View profile

the new GIF rule

Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #79 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks! 
First off this week… This new rule about using GIFs is bulls**t!
And before I forget… Don’t forget to join my private Geekout group on Facebook! 👌
  1. Instagram began testing creator subscriptions [LINK]
  2. Twitter launched NFT profile pics [LINK]
  3. Facebook is working on its own NFT features [LINK] 
  4. Instagram expanded its video remix feature to all videos [LINK]
  5. TikTok made big changes to TikTok Stories [LINK]
Also spotted in social media land this week [*takes deep breath*]
Twitter is working on its own Instagram-like ‘Close Friends’ feature… Google is (predictably) working on its own AR headset… TikTok is also testing a creator subscriptions feature… Twitter Communities is now available on Android (don’t get too excited, it’s pretty basic right now)…
LinkedIn’s newsletter platform got a couple of new features… TikTok’s Trend Discovery tool for marketers got a useful enhancement… You can now get an annual subscription to YouTube Premium (if you really can’t stand watching ads between videos)…
✨ HIDDEN GEM | Big Technology Newsletter
Keep up with what’s happening inside the world’s biggest tech companies.
Big Technology is a FREE weekly newsletter written by independent journalist (and friend of Geekout) Alex Kantrowitz. It’s full of juicy insights. I think you’ll love it. [Check it out]
There’s good news if you love Twitter and all things crypto… Reddit has made its blocking feature a lot better.. Facebook appears to be rolling out its Fantasy Games feature to more users… Twitter will now let more users report misleading tweets… WhatsApp may soon add a couple of new drawing tools… YouTube’s added a useful Media Kit feature for creators
Brand social media managers had fun with the world’s addiction to Wordle… If you want to work for Disney and you’ve got good TikTok game - this is for you… BuzzFeed says this is the biggest Instagram power move (I disagree)… AND FINALLY… Apple is a hypocrite.
🔥 COMING SOON: WeWork’s epic downfall comes to TV, starring Jared Leto [TRAILER] 
🤓 NEW STUDY: The formula for the perfect Instagram image [READ]
📈 RESEARCH: The code to TikTok virality cracked? No, but it’s a fun read [LEARN]
💰 MONEY: The YouTube Rich List for 2021 [VIEW]
🤪 FUN: Yes… Government social can be fun [READ]
That’s the fun stuff done… Now onto the headlines sparking 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 21 Jan).
Martin and I will discuss the biggest social media headlines from the past week | GET A REMINDER / LISTEN TO REPLAY 

ICYMI: Key Trends That Will Influence Social Media Success in 2022, with Matt Navarra
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Over the past few months, this newsletter has been tracking the big social platforms developing features to support NFTs - those little blockchain entries that tell the world you ‘own’ a particular piece of media.
Yesterday, Twitter became the first platform to pull the trigger and officially launch an NFT feature. You’ll have to be a Twitter Blue subscriber to give it a go in the ‘Labs’ section of experimental features.
Once you’ve connected up a supported crypto wallet, you can display an NFT image as your profile picture, which will appear in a rounded hexagon shape, to make it stand out from the crowd.
Given the rush of NFT fans keen to show off their pastime (NFT Twitter was on fire about the news), it will be interesting to see how this affects Twitter Blue’s subscriber numbers.
But beyond this being a fun feature for those who get excited about the latest drop of cartoon apes, there are questions over how wise it is for a company like Twitter to make a feature out of NFTs at the moment.
The NFT world is rife with scams, a reality made worse by the fact that crypto wallets and trading is more complicated than many internet users are used to. And as many critics point out, blockchain tech can be bad for the environment, expensive for users (Etherium gas fees can exceed the price of a cheap NFT, which will make little sense to casual newcomers), and give people a false sense of ownership over something they might not really own in any meaningful sense at all.
By giving more visibility to NFTs (and perhaps making them more desirable thanks to the funky shape of the profile image), is Twitter helping draw more people into a technology that isn’t ready for the mainstream? Perhaps, but maybe not as much as Meta. It was reported yesterday that the company is not only working on letting users display their NFTs on Facebook and Instagram, but also mint new ones themselves, and buy and sell them on a Meta-owned marketplace.
Many NFT fans will love the idea of their interest becoming more mainstream, but if the underlying technology isn’t super-safe or user-friendly, and has very limited real-world use at present, the question is - is this all too soon?
We got our first official look at Instagram’s take on Twitter’s Super Follows this week. As TechCrunch reported:
The feature, which was spotted hitting the App Store back in November, is now officially in early testing with a small group of U.S. creators who will be able to offer their followers paid access to exclusive Instagram Live videos and Stories. Subscribers will also receive a special badge that will help them to stand out in the comments section and creators’ inboxes.
