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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #59 • View online
*View this newsletter online for the best reading experience*
Hello, geeks!
First off this week… Facebook revealed its cunning plan to beat TikTok 😄
Meanwhile…Here’s this week’s most interesting social media platform updates:
🔥 GEEKOUT HOT 10
  1. Facebook revealed its futuristic VR spin on dull work Zoom calls
  2. FTC takes another swing at Facebook with new antitrust complaint …Facebook’s response summarised: 🖕FTC, see you in court 
  3. Twitter’s redesign looks like it needs… a redesign 
  4. Facebook is desperate for Reels to be a hit
  5. TikTok launched a useful new integration with Vimeo + Canva 
  6. YouTube is making it easier to find the content you’re looking for
  7. Twitter is improving DMs + making it easier for people to spam you
  8. TikTok quietly launch its new Effects Studio in beta
  9. Twitter wants developers to build new tools for Twitter Spaces
  10. Facebook shared a new ‘most widely viewed content’ report… but it’s all smoke and mirrors 
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📣 Hootsuite wants to hear from YOU!
Whether it’s Facebook changing its algorithms, Twitter adding another random new feature, or a “hot” new social media platform being declared the next big thing… The social media landscape changes at a relentless pace. 
To help social media pros like us understand what’s going to be HOT or NOT in the world of social in the coming year, Hootsuite is working on its super-useful Social Media Trends Report for 2022. And it wants to hear from social media managers like YOU!
The survey takes LESS THAN 10 minutes to complete. It can be completed anonymously. And once submitted, you are entered to WIN a $50 Visa gift card OR a Hootsuite Academy Certification. Nice!
Help Hootsuite help social media managers…
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💎 HIDDEN GEM | Facebook Messenger Tip: How to prevent important messages going to your spam/other folder in Messenger [reveal tip]
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🔊 JOIN ME ⚡LIVE⚡ ON TWITTER SPACES
On Thursday next week (26 August) we have not one but TWO interviews live on Twitter Spaces.
Join Martin and I as we interview:
  • Katie Carroll, head of LinkedIn News [4pm UK time]. Set a reminder on your phone, and then check my Twitter profile when we go live for the link.
  • Stan Chudnovsky, head of Messenger at Facebook [6pm UK time]. Tap here to get a reminder when we go live.
These are going to be really interesting chats, so don’t miss them!
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ICYMI…
Righty-ho then… Let’s jump dig into the BIGGEST stories rocking the world of social media managers this week 👇
— Matt
P.S. Geekout’s Friday Twitter Space will be back NEXT WEEK. I’m going to finish work early to spend some quality time with my kids.

Also on our network
Tech Revolution makes sense of the tech and media stories that deserve your attention most if you want to understand the future. All delivered in a fun, easily digestible, but by no means lightweight, package
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The Real Facebook Oversight Board on fighting social media's dark side
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
If you thought work meetings could be a headache, just wait until you spend two hours with the boss while wearing a VR headset.
Facebook made a big PR push yesterday for Horizon Workrooms, its new VR meeting app for Oculus Quest. It’s available now for free in open beta.
As the Verge explains:
Up to 16 people in VR can be in a Workroom together, while an additional 34 people can join over video call without wearing a headset. A companion desktop app lets you beam a live feed of your computer screen over your virtual table space. Thanks to the Quest’s hand-tracking and front-facing cameras, a virtual representation of your physical keyboard sits underneath your screen for typing into a barebones web app Facebook built for note taking and managing calendars.
There’s even a personal drawing pad and a shared whiteboard to jot ideas onto.
It’s easy to dunk on the idea, and many people on Twitter did yesterday. But whether you think Facebook should own the future of work collaboration or not, it’s a good for these ideas to get a high-profile airing.
Not every ‘future of work’ idea is going to change the world. And there are still questions about how useful VR is in a work context, given using it makes some people feel queasy.
But as many workplaces increasingly go remote, or become flexible about workers’ locations, tech like Horizons Workplace will help us collaborate in new ways. You might not strap on a VR headset for work every day, but once in a while it could be the fun equivalent of a team day out of the office.
As the leader in consumer VR, with its relatively low-cost headsets already in homes across the world, Facebook is best placed to help all of us figure out if this is the future of meetings we want.
