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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #94 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
Welcome back!
No. It wasn’t a weird vivid dream. 
Elon Musk really is (still) buying Twitter. 
We live in crazy times.
Maybe next week Bill Gates will relaunch Google+ and MySpace? 🤷‍♂️
Before we get into all that:
Meanwhile, there’s been some big developments in social media land…
  1. Elon Musk’s Twitter may charge brands to use the platform [PAY TO PLAY]
  2. Facebook killed its podcast platform <12 months after launch [PIVOT! 1] [PIVOT!!! 2]
  3. Twitter launched its Instagram ‘Close Friends’-like feature [INNER CIRCLE]
  4. TikTok is going to start sharing ad revenue with creators [TIKTOK FUNDED] 
  5. LinkedIn is clamping down on engagement bait posts [‘LIKE THIS POST’]
You know the drill. I’ve read 200+ single social media-related news updates from the past seven days so you don’t have to. Here are the most interesting bits ‘n’ pieces worth knowing about:
Twitter’s incoming ‘Articles’ feature looks like it’s almost ready for launch (it may be renamed Twitter Notes)… Twitter Spaces got a bunch of new features (the new chat thread thing looks useful)… Twitter’s expanding its test of ads in tweet reply threads (not a fan of these personally)… And there’s a new profile ‘Spotlights’ feature for Twitter ‘Professional Mode’.
TikTok is replacing the Discovery tab with its new ‘Friends’ tab for more users… Did you know TikTok Live has a landscape view mode? (you do now)… Also… TikTok Live has a new ‘Lightning Q&A’ feature.
🔥 HIDDEN GEM | Why companies need to give social media managers a seat at the table (and how to do it) [READ ARTICLE]
Pinterest quietly launched a live streaming app for creatorsThe ‘New’ Bebo is already dead (did you even know it was coming back?)… YouTube has a useful new Live Redirect feature… LinkedIn working on a Twitter Retweet-like share post feature…And finally…Social media managers rejoice! Password-less account sign-in is coming soon!
⭐️ TWITTER: Join Geekout on Twitter Communities [REQUEST INVITE]
📄 NEW RULES: The Guardian’s new social media policy for its journalists [TAKE A LOOK]
📚 UP-SKILL: Meta x Adobe’s new social media marketing training course [TEACH ME] 
⚖️ IN COURT: Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard on TikTok has one clear winner [REVEAL]
Alrighty then… Let’s jump into some analysis of the news generating the most headlines this week.👇
— Matt
P.S. There’s no Geekout Twitter Space this week due to work commitments, but we’ll be back next Friday.
Last week’s Space, with guest Chris Messina, was one of the best we’ve done. If you missed it, LISTEN TO THE REPLAY

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Believe it or not, it’s now just over a year since Facebook announced its big push into audio. But now, it turns out that was all a big mistake. Many of the features have barely launched and they’re already being canned. As Bloomberg reported:
Facebook will stop letting people add podcasts to the service starting this week, according to a note sent to partners. It will discontinue both its short-form audio product Soundbites and remove its central audio hub…
“We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences,” a Meta spokesperson said an email. The person added that they didn’t have a specific date on when Soundbites and the audio hub would shut down but it will be in the “coming weeks.”
Amid the social audio boom in the darkest days of the pandemic, Mark Zuckerberg clearly felt he needed a significant audio landgrab. But aside from Twitter Spaces, there’s not that much excitement around social audio nowadays. And let’s face it, there are plenty of places to find podcasts without Facebook.
The move is part of what Axios described as the company’s “endless pivot”, shape-shifting around trends to survive and thrive. Time will tell whether Meta’s big move into the metaverse goes the same way as its audio push, but if it did it would be far more embarrassing for a company keen to lead in the tech world, rather than just make a lot of money in it.
We knew it was coming as it had been showing up in code for months, but this week Twitter’s Circle feature launched in limited public testing.
