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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #19 • View online
Hello, geeks!
It’s been a quiet week for social networks launching new features or product updates. I guess that’s to be expected given Mr Trump and Mr Biden’s race is keeping the major social platforms busy with fake news, misinformation, and other moderation challenges… But fear not, there’s still plenty of nerdy stuff to talk about from the past week.
I spotted a bunch of cool new things as I bounced around the social web this week. By far, this was the most popular new tool I discovered and shared in the past seven days:
In regards to the U.S election and how Facebook, Twitter et al coped with all the BS pumped out by Trump and others (which we will get into in a bit), I’ve enjoyed seeing how brands and influencers have leveraged the trending topic.
A few highlights include budget airline Ryanair’s tweets like this one. And Greta Thunberg’s poke at Trump. Unrelated, but did you also see Burger King’s well crafted and much shared ‘Order from McDonald’s’ stunt? Seen better ones? Drop me a tweet sharing your favourite.
It’s iPhone upgrade day today for me. Once I hit send on this email, I’m going to try and find out if I can get my iPhone 12 Pro Max on Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Programme, but I fear Covid-19 has killed any chances of getting it on launch day here in the UK due to lockdown. That may be no bad thing as I’m undecided on whether to go iPhone 12 or 12 Pro Max. What do you suggest? Let me know. I trust your judgement.
— Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
After months of preparation, it was time for social media to step up to the plate and fight the waves of misinformation following the US election.
The election hasn’t quite played out like some thought. There hasn’t been widespread violence, for example, but misleading posts about results in individual states have kept the platforms busy. Twitter’s labels were applied to 38% of Trump’s tweets between Tuesday and Thursday while the company dealt with a swell of fake accounts. Facebook and TikTok have been blocking hashtags that spread election conspiracy theories, while Facebook has reportedly added more ‘friction’ to sharing to slow the spread of misinformation.
Perhaps the most disturbing story this week was BuzzFeed News’ revelation that Facebook has an internal metric for ‘Violence And Incitement Trends’… and it’s going up.
As I write, it seems like a tight win for Biden isn’t far off, which could mean the end of a stressful few days in sight for staff at the big social platforms who have to deal with this stuff. I bet Facebook is looking forward to putting up this message and hoping it means they can get a bit of a rest.
…But not for long. Misinformation and social media platform abuse will be a big part of politics from now on, no matter who is in the White House after inauguration day in January.
This feels like months ago, given how much has happened this week, but slightly lost in the election maelstrom was the news that the latest US TikTok ban (due for 12 November) was put on ice after creators on the platform successfully persuaded a judge that they would lose access to their audiences and business opportunities if TikTok was shut down in the USA.
TikTok was obviously very thankful to the creators, who, let’s not forget, are essentially small businesses who would struggle without access to the thing that makes them their money.
The election may be a headache for moderators at Facebook, but their advertising departments might not be having the greatest time either. Walgreens, Netflix, Kellogg, and Hershey are among the brands who have been shunning social ads this week.
After all, who wants their name seen next to all that chaos? It’s a reminder that ‘maintaining a functioning democracy’ is far from the only reason social platforms want to clean up the misinformation mess.