The world watched in shock as the Taliban breezed to power in Afghanistan last weekend with nary a gunshot fired. But social media companies had a problem. Should this violent, fundamentalist group with a history of brutality, misogyny, and harbouring terrorists be allowed on the big platforms now they were the government of a nation state?
Facebook and TikTok maintained their existing bans. After all, the Taliban is recognised as a terrorist organisation by the US Treasury Department. After initially suggesting the group would be allowed to operate on its platform, YouTube changed its tune and said it would remove any Taliban accounts.
Twitter, on the other hand, didn’t specify a ban. It only said it would remove content that violated its rules. This might prove to be the wisest approach. Facebook’s race to remove new Taliban accounts might have backfired after it killed a WhatsApp account the Taliban had set up to let citizens report violence and looting.
Experts on the region were not impressed. Disabling the equivalent of a 911 emergency line just because you don’t like the government running it doesn’t necessarily help anyone. A tool Facebook has launched to help Afghans lock down their accounts to avoid Taliban scrutiny should be far better received.
So it’s a complex problem, and it’s not likely to get any easier. 2021’s Taliban is a far more tech- and media-savvy organisation than the one that controlled Afghanistan 20 years ago.
OnlyFans has become extraordinarily huge by letting individuals create and consume adult content, with paid subscriptions run by the creators themselves. It’s a creator economy success story. But maybe not for much longer.
The company’s recent search for investors has proved fruitless. The tech investment community is generally averse to adult material, but that’s not the reason for this week’s shocking news. As the Guardian reports:
OnlyFans said the ban, which will come into effect in October, followed pressure from banks and payment processors who raised concerns about the material it hosts. Rather than lose its ability to take payments, which would effectively kill the business altogether, OnlyFans has instead chosen to ban the adult material that made its name.
Prudish payment processors’ grip on the online adult content industry is a serious problem. Aside from killing OnlyFans’ USP, this move—if carried out to the extreme level the company claims—could ruin the livelihoods of creators around the world, or drive them to far less reputable corners of the internet to earn their living.
Ultimately, perhaps the approach that made OnlyFans a success isn’t best for the industry it serves anyway. Maybe a co-operative owned by the creators themselves would be better. Given the payment processors’ moves though, they’d still need another way to take cash from users. This could be a big opportunity for cryptocurrencies.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook isn’t sharing enough data about Covid-19 vaccine misinformation on its platform, experts say
  • But Facebook says it has removed more than 20m posts for Covid-19 misinformation since beginning of pandemic. [CNet]
  • Facebook has shut down another research project. German researchers investigating the Instagram algorithm say the company forced them to cease work using legal threats. [The Verge]
  • Facebook’s VR boss is “convinced” Oculus will reach 10m users earlier than expected. [UploadVR]
  • Facebook’s annual VR and AR event, Connect, will take place online on 28 October. [@boztank]
  • Facebook and Instagram have removed abusive comments from singer Lizzo’s accounts after she spoke out about online abuse. [BBC News]
  • Lingerie ads often get caught in Facebook’s content filters, and advertisers aren’t happy. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook has chosen 25 local journalists to receive a share of its $5m fund for local reporting via its Bulletin newsletter service. [Reuters]
  • Facebook is expanding its subsea cable network that serves Africa. [TechCrunch]
Twitter:
Twitter’s decentralized social network project finally has a leader
  • Twitter will finally let users report misleading content, but only as a limited test in the US, Australia, and South Korea for now. [BBC News]
  • Twitter has reportedly suffered internal conflict over one manager’s confrontational style. [New York Times $$$]
  • Twitter has paused the rollout of access to its verification programme after it recently gave check marks to fake accounts. [The Verge]
  • Twitter users who were banned for tweeting racist abuse at England players are still posting online with new accounts. [The Guardian]
TikTok:
Senators Challenge TikTok Over Plans To Collect Users' Face And Voiceprints
  • TikTok’s content algorithm accelerates the spread of Covid-19 vaccine misinformation, new research states. [Gizmodo]
And the rest…
Yik Yak returns from the dead
  • Emojis can make it harder for tech companies to identify abuse, according to a recent study. [Sky News]
  • The UK government has received fresh security advice over its ongoing use of WhatsApp for official business. [The Guardian]