Circle lets you select up to 150 accounts to tweet things to that no-one else on the platform will see. As we’ve discussed on the Geekout Twitter Space in recent weeks, this is appealing if you, say, want to have a rant about something that is off-brand for the way you otherwise want to project yourself on Twitter, or want to share slightly more personal or sensitive thoughts in a simple way.
But users were quick to raise concerns for how Circle could be misused. Most importantly, it makes organising harassment against other users easy, in a way that is impossible for others to report.
The Verge notes: “As Twitter’s guidelines for the test make clear, just because the public can’t see your tweets doesn’t mean there are no rules. Elon doesn’t own the site yet — you can still get banned for abusive behaviour or other activities that break its rules,” but Twitter hasn’t explained how such behaviour would be detected. I suspect they’re keeping a very close eye on how people use the test.
And then there’s the fact that Circle tweets can be screenshotted like any others and leak out of your Circle, meaning you should be very careful indeed who you let into your Circle and what you share with them.
There was good news for Elon Musk’s drive to acquire Twitter this week, as he announced a bunch of investors who will supply $7 billion in capital towards the deal. But overall, things look increasingly shaky.
As Axios’ Felix Salmon explained, the numbers don’t seem to add up for Musk right now, amid market uncertainty over the deal and a dark mood descending over US tech finance in general right now.
And then there are all the conflicts and contradictions the deal stirs up. Musk says he doesn’t care about money with this deal, but investor involvement means Twitter can’t just be his plaything and will need to make more money than it does now.
If Musk (and Jack Dorsey, who supports the deal) think Twitter needs to become a private company to thrive, why has Musk been telling bankers he’ll end up putting it back on the stock market in a few as three years?
How does Musk’s passion for free speech square with having the oppressive regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar involved in the deal? Can VC firm Andreessen Horowitz really have a significant investment in this new incarnation of Twitter without creating a conflict of interest with Marc Andreessen’s board seat at Meta?
Can Musk really become (temporary) CEO of yet another company without diluting his attention too much?
With ideas like charging media for tweet embeds and charging businesses and governments to use the service at all, is Musk really in touch with what makes Twitter appealing and valuable? So many questions!
Morale within the company is low as management try to keep spirits up, but with employees and advertisers likely to leave the platform if the deal progresses, Musk might find himself having to build the company up from a lower base than he anticipated.
Then there’s the political scrutiny the deal is likely to receive around the world, and the stern words from everyone from Ireland’s President to Bill Gates. It’s no wonder so many people think this deal is on shaky ground.
Not the the first time in his life, Musk is winging it. That’s led him to success in the past, but don’t be surprised if this ends up being a failed project - there’s a decent chance things might not go the billionaire’s way.
I spent 18+ hours writing this week’s Geekout newsletter.
I’d love it if you supported my work by:
👀 Read of the week
🪧 Guide of the week
TikTok Publishes New Guide to Collaborating with Creators on Ad Campaigns
📲 App of the week
Use your phone as a webcam to look amazing on video calls
🚨 New feature alert
WhatsApp beta steps up moderation tools for group chats
💬 Opinion worth reading
Elon Musk Doesn't "Get" Twitter (And Yes, He's Really That Bad)
Mark Zuckerberg quietly revealed an important change to how its algorithm will work in the future. Keep this in mind as you plan future activity! Tap through on the tweet below for my follow-up, which is just as important to note.
👌 Pro tip of the week
Matt Navarra
Meta is moving away from an algorithmic feed based on who you follow, to a feed full of recommendations made by A.I.

This is how TikTok's hugely successful feed works.

It's surprising how little attention or coverage this comment by Mark Zuckerberg got last week...
🌟 New feature of the week
Twitter testing new conversation thread button for Spaces
❓ Question of the week
If you work in social media, this Twitter thread is a fun wishlist of features social media managers crave to make life at work less stressful.
Check out some of the genius ideas, and maybe add your own suggestions? 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

the ONE platform feature or tool you wish existed to help you with your job?