Introducing Reels Scheduling on Sked: How Brands are Leveraging Their 30 Second Videos
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook Tested a New A.I.-Powered Misinformation Detector Months Before the Election
  • Facebook moderators had to manually intervene to limit the spread of the controversial New York Post story about Hunter Biden. [The Guardian]
  • Facebook paused algorithmic recommendation of political and social issue groups ahead of the election. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook is limiting distribution of the ‘Save our children’ hashtag, due to its connection to QAnon. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook has been talking again about its plans for AR glasses that augment hearing. [Digital Trends]
Trump’s Special Twitter Treatment Would End With Biden Win
  • Substack’s co-founder has nixed a report that said Twitter had its eye on acquiring the newsletter platform. [@HamishMcKenzie]
  • Twitter has received takedown requests from Netflix, which wants to get rid of tweets critical of ‘Cuties’ that include the film’s trailer. [TorrentFreak]
TikTok Signs Licensing Deal with Sony Music Entertainment
  • TikTok has invited UK politicians to review its algorithm. They’ve been invited into TikTok’s offices following concerns about Chinese-led censorship on the platform, which the company denies. [CNBC]
  • GameStop ran a grim TikTok contest for its staff. The prize? Longer shifts on Black Friday 😬 [The Verge]
And the rest:
For The First Time, Snapchat Will Let Creators Publicly Display Their Follower Counts
  • Snapchat is booming in India thanks to the TikTok ban there. [Fast Company]
  • YouTube will stop letting advertisers buy the homepage masthead for a full day. It says this gives “advertisers more budget flexibility.” Trump booked the masthead on election day. [CNBC]
  • Connected TVs are a growing share of viewing figures for YouTube creators. [Digiday $$$]
  • Facebook and dating apps collect the most personal data about users, “though a wide range of apps are collecting more data than one would expect.” [Axios]
  • Turkey has fined the big social media companies more than $1m each for failing to comply with rules that would see a local member of staff get arrested if a company fails to censor content the government dislikes. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Twitch’s treatment of users running ad blockers is getting on people’s nerves. [The Verge]
  • Unilever is in no rush to return to Facebook and Twitter advertising. It says alternatives like Snapchat and Pinterest are fine. [AdAge $$$]
  • Nando’s duped US diners with a social media stunt about the importance of voting. [AdAge]
  • Baby Shark is now the most-played video in YouTube history, having overtaken Despacito. [BBC News]
❓ Question of the week
I love my job….However, being a social media manager is sometimes a thankless occupation where your creativity and ‘always online’ dedication goes unrecognised or is hidden as you operate in the shadows managing a brand’s social account. But I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
I posed this question today on Twitter. Why not check out the serious, and not so serious responses, and add your own? 👇
Matt Navarra
the best thing about being a social media manager is
🔨 Tool of the week [sponsored]
🐣 Tweet of the week
look, we need to call this election soon. I've got a backlog of self-promotional content to tweet and i can't hold the dam much longer.
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook is testing up- and down-voting on Group comments again. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is working on a redesigned Help Center. [@alex193a]
  • The Facebook Business Suite app on iOS now lets you switch between the new Business Suite or Pages Manager app experience. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has started suggesting emojis to reply with in a comment on posts, in the return of a test that has been spotted in the past. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram continues to work on letting you respond to Stories without sending a direct message. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘Collab’ sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram now lets some users add images or the camera behind post shares on their Story. [@nuts_about_]
  • Messenger is working on an ‘archived chats’ folder. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp has officially launched auto-deleting messages. If switched on for a chat or group, content will disappear seven days after being posted. [The Verge]
Auto-deleting messages in WhatsApp.
Auto-deleting messages in WhatsApp.

  • WhatsApp has introduced P2P payments in India. [TechRadar]
  • WhatsApp has redesigned its storage management tool to make it easier to find files that are clogging up your phone. [The Verge]
  • WhatsApp Business beta now lets you create a new ‘Room,’ but it takes you to Messenger to create it and then copy link to use in WhatsApp. [@MattNavarra]
  • Giphy has received a big update on iOS, focused on improved discovery. [@MattNavarra]
  • Apple has another Twitter hashflag for its next event. Twitter can cost more than $1m. [MacRumors]
  • TikTok is testing a ‘Learn’ tab that offers educational and ‘how-to’ videos. [TechCrunch]
  • Snapchat has added new filters (as opposed to lenses), now with names. [@KenSchillinger]
  • Snap has introduced Snap Connect for direct-response advertisers on Snapchat. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Confused about YouTube video discovery and distribution? The company has a new guide for you. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has launched a new Company Engagement Report option to help brands do B2B account-based marketing on the platform. [AdWeek $$$]
  • iOS 14.2 has officially launched with more than 100 new emoji to try. [9to5Mac]
📖 Weekend reading
The Perils of Moderating Depression on Social Media
😳 And finally....
BURN! (Reminder: TikTok is banned in India):
TikTok India
If you're missing watching TikToks before sleeping, please watch them on Reels just like the rest of us.
📅 Back next week...
BOOM! You’re done my friend.
Did you know… Our Geekout group on Facebook just hit 20,000 members! Who knew there were so many social media geeks like me out there. Not a member yet? Join here
Right, I’m off to try and upgrade my iPhone. Hopefully.
Have a great weekend!
— Matt

This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2020: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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