Stories… Elon Musk offered a Twitter user $5k to delete his account (cheapskate)… American Idol’s creator unveiled “the first band formed on TikTok” (I give them a year before they’re ditched)… YouTube says it’s also getting into NFTs (so is Reddit)… And YouTube Shorts has passed 5 trillions views
Twitter killed a bot which was spoiling the world’s Wordle addiction…The internet branded ‘West Elm Caleb’ a dating supervillain… Instagram is working on a hands-free mode… The internet called bullsh*t on a YouTuber’s dramatic escape from a plane crash… AND this new Twitter feature REALLY triggered people 😆
🚕 COMING SOON: The story of Uber’s bad behaviour comes to TV [WATCH TRAILER] 
💥 TIKTOK: Tough questions for the platform in new documentary ‘TikTok Boom’ [PREVIEW]  
⌨️ WTF: The Keyboard Sarcasm Converter… Sassy tweets made easy [MORE INFO]
😍 NEW EMOJIS: 7 new emojis just landed… Take a peek [FIRST LOOK]
🤪 LEGLESS: Why VR Avatars don’t have legs [LEARN]
Alrighty then… Let’s dig a little deeper into the headlines generating the most debate this week👇
— Matt
P.S. Join me for the first Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 8AM PT / 1PM ET / 4PM UK today (Fri 28 Jan).
*SPECIAL GUEST* This week we’ll be joined by The Information’s creator economy expert Kaya Yurieff! | LISTEN / REPLAY

🔨 Tool of the week
Semrush Social Tracker
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Creator funds have been one of the most important trends in social media over the past year. They’ve accelerated talk about how important the ‘creator economy’ is, but are they actually all that useful to creators in the long term?
TechCrunch explains:
As VidCon founder/recent TikTok star/longtime YouTuber Hank Green pointed out in a recent video essay, creator funds may not be all they’re cracked up to be. It’s possible that these funds function better as a way to make the companies look good — “Hey! We’re paying independent artists!” — than they do as a way for creators to make money.
While the YouTube Partner Program distributes a percentage of ad revenue to creators, creator funds like TikTok’s pay out from a static pool of money. So, as YouTube grows, the total amount of money paid out to creators will grow — over the last three years, the platform paid creators $30 billion. (Through YouTube’s partner program, creators get 55% of the money generated through ads on their videos.) But as TikTok grows, the size of its creator fund does not.
Case in point: superstar MrBeast says he’s made just $14,910.92 (a very important 92 cents, there!) from what he estimates to be more than a billion views on TikTok. That’s a lot of money for some, but a drop in the ocean at his scale.
Meanwhile, creators are slamming Apple for eating significantly into their earnings too.
It’s easy to stand back and say creators should just adapt to the realities of the business they’re in, but platform risk developing a reputation for not valuing enough the creators they rely upon.
TikTok says it will continue to refine its creator monetisation offerings. These funds are relatively new ideas, so it’s understandable that they’ll need time to develop. But creators with a big audience might find that anything less than a YouTube-style generous revenue split deal is selling them—and their importance to the platforms they use—short.
Here’s a cautionary tale for big corporations looking to harness the power of social media to clean up their reputations. The FT reports:
Amazon has abandoned its much-maligned campaign of paying employees to share positive messages on social media, scrubbing online messages that were meant to improve the tech giant’s image to potential workers it needs to achieve continued growth….
Amazon quietly shut down and removed all traces of the influence campaign at the end of last year, people with direct knowledge of the decision told the Financial Times.
The campaign reportedly had poor reach (who wants to share employees saying they love their jobs?) and was tainted by spoof accounts pretending that employees had gone rogue.
While social media campaigns showing happy employees aren’t necessarily always a bad idea, the bigger and less liked you are the more likely they are to backfire. And Amazon is very big and widely disliked. It’s was surprising they launched the campaign in the first place.
Back in 2019, Facebook made a bold move, with plans to become a major player in the cryptocurrency world. But now it appears those plans are essentially dead.
As The Verge explains:
The Diem Association set up by Facebook to manage the digital token is exploring a sale of its assets after meeting resistance by regulators who opposed the initiative, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
The U.S. Federal Reserve “dealt the effort a final blow” by putting pressure on Silvergate, the banking partner that Diem said it was partnering with last year to launch the token, Bloomberg reports. I’ve also heard from someone involved that the Fed threatened Silvergate, putting the launch on ice.