🔵 Meta news
Facebook Deliberately Caused Havoc in Australia to Influence New Law, Whistleblowers Say
  • Meta is slowing or pausing mid- and senior-level recruitment in various departments as it looks to rein in its costs. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has refreshed its Reels Play Bonus program, with new incentives for creators and the ability for them to earn up to $4,000 in a month. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook is removing location-tracking features Nearby Friends, Weather Alerts, and Location History, at the end of the month. It’s unclear why. [@MattNavarra]
  • Meta’s e-commerce division still has a long way to go to keep retailers happy, it seems. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Facebook employees knew that an auto-curated feed led to unhealthy behaviours, according to a 2018 report in the leaked Facebook Papers. [Gizmodo]
  • Bored Ape NFT thefts are a growing problem on Instagram. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has received a designation in Germany that means it will face closer antitrust scrutiny. [TechCrunch]
  • Meta promoted the virtues of Reels, and metaverse opportunities for brands at NewFronts this week. [AdWeek $$$]
  • The current version of WhatsApp is “just a shadow of what we wanted to build”, an early exec with the company has said. [TNW]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Meta and Adobe have launched a series of training sessions aimed at helping small businesses improve their creative and digital marketing skills. [Meta newsroom]
  • Want a job in tech? Meta and Coursera have partnered to launch courses that provide entry-level skills from front-end development to iOS app creation. [Engadget]
New features and tests:
  • Meta has introduced new features for small businesses across Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. [Messenger business news]
  • Facebook on iOS has added a new Stories-like bar for notifications. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook now lets you schedule a live event in its mobile app. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Facebook has added an ‘Allow viewers to rewind’ setting for live streamers. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Facebook could soon launch a visual search feature. [@khalil_shreateh]
  • Facebook has been spotted testing a new Stories icon. [@kerempekedis]
  • Facebook has added a fire emoji reaction to Stories. [@prabodhaonline]
  • Instagram is testing a TikTok-style full-screen home feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram has been spotted offering a choice of playback speeds when watching Reels. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Instagram seems to be testing a single button for voice and video calls. [@instaflow]
  • Instagram is testing a new “Get Quote” button for business profiles. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram appears to have a new way of displaying progress through multi-frame Stories. [@oh_em_rochelle]
  • Instagram is working on ‘face and hand effects’ settings. [@alex193]
  • Instagram is building the ability to reply to Stories with a drawing. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram might rename ‘Remix After’ to ‘Reels Extend’. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram appears to be testing a dual camera mode in Reels. [@watsonyrsocials]
  • New remix options are rolling out in Reels. [@WFBrother]
  • WhatsApp has started rolling out its reactions feature. [@MattNavarra]
  • WhatsApp now supports 32-person voice calls. [@wcathcart]
  • WhatsApp is rolling out the ability to add up to 512 people to a group. [@WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp has confirmed that 2GB filesharing is on the way. [@WhatsApp]
  • WhatsApp could soon show status updates in the chat list. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is testing the ability for group admins to delete other members’ messages for everyone in the group. [WABetaInfo]
  • Meta plans to launch four new VR headsets by 2024. [Social Media Today]
  • Expect to pay a lot for Meta’s ‘Project Cambria’ headset. A spokesperson says it will be priced significantly higher than $800. [UploadVR]
  • A prototype Meta headset includes custom silicon to allow photorealistic avatars in standalone mode. [Road to VR]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter’s open-source offshoot Bluesky releases first experiment
  • Twitter pitched itself as “the second screen and the first scroll” at NewFronts this week. [TubeFilter]
  • Twitter has announced a World Cup content partnership with Fox Sports, plus deals with E! News, the WNBA, Condé Nast, Essence and Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Revolt. [Variety]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • How did word about Wordle spread on Twitter? The company has published some research. [Twitter Engineering]
  • Tweets about shopping are on the rise, according to new Twitter research. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter has started testing its TikTok-style Explore feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter has a new ‘trend view’ toggle on the Explore tab. [@MattNavarra]