  • Social platforms are finding it difficult to tackle toxic incel communities online. [The Guardian]
  • YouTube streaming of this year’s Tokyo Olympics was up 7x on the Rio Olympics in 2016. [Variety]
  • Reddit and the NFL have extended the content partnership they began in 2019. [Adweek $$$]
  • Roblox has acquired a Discord-like service called Guilded. [TechCrunch]
  • Roblox has a problem with users recreating mass shootings using its platform. [The Verge]
🤦‍♂️ Fail of the week
Automated or pre-scripted replies don’t always make life easier for social media managers…
News For All
🚨 | NEW: Pure Gym responds to video of Taliban working out https://t.co/UzJEfougfj
📊 Chart of the week
Ever wondered where TikTok is biggest? Wonder no longer…
Matt Navarra
The Top 10 Countries Ranked by TikTok Users in 2021

Full report: https://t.co/mYxnT2yuld https://t.co/79rI7XGVJD
🔨 Tool of the week
AnyWebP
🌟 New feature of the week
Twitter launches Revue integration to directly promote paid newsletters in creator profiles
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • What’s trending on Snapchat? Snap has a new market research tool to tell you just that. [Social Media Today]
  • Want to understand the latest YouTube culture trends? The company has a guide for you. [Social Media Today]
  • How has the pandemic affected ad response on Facebook? The company has published a report to explain. [Social Media Today]
  • Need help building a successful TikTok marketing campaign? The company has a new guide to help you. [Social Media Today]
  • How can you build your brand on LinkedIn? The company has published a guide. [Social Media Today]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook has launched end-to-end encryption for Messenger calls and Instagram DMs, and now lets you set a timeframe for disappearing messages in Messenger. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook has expanded access to its Messenger API for Instagram to all businesses. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook seems to be testing a ‘close’ button for posts. [@ddryan]
  • Facebook will hold its first Social Impact Education Conference next month. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook has been spotted letting users share posts via Instagram messages. [@newinsocial]
  • Facebook Workplace’s Advanced and Enterprise plans have been merged into a plan called Workplace Core, which also offers extra paid add-ons. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Facebook has launched a business loans programme in India. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram is building improved insights screens. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘Get Quote’ sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon show how many times a Reels video has been shared in DMs. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on in-chat search. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger has a new ad campaign targeting Gen-Z. [Adweek $$$]
Messenger's new ad campaign. Who *hasn't* used Messenger on the toilet?
Messenger's new ad campaign. Who *hasn't* used Messenger on the toilet?
  • WhatsApp is rolling out bigger link previews in beta. [Android Police]
  • WhatsApp is testing a 90-day time limit on disappearing messages. [Android Authority]
  • Twitter is developing a ‘leave this conversation’ feature to help users get out of negative discussions. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter continues to develop its reactions feature. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter is working on a way for hosts to tag their Spaces with Twitter Topics. [@kim_yle]
  • Work on Twitter’s Super Follow tweet creation interface has been exposed. [@alex193a]
  • TikTok will let music artists upload content to its platform for the first time, thanks to a collaboration with a service called Audius. [Rolling Stone]
  • TikTok’s tipping feature has been expanded so some creators can be tipped directly from the For You page. [Insider $$$]
  • Oculus Quest VR games ported to AR look great. [TechRadar]
  • YouTube and Discord are offering extended free trials of each other’s premium products to some of their users [9to5Google]
  • YouTube is testing instant comment translation as a Premium feature. [9to5Google]
  • Reddit is rolling out a TikTok-style video feed feature. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitch now stops streamers from sharing referral codes or links to gambling websites. [PC Gamer]
  • Pinterest is launching the ability to filter searches by hair texture. [The Verge]
  • Tinder will roll out its ID verification system worldwide. It’s been available in Japan since 2019. [Mashable]
📖 Weekend reading
The little-known human stories behind emoji designs
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
Damn! You’ve reached the end of this week’s edition of Geekout!
Good work my friend. 
BEFORE YOU GO…
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Right… Time to shut down my laptop for the week and spend some quality time with the kids. OR just nail them on Fortnite.
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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