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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #65 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
Cringe 😁
…And Facebook will take pretty much ANYONE’S ad money these days.
  1. Facebook is going all-in on Reels to catch TikTok [LINK]
  2. Instagram paused its IG for Kids plans…I wonder why? [LINK]
  3. TikTok unveiled a loooong-list of new stuff for brands + creators [LINK] 
  4. Twitter invites you to test its ‘Twitter for Professionals’ profile feature [LINK]
  5. TikTok spotted testing new text-to-speech voices [LINK]
So, Facebook REALLY wants (and needs) Reels to take-off. Leaked Facebook memos and reports revealed a company acutely aware of just how dangerous the threat of TikTok continues to be for them.
Earlier this week, TikTok announced it had passed the 1 billion users milestone - a milestone reached far quicker than any of Facebook’s platforms (except Messenger, which forced users into adopting it). Even if you could ignore the fact Facebook is probably one of the least trusted brands on the planet right now, it has a far more fundamental problem. Facebook is not ‘cool’. And TikTok is.
Facebook may (in time) fix its toxic brand image, but being seen as cool by future generations of social media users may be a far trickier problem it urgently needs to solve.
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Geekout has a NEW sponsor! A big thank you and warm welcome to Emplifi (formerly known as SocialBakers). 
Each week, Emplifi will join us to geek out and share insightful new blog posts, reports, and free events, to help you learn more and do more in your social media work.
😆 TIKTOK: Teenager screws up 1,000s of scientific studies with a single video [LINK]
🗣 ZOOM: New A.I. tool warns you if you’re boring everyone in a Zoom call [LINK]
💸 FUNDRAISING: Facebook launch donation ads feature for charities [LINK]
😁 CRINGE: Watch this collection of thirsty Instagram ads on TikTok [LINK]
👎 WTF: Facebook spotted testing a ‘Meh’ button [LINK]
Ok… Let’s dig into the news making the most headlines around the world this week 👇 
— Matt
P.S. Join me later for your weekly Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 4PM (UK) today (Fri 1 Oct)
We will discuss all the week’s BIG social media hot topics, breaking news, new features, and more. [Get a Reminder]

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
It was a week that started dramatically for Facebook, and only got worse.
On Monday, under pressure in the fallout from the Wall Street Journal’s report about its report into Instagram’s negative effect on teenage girls, the company put its plans for ‘Instagram Kids’ on ice.
Aside from this one concession to the concerns of politicians and the public, Facebook’s main tactic this week has been—once again—to show as little contrition or admission of culpability as possible. In practice, this looked like talking down the findings of its own research in a bid to make its grilling from Congress later in the week seem like less of a big deal. 
Even when it finally released the documents in question, they were heavily annotated to cast them in the most harmless light possible, even if that had the effect of unfairly making the company’s own researchers look incompetent. What’s more, the Journal was back with more revelations, showing how Facebook explored using playdates as a way of encouraging more pre-teens to use its services - not a good look in the slightest.
And then came the grilling by Congress. Set aside the usual ‘embarrassing politician doesn’t know how social media works’ moment, this hearing saw lawmakers frustrated that Facebook’s global head of security, Antigone Davis couldn’t or wouldn’t answer their questions as clearly as they’d like. Why wasn’t Instagram chief Adam Mosseri or Mark Zuckerberg himself up there, if not simply to shield them from potentially embarrassing questions and answers?
This furore isn’t going away. This has the potential to be more serious that the Cambridge Analyitca scandal because, as Casey Newton noted in his latest Platformer newsletter, increasing numbers of former employees are now speaking out against Facebook. This isn’t just an overblown media narrative. The next landmine for the company could come this Sunday when the whistleblower who leaked the documents to the Wall Street Journal goes public in a TV interview.
As Martin pointed out in Geekout’s Tech Revolution newsletter on Wednesday, a big problem for Facebook is that trust in the company feels lower than it perhaps has ever been. No matter how much the company protests that concerns about its conduct are exaggerated, politicians and the media are in no mood to believe it. 
This week also saw Facebook start to pitch itself as a responsible steward for the future of ‘the metaverse’. The current battles it faces will make that effort all the more difficult.
In the week TikTok announced it had reached the epic milestone of 1 billion daily active users, the TikTok World event revealed new features and initiatives aimed at monetising the huge audience the platform has amassed.
A big part of this is helping users connect with brands to advertise products to other users. And so the Creator Marketplace has been updated, while users will also be able to go the other way and apply to take part in certain campaigns via an open application process.