  • More screenshots have emerged of Twitter’s in-development edit button. [The Verge]
  • And Twitter Articles looks nearly ready for launch, although it’s referred to as ‘Note’ in some code. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter has launched ads in reply threads, initially for app install ads only, following a successful test period. [@TwitterBusiness]
  • Twitter’s Professional Mode now has a ‘Profile Spotlight’ feature. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Twitter is working on a way to let users give an ‘award’ for good tweets. [9to5Google]
  • Twitter has announced a bunch of updates to its API v2. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Twitter has rolled out analytics to all Spaces hosts on iOS and Android. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter is testing a chat feature for Spaces. [9to5Mac]
  • Twitter could soon let you pin tweets in Communities. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter Spaces will now display a list of co-hosts and speakers with the option to follow them when a Space ends. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter is testing showing more info about a Space in the Spaces bar at the top of your feed. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter could soon let you send reactions to a Space even when it’s minimised within the app. [@alex193a]
  • Another screenshot has emerged of Twitter’s ‘Status’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Twitters seems almost ready to add a pronouns feature to profiles. [@alex193a]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok introduces its first ad product to offer a revenue share with creators
  • New EU laws could force TikTok to open up further about how it works - something many observers are keen to discover. [Wired $$$]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has launched a new ‘Lightning Q&A’ mode. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok is rolling out its Friends Tab to more users in the coming weeks. [@TikTokComms]
  • TikTok has announced a range of livestreams and other in-app content to mark Mental Health Awareness Month. [Social Media Today]
💥 More social media news and updates
YouTube to Make “Big Bet” on Live Shopping as Ad Revenue Growth Slows
  • The EU has launched its own decentralised social media services based on Mastodon and PeerTube. [PCMag UK]
  • The UK government has set out its plans for regulating big tech via new powers for the Digital Markets unit. [BBC News]
  • And the UK government also looks set to join the trend of forcing big tech companies to pay for news. [Press Gazette]
  • Cameo has laid off a quarter of its workforce. [The Verge]
  • Bebo’s comeback has been cancelled. [@LeoKelion]
  • YouTube has removed all volunteers from its Trusted Flagger programme, to focus on partnerships with organisations. [TubeFilter]
  • YouTube Kids features some highly inappropriate videos. [The Guardian]
  • Game streaming is in decline in a post-lockdown world. [Eurogamer]
  • Former Facebook and WhatsApp employees have launched a new social app called HalloApp. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • An early TikTok exec has launched a dating app called Spark. [TechCrunch]
  • The Thomson Reuters Foundation has launched a new online tool to protect journalists from harassment. [Press Gazette]
  • The Guardian has issued new social media guidelines for its staff following public spats between some of its writers. [Press Gazette]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • LinkedIn has published a useful guide to maximising your business branding efforts. [Social Media Today]
  • Expanding your marketing around the world? LinkedIn has a new resource that could help. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube is pushing Shorts hard with an in-app splash screen. [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • YouTube is rolling out ‘redirect’ for live broadcasts. [YouTube Help]
  • YouTube’s ‘key moments’ analytics are now available in the Studio mobile app. [Social Media Today]
  • Snap and Cameo have partnered to let Snapchat video advertisers work with Cameo’s top talent. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn is clamping down on engagement-bait posts that explicitly ask people to like and comment. [@MattNavarra]
  • Pinterest has launched a video livestreaming app for creators. [TechCrunch]
  • Pinterest has announced new activities and in-app support to mark Mental Health Month. [Social Media Today]
  • Telegram is testing a premium subscription service. [The Verge]
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Get in touch:
📖 Weekend reading
'Buy now, pay later' is sending the TikTok generation spiraling into debt
😳 And finally...
Apple invents a future Breathalyzer Test built-into the Car Keys App for iPhone & Apple Watch
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s pretty much everything you need to know about this week!
Before I wrap things up: 
Right, I’m off to buy a case for my iPhone following this unbelievable bit of luck.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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