While the Diem Association says the Bloomberg report contains “some factual errors” it hasn’t outright denied the story.
Even if Diem limps on, Facebook (and now Meta)‘s struggles here show how—with the eyes of regulators around the world watching it closer than ever—Meta will have a fight on its hands to launch a major play in a new market again.
They also show how cryptocurrencies and the wider web3 world are at a point where their growth may be hamstrung by regulators keen to ensure the technology doesn’t run amok over laws and financial regulations.
And given that money laundering via cryptocurrency is reportedly on the rise, Meta’s PR teams are probably quite happy the company’s name might not be so closely associated with the crypto world.
💻 Gear of the week
Elgato launches Stream Deck Pedal and official Discord plugin
👀 Must-read of the week
What Cameo knows about celebrity
🤦 Fail of the week
Ooof! Ryanair got nailed on Twitter this week when it appeared to belittle the talents of the company’s own in-flight crew in a ‘humourous’ tweet (hastily deleted)
🤔 Thought of the week
Anyone who uses Twitter DMs as much as I do will get where this is coming from:
Matt Navarra
feature request

threaded replies for twitter DMs please
📊 Stat of the week
🌟 New feature of the week
Twitter’s ‘double tap to like’ (first spotted in code recently) appears to be being tested in public. I ‘like’ a lot of tweets as a way of acknowledging them, so this is handy.
Jack Horwood
New for me, but doesn’t appear to be working 🤷🏼‍♂️
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond:
Facebook Promised Poor Countries Free Internet. People Got Charged Anyway.
  • Meta says it is developing the world’s fasted A.I. supercomputer. [Social Media Today]
  • The EU has approved Meta’s acquisition of Kustomer, but the company must not discriminate against its use with non-Meta apps for 10 years. [TechCrunch]
  • …and the EU has written to WhatsApp with questions over its compliance with consumer protection laws. [TechCrunch]
  • Oculus Quest has completed its brand name change to Meta Quest, but it’s not popular with everyone. [Android Central]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook is killing profile videos from 7 February. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Business Suite has been renamed Meta Business Suite. [@JackHorwood]
  • Instagram now lets you add an extra poll option in Stories and change the colour of poll text. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram now shows your scheduled livestreams on your profile. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram could soon let you take a photo in Stories just by opening your hand. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on translation for Reels descriptions. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is rolling out a ‘Your Activity’ section. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram has been spotted testing the ability to unsend DMs. [@GJGunit]
  • Instagram continues to work on a ‘Supervision’ feature to let parents and guardians keep an eye on young users’ activity. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram appears to be planning to remove in-stream video ads. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger has now rolled out the end-to-end encryption option to all users for individual chats, but it isn’t on by default across the board yet. [The Verge]
  • Messenger will now warn you when someone takes a screenshot of a disappearing message. [Gizmodo]
  • WhatsApp for iOS has been updated with features we’ve seen in testing in recent weeks, like improved voice message recording and better support for Focus modes. [9to5Mac]
  • WhatsApp’s Community feature seems to be closer to launch. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is working on a revamped media picker on Android. [Android Police]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter sees record number of govt demands to remove content
  • Twitter suspended a bot that spoiled Wordle players’ fun by giving them answers. [The Verge]
  • K-Pop is huge on Twitter. The Korean music inspired 7.8 billion tweets globally in 2021, Twitter says. [Twitter blog]
  • Twitter has admitted that Spaces is currently buggy on Android and says it’s working on fixes. [@TwitterSpaces]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter is working on letting Super Follow subscribers access exclusive Spaces. [9to5Mac]
  • Twitter has launched three new ad products: Site Visit Optimization, Aggregated Measurement, and Events Manager. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Twitter is working on an ‘About’ tab for profiles. [@wongmjane]
  • The preview of Twitter’s revamped TweetDeck now lets you keep playing videos while you browse. [@TweetDeck]
  • Twitter could be set to roll pinned conversations to all users, not just Twitter Blue subscribers. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter is refining the text on the Mentions tab. [@wongmjane]
  • We’ve had another glimpse at Twitter’s forthcoming Flock feature for tweeting only to trusted friends. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter has been spotted offering a discover tab for Communities on the web. [@BrajBliss]
  • Twitter is working on tip jar support for KakaoPay. [@alex193a]
🔺 TikTok news