Of course, a successful ad often needs more than just the right star; it needs good quality creative work. So TikTok is working on encouraging better links between brands and creatives via a new ‘Creative Exchange’. And a ‘Creative Center’ will provide inspiration and best practice for advertisers who want to figure out what will work best for them.
Automation pops up to lend a hand too, via a new ‘dynamic scene’ feature that can automatically remix videos into many different variations to keep them fresh and allow advertisers to test what performs best.
Meanwhile, shopping is being more tightly integrated into the TikTok experience and ads have a load of new features there’s no space for here. And TikTok even wants more ideas. It launched a Build for TikTok Challenge this week, aimed at people who want to develop new marketing tech.
TikTok says its ads already perform well, but now it’s ready to make real cash from its billion daily users.
Last week, Twitter revealed that it was exploring bringing NFTs to Twitter profiles (we got a preview of what that might look like this week). In recent months Instagram has been spotted building something called ‘Collectibles,’ which would use NFTs. Now TikTok has joined the fun with not just a plan but a real initiative.
As the Verge explains:
TikTok has decided to partner with select creators, celebrities, and online entities like Lil Nas X, Bella Poarch, and Grimes to release a collection of non-fungible tokens. These TikTok Top Moments, as the company is calling them, are inspired by six “culturally significant” TikTok videos in the form of one-of-one NFTs. TikTok plans to auction them alongside a selection of limited edition NFTs it’ll sell weekly throughout October.
TikTok says the majority of the money raised will go to the creators of the videos, but it hasn’t said exactly what percentage.
While a number of platforms are playing around with NFT ideas, we’re still not beyond the stage where it feels like anything more than teams saying ‘we should probably do something with these NFT things’. Think of it as a (non-fungible) token effort to acknowledge that NFTs are an interesting technology.
📈 Chart of the week
❓ Question of the week
It seems no-one can agree exactly when the role of a social media manager went mainstream.
I think it was around 2012 , but some people have other ideas. What do you think?👇
Matt Navarra
when would you say the ‘social media manager’ job role became a mainstream thing?
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook Reels exits beta in the US with offers to pay creators for well-performing videos
  • Instagram’s affiliate marketing beta is proving lucrative for some beta testers. [Insider $$$]
  • Facebook has stopped negotiating content deals with Australian publishers. [Reuters $$$]
  • CNN has disabled its Facebook Pages in Australia following the ruling that publishers are liable for defamatory statements made in comments sections. [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Facebook has asked its Oversight Board for guidance on how it moderates high-profile users, following controversy around its ‘cross-check’ system. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Facebook will soon offer an ‘unlocked’ Oculus Go OS, prompting hope that users will one day be able to use the Quest without a Facebook login. [Android Central]
Twitter Opens Up Applications for Professional Profiles, a New Option for Brands and Creators
  • Twitter has revealed new guiding values and goals for moderation. [Twitter blog]
  • Microsoft’s bid to acquire TikTok was the “strangest thing” CEO Satya Nadella has ever worked on, he says. [CNBC]
  • TikTok and Bumble have teamed up for a ‘Date with Better Answers’ campaign in the UK, France, and Germany. [The Drum $$$]
And the rest…
Clubhouse needs creators, but creators need cash
  • Google wants to index TikTok and Instagram videos in its search engine. [The Information $$$]
  • YouTube has deleted RT’s German channels due to pandemic misinformation. [The Guardian]
  • YouTube is stepping up its vaccine misinformation policies. It will now take down misinfo about any vaccine. [The Guardian]
  • Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram are facing pressure to stop illegal drug sales due to an increase in overdose deaths. [Washington Post]
  • Amazon has settled with influencers who allegedly promoted counterfeits on Instagram and TikTok. [CNBC]
  • Imgur has been acquired by MediaLab, which also owns Kik, Genius, and WorldStarHipHop. [The Verge]
  • A recent Australian ruling that authors of social posts are liable for comments under those posts is leading some high-profile people to switch off comments and replies. [The Guardian $$$]
  • The UK Ministry of Defence has published a document that calls for “automated scanning of social media platforms” to detect “change in population sentiment.” [The Register]
  • Social platforms need to get tougher on fraudsters, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has warned. [The Guardian]
  • The pandemic has created a boom in online influencers. [Axios]
  • Snap thinks AR will become a normal part of online shopping. [TNW]
  • …and Snap has launched an AR Lab in partnership with WPP. [AdAge]
  • Roblox is negotiating with music publishers after it settled a copyright lawsuit. [The Verge]
  • Pinterest is set to hold a second ‘Creators Festival’. [Social Media Today]
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🙃 lol
If Facebook was regulated like big tobacco…
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to learn the secrets of the social media managers behind major brands? Facebook’s ‘Social Skills’ video series is back for a second season. [Social Media Today]
  • Tapping into trends for your Christmas marketing? Check Snapchat’s new guide. [Social Media Today]
  • What are the brand reputation risks when it comes to viral video? A new report explores the issue. [Digiday $$$]
  • Want to understand trends on YouTube Shorts? Try the company’s Shorts Report. [Social Media Today]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook is testing an option to select topics you want to see more of in Facebook News. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is testing a new ‘+’ sign button to create a post or story. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is introducing on-Facebook donation ads. [GivePanel]
  • Facebook is testing a scrollable info bar beneath ads. It summarises key info about the ad’s associated Facebook Page. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has introduced cross-app group chats between Messenger and Instagram. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook has updated its ad reach estimates, moving away from specific audience projections. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook now lets you promote on Instagram without a Facebook ad account. [@talalalsardy]
  • Facebook has reinstated the ability to add your Facebook Live to your Story. [@MattNavarra]
Facebook Live is back in Stories.