Only 10 creators in the US have access to offering subscriptions right now. Interestingly, the scope for pricing is much broader than Twitter offers. Instagram lets creators charge $0.99, $1.99, $2.99, $4.99, $9.99, $19.99, $49.99, or even $99.99 per month 🤯 Given this is an experimental feature right now, it’s fair to assume the price points are experimental too.
Instagram boss Adam Mosseri says subscriptions are about giving creators a predictable revenue stream. Given that existing forms of Instagram creator monetisation can have peaks and troughs (and the platform’s $1bn creator fund is apparently not as easy to access as it could be), reliable income sounds like a big win.
Meanwhile, subscribers can expect exclusive Stories, livestreams, and badges.
And creators who split themselves between Instagram and TikTok could soon have two sources of subscription income. The Information reported this week that TikTok is testing a similar feature.
The battle to save or destroy end-to-end encryption rolls on. The UK government launched a glossy campaign this aimed at explaining why encrypted messaging in the likes of WhatsApp and Messenger is a threat to child safety.
Backed by credible, child-focused organisations like Barnardo’s, the slick campaign (first revealed ahead of launch by James Ball for Rolling Stone) is called No Place To Hide.
The campaign website explains:
We want social media companies to confirm they will not implement end-to-end encryption until they have the technology in place to ensure children will not be put at greater risk as a result…
We are not opposed to end-to-end encryption, as long as it is implemented in a way that does not put children at risk. We are in favour of both strong privacy and children’s safety and urge social media companies to protect both.
As every defender of end-to-end encryption is tired of explaining, you can’t have end-to-end encryption that only lets the good guys in. That door will get exploited by bad guys too.
To echo a ‘90s UK TV ad some readers will remember, you can’t choose daddy and chips. But governments will keep trying because… well, it’s just easier to catch criminals if you can snoop on chats. Never mind the rights it infringes along the way. Even the UK’s own data protection watchdog opposes the campaign.
It’s perfectly possible for authorities to use messaging app metadata to track who’s talking with whom, even if the chats themselves are encrypted. It just means they need to do a bit more work to investigate crimes while respecting our privacy.
Child safety is incredibly important but it shouldn’t mean we all lose the right to online privacy.
💻 Gear of the week
Opal C1
🤯 WTF?!
In China, You Can Go to College to Become a Social Media Influencer
🤦 Fail of the week
Love Islanders to be named and shamed for not declaring paid-for posts
📲 App of the week
Roll is a new app letting you subscribe to paywalled creator content
📈 Chart of the week
🐣 Tweet of the week
Here’s Foot Locker with a quality riff on the Megan Fox/Machine Gun Kelly marriage proposal. Well done, social media manager!
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m in the news, you’ll read about it here…
No Evidence for ‘Injection Spiking’ in UK, Police and Security Experts Say
🌟 New feature of the week
It looks like Twitter is close to launching a clipping tool for Spaces. This could be really useful for Spaces creators to get attention beyond the people who choose to listen in live or later.
Alessandro Paluzzi
#Twitter keeps working on the "Clip Space" feature by adding the ability for the host to turn off clips 👀
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond:
Meta’s Oculus Faces FTC-Led Probe of Anti-Competitive Practices
  • Mark Zuckerberg approved a deal with Google to carve up the online ad market, a lawsuit brought by several US states alleges. [Politico]
  • Patents for ideas like biometric data tracking and a virtual store point to how Meta might monetise the metaverse. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Instagram will now proactively reduce the reach of posts that its systems deem likely to contain bullying or hate speech. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta is developing ethics guidelines for the use of virtual influencers. [Social Media Today]
  • It looks like Meta will soon be able to use the $META stock ticker symbol. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has developed an algorithm that can teach A.I. for multitask. [MIT Technology Review $$$]
  • Facebook and Instagram have taken down an Iran-linked campaign aimed at sowing division over Scottish independence from the UK. [CNet]
  • Meta has partnered with GitHub to bolster its efforts to prevent access token misuse. [Meta for Developers]
  • Meta is one of four big tech companies with increasing dominance over ownership of the internet’s critical cable infrastructure. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Marketing scholars say they have uncovered the secret to popular images on Instagram. [Fast Company]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • How can journalists safely use Meta’s platforms? The company has published a guide. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook appears to be rolling out its Fantasy Games League feature to users outside the US. [@MattNavarra]
  • And Spain’s LaLiga football league is getting involved with Facebook Fantasy Games. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook is cross-promoting Instagram effects. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram now lets you ‘remix’ all public videos, rather than just Reels. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram is testing letting you import music from any of your videos. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram has been spotted offering Facebook-like avatars. [@TechnicalGulab]
  • Instagram could soon limit the number of followers that are publicly listed for verified business accounts with more than 4,000 followers. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on letting you restrict a Reel to only your followers. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has been spotted testing a tool that automatically cuts your video to the beat of the music in it. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram now shows how many times a song has been used in a Reel. [@WFBrother]