NBCUniversal strikes Olympics deal with TikTok allowing brands to test new ad formats on the platform
  • TikTok has partnered with Zefr to improve brand safety for advertisers. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has signed a three-year sponsorship deal for the Six nations rugby tournaments. [AdWeek $$$]
  • A documentary about TikTok’s impact has debuted in the US. [Deadline]
  • TikTok megastar Khaby Lame has signed a multi-year deal with Hugo Boss. [Hollywood Reporter]
  • Music mogul Simon Fuller has unveiled supposedly the first group formed via TikTok auditions. [Variety]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to master ads on TikTok? The company has launched TikTok Tactics to help. [@TikTokBusiness]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has launched ‘instant pages’ to improve ad conversions. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok is working on a LinkedIn-like Profile Views feature. It will let you see who visited your profile in the past 30 days. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok is experimenting with video avatars, audio-only streaming, screen-sharing, keyword filtering, and more. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok is tackling antisemitism with links to factual explainers on Holocaust-related content. [Engadget]
  • TikTok is testing a ‘Dislike’ button for comments. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok plans to launch new videos explaining its privacy features. [@tiktok_uk]
💥 More social media news and updates
YouTube CEO Defends Decision to Hide 'Dislikes' on Videos
  • YouTube Shorts has topped 5 trillion views, as the company plans to test shopping and branded content features. [Variety]
  • LinkedIn has reported “record levels” of engagement and revenue up 36%, in Microsoft’s latest quarterly earnings report. [Social Media Today]
  • UK influencers could be fined for failing to declare sponsorships, under proposals from the Competition & Markets Authority. [The Guardian]
  • China is recruiting Western influencers to spread good news about the country on TikTok, Instagram and Twitch during the Winter Olympics. [The Guardian]
  • Targeted ads could face restrictions in the EU under a draft bill currently making its way towards law. [The Verge]
  • Snap has renewed content deals with Disney, NBCUniversal, and ViacomCBS. [Variety]
  • Twitch has signed a deal with Universal Music Group, expanding the relationship between the two companies. [Variety]
  • Creator monetisation company Jellysmack has launched a $500m fund to license the back catalogues of “accomplished” YouTube creators. [TubeFilter]
  • Donald Trump’s forthcoming Truth Social platform is reportedly courting influencers. [Axios]
  • Anti-trolling laws in Australia could actually make online abuse worse, law experts have said. [The Guardian]
  • The UK’s Online Safety Bill could have loopholes, MPs have warned. [BBC News]
  • Reddit has gone down eight times this month. [CNet]
  • Experts have thrown doubt over whether a YouTuber’s recent plane crash was anything more than a publicity stunt. [New York Times $$$]
  • Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 hit ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ is the latest YouTube video to exceed 1 billion views. [Variety
  • Singer Liam Payne is building a cryptocurrency following on Twitter. [Rolling Stone]
  • Elon Musk isn’t a fan of a 19-year-old who built a Twitter bot that tracks the location of Musk’s private jet. [Protocol]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube is exploring how it could let creators monetise through NFTs. [AdAge $$$]
  • YouTube is now showing a Transcript box underneath videos, with the ability to search the transcript. [@WFBrother]
  • YouTube appears to be developing a dedicated voiceover feature. [XDA Developers]
  • YouTube is now spotlighting up and coming creators with special labels. [@MattNavarra]
  • YouTube has introduced more support for users who violate community guidelines. [Social Media Today]
  • Snapchat has introduced AR lenses that integrate with shopping catalogues for easier ecommerce, real-time pricing and the like. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn is shuttering its Lite app, after usage following significant growth in usage of its main app in India. [LinkedIn blog]
  • Reddit is experimenting with NFT profile pictures, like Twitter. [Social Media Today]
  • Pinterest is testing idea pin ‘highlights’ on user profiles. [Social Media Today]
  • Squarespace is taking on the likes of YouTube and Patreon with a video subscriptions feature. [Engadget]
  • Tinder has updated its approach to handling reports of serious abuse and harassment. [TechCrunch]
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📖 Weekend reading
You go viral overnight on Tiktok or Instagram. Now how do you get rich?
😳 And finally...
Unmasking Poopsenders, The Anonymous Website That Sends People Fake Poop
📅 Back next week...
And that’s a wrap!
Geekout. Done 👊
Before you go…
A big thank you from me to you.
Geekout passed another BIG milestone this week. All thanks to you lovely lot who read my geeky newsletter.
Thanks folks!
Spread the word about Geekout:
Right… Time to go order some food. I just hope it goes better than last week. Check out this Deliveroo disaster!
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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