Facebook Live is back in Stories.
  • Instagram is developing a dual-camera mode for Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon let you use your avatar as your profile picture. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has launched new ‘click to WhatsApp message’ ads. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram is testing a change that sees Close Friends relabelled as ‘Selected People’ in Brazil. [9to5Mac]
  • Instagram is still working on ‘fan club’ subscriptions. It’s been spotted tweaking one of the icons for the feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon let you pause a Reel with a tap. [@alex193a]
  • And Instagram is also working on ‘fan club Stories’ for the web. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has been spotted tweaking the in-feed layout of Reels. [@KTheFirst]
  • Messenger is working on the option to listen to a voice message before you send it. [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • Messenger has published guidance on avoiding harmful or uncomfortable chats in its app. [Social Media Today]
  • WhatsApp payments could soon earn you some cashback. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is working on letting you sync messages without your primary smartphone. [WABetaInfo]
  • Twitter is testing topic tags for Spaces. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter has improved video playback quality on its platform, [@TwitterSupport]
  • Twitter continues to tweak its overhauled TweetDeck app based on feedback from users of the preview. [@TweetDeck]
  • Twitter is introducing new Communities based on user suggestions. [@HiCommunities]
  • Twitter has expanded testing of edge-to-edge tweets onto Android. [@TwitterSupport]
  • Twitter is working on newsletter cards for tweets. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is working on a ‘Promote’ button for tweets. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter has introduced hashflags for the 2021 US elections. [Adweek $$$]
  • Twitter has updated its API to let developers do more with Lists. [@TwitterDev]
  • Twitter is testing redesigned profile pages for Revue newsletters. [@revue]
  • TikTok has launched auto-captions as an accessibility feautre. [TikTok newsroom]
  • TikTok is updating its Q&A feature to serve all TikTok users. [@KenSchillinger]
  • TikTok has now rolled out its ‘mute’ moderation feature for TikTok Live creators. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok has been spotted offering a feature letting you see ‘top duets’ based on the video you’re watching. [@marselladondi]
  • TikTok appears to be testing new text-to-speech voices. [@marselladondi]
  • Clubhouse has announced Universal Search, Room Replays and a clipping feature, as it aims to boost sharing and engagement. [Social Media Today]
Better search on Clubhouse.
Better search on Clubhouse.
  • YouTube is testing new insights and metrics in YouTube Studio. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube is trialling Google Assistant integration. [Android Central]
  • YouTube has expanded its $100m Shorts Fund to 30 more countries. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn is testing a paid events service. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitch could soon let you schedule events to the mobile app. [@alex193a]
  • Twitch is said to be working on the ability for streamers to better control who can join chats. [Kotaku]
  • Discord now lets you set a unique avatar for each server you join. [The Verge]
  • Snapchat appears to be testing its own video caption /subtitles feature. [@torresromain]
  • Roblox has held the first listening party in its virtual world. [Billboard]
📖 Weekend reading
Facebook Comments Can Get Media Firms Sued in Australia
💀 And finally...
📅 Back next week...
…And that was everything new in social this week!
Before you go…
Ok… Time for me to go start my weekend. Have a good one, folks.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
PS. What is the ONE thing you’d love me to change about Geekout. Reply to this email to let me know :)
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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