  • Messenger Kids has introduced internet safety training, although it’s mainly training in using Messenger. [The Verge]
  • WhatsApp is getting Meta Workplace integration to help companies improve communication with frontline employees. [TechCrunch]
  • WhatsApp is working on new drawing tools, which have shown up in the latest Android beta. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp’s latest desktop beta lets you pause while recording voice notes. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp has quietly reintroduced in-app support for some users. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is working on Android to iOS chat imports. [Android Authority]
  • The latest Oculus update adds Apple Magic Keyboard support, link sharing, and more. [Oculus blog]
🐣 Twitter news
How Nigeria succeeded in clipping Twitter's wings
  • Twitter is expanding its misinformation reporting pilot to Brazil, Spain, and the Philippines. [@yoyoel]
  • Twitter has announced a partnership that will see the platform being used by a number of healthcare conferences this year. [Social Media Today]
  • Bloomberg and Twitter have partnered to use the @crypto handle to report on cryptocurrency news with the aid of Twitter data. [Adage $$$]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Is brand humour old-hat? Half of Twitter users think too many jokes are a turn-off. [AdAge]
  • What’s happening next across a range of industries, and what does Twitter data tell us about that? Twitter’s first Birdseye Report explains. [Twitter Partners]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter is working on its own close friends-type feature, Flock, which will allow you to tweet to up to 150 people who will be the only ones to see those tweets and be able to reply to them, [@alex193a]
  • Twitter has started rolling out full support for Communities on Android. [@HiCommunities]
  • Twitter appears to be nearly ready to launch a ‘double-tap to like’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is making Communities easier to discover. [@FlyingTrilobite]
  • Twitter is testing a new approach to column creation in the new version of TweetDeck. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is developing pinned chats for DMs on desktop. [@alex193a]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok’s marketing chief ousted after ‘going rogue’ with bizarre campaigns
  • TikTok parent ByteDance‘s sales reportedly grew 70% in 2021. [Reuters $$$]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok Stories now show up in the FYP feed instead of the Stories side bar, and you can now see anyone’s Stories, not just those from people you follow. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok has been spotted offering paid promotion for live videos. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok has added trending songs by region to its Creative Center. [Social Media Today]
💥 More social media news and updates
Democrats unveil bill to ban online ‘surveillance advertising’
  • YouTube has shuttered its original content group. It will now only fund content through its Black Voices and YouTube Kids funds. [Variety]
  • MrBeast topped the list of YouTube’s highest-earning stars in 2021. [BBC News]
  • Banning misleading information on social media will only drive it further underground, UK scientists have warned. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Snapchat is getting better at detecting drug-related content. [Adweek $$$]
  • Gaming YouTubers had their likenesses used in a collection of NFTs without permission. [Eurogamer]
  • Spain is introducing new rules for influencers promoting cryptocurrencies. [The Verge]
  • Prince Andrew’s social media accounts have been deleted as he withdraws from his royal roles and duties while fighting the lawsuit against him in the US. [The Guardian]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to improve your LinkedIn presence? The company has introduced new courses to help. [Social Media Today]
  • Preparing a Valentine’s Day campaign? Check out new insights from Snapchat. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube has introduced a Media Kit feature in Studio, to help channels pitch to advertisers. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube Premium now offers an annual payment option. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube appears to be working on the ability to loop video chapters. [XDA Developers]
  • Google Adsense is changing how YouTube earnings are displayed. [@TechnicalGulab]
  • Microsoft is testing letting you follow your favourite YouTubers directly in the browser. [The Verge]
  • Snapchat is adjusting its friend suggestions feature to be safer for under-18s. [Axios]
  • LinkedIn is adding a video trimmer on the web. [@nima_owji]
  • LinkedIn will now let you promote your LinkedIn newsletter on your profile. Company pages can now have newsletters, too. [Building LinkedIn]
  • Reddit has overhauled user blocking, so it now works like you’d probably expect, rather than like a mute. [Engadget]
💲 Advertise in Geekout
  • Geekout has 16,000+ subscribers.
  • Geekout subscribers manage social media for the world’s biggest brands including Apple, Amazon, BBC, Edelman, Redbull, Twitter, McDonalds, Nike, and more.
  • Geekout has an industry-beating open rate of 51% and a 30% click rate!
Want to advertise in Geekout? 
Get in touch:
📖 Weekend reading
Is interning for an influencer worth it?
😳 And finally...
Facebook Patented a Mechanical Eyeball
📅 Back next week...
…BOOM! You made it to the end. 🍾
Sorry, there’s no prize. 😏
Before you go… 
Geekout takes a full day of my time to pull together for you every week. And it’s completely free.
Want to show your appreciation? Easy! Just forward this email to a few colleagues
Share it on Twitter. Here’s the link you’ll need to include.
Right then… Netflix is calling me. Ozarks is back. Love it. 
Stay safe. Have a great weekend :)
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Did you enjoy this issue?