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the social media manager 2022 debrief

Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #77 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello geeks…
Welcome back to issue one of Geekout for 2022! 
I thought this week’s edition would be light on updates and new features… Boy, was I wrong!
First off this week… The most 2022 headline possible has already been published… And it stinks. 💩
  1. Instagram begins testing its (not new) chronological feed [LINK] 
  2. Meta Quest VR had a very good Christmas [LINK]
  3. Twitter launched a very TikTok-like Reaction Retweet feature [LINK]  
  4. LinkedIn (finally) launched its take on Clubhouse [LINK]
  5. Instagram confirm private Likes for Stories is a thing [LINK]
My first day back working at my desk this week was brutal! My RSS reader had 10,000+ unread items. It took me two days to check them all. Here are a few bits worth knowing about (in no particular order)… 
Clubhouse added a re-share feature (think Twitter retweet) to help users signpost rooms worth tuning in to… Twitter is testing a new location for the tweet composer on iOS to drive up activity… Tinder is testing a feature that lets your friends watch your swiping sessions
Twitter has a hidden emoji profile pic creation tool thingy… Facebook Creator studio got a couple of useful new features… Twitter may soon let you control who can join your Twitter Spaces events… This beer company blamed a ‘rogue employee’ for telling its Twitter followers to ‘Eat Ass’
Learn the best ways to leverage messaging apps for greater customer satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty in 2022 | GET THE FREE GUIDE
…Instagram’s boss set out the platform’s areas of focus for 2022 - Creators, Video, and Messaging… TikTok got into the food delivery business (kinda)… Facebook is removing some of its LinkedIn-style job features in Feb 2022… 
And the lovely geeks at Twitter sent me some merch… And these 😲 👓  
📈 70+ Top Trend Reports for 2022… All In One Place [LINK] 
✨ 50 Most Influential People on Twitter in 2021 [LINK] 
💀 32 Memes That Defined 2021 [LINK]  
🤳🏻 12 Ways Instagram Copied TikTok in 2021 [LINK]
😍 The Top Emoji trends of 2021 [LINK]
Right then… Let’s dig into the big news stories kickstarting social in 2022 👇
— Matt
P.S. Join me for the first Geekout Debrief of 2022 on Twitter Spaces at 4PM UK / 8AM PT / 1PM ET today (Fri 7 Jan).
We’ll be discussing ALL the biggest social media headlines from the past few weeks. The perfect (geeky) end to your week! | GET A REMINDER / LISTEN TO REPLAY

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
We might not yet have reached the tipping point where VR becomes truly mainstream, but there will have been celebrations at Meta over the past few days after the Quest 2 proved to be a solid Christmas hit.
We have no sales data for the headset, but with a reported 2 million downloads of the companion app since Christmas (including a US number one slot in the Apple App Store chart), it seems a lot of people have been tempted into the world of VR.
Perhaps they were lured by all the metaverse hype in recent weeks. And as CNBC reports, increased Quest 2 sales are good news for Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse plans, even if those plans are still a along way from being realised:
Today’s VR headsets from Meta are nowhere near as powerful or capable enough to enable Zuckerberg’s ultimate vision for the metaverse. But they can give you a taste of what’s possible. On top of that, Meta now has a lot more customers, giving it a chance to gather more data about how normal folks use virtual reality and tailor experiences to those tastes.
But as ‘metaverse’ becomes an ever more widely used phrase, being used to mean anything even slightly connected with VR, we’re at risk of Meta’s futuristic new name looking a bit out of date way before Zuckerberg has a chance to realise his vision.
As former Evernote chief Phil Libin (now running Mmhmm) predicted to Casey Newton this week: “It will be rare to see the word ‘metaverse’ used without sarcasm a year from now… Soon enough, the technology of things you strap onto your face will become good enough that ‘the hardware is not quite ready’ will no longer be an excuse, and the world will see the metaverse for what it is: mostly lame. The genuinely useful or entertaining parts of adjacent technologies, like augmented reality and multiplayer games, will distance themselves from metaverse hype and continue to flourish.”
The metaverse isn’t ready to deliver on all its hype, even if VR offers increasing amounts of things to do in the meantime.
VR has had more false starts than many technologies (as those old enough to remember hype about The Lawnmower Man 30 years ago will attest). When its time to shine in the mainstream truly comes, Meta might well find itself as a leader in the space.
But it’s far from certain we’ll be calling whatever emerges a ‘metaverse’, just as you aren’t reading this newsletter on the ‘information superhighway’.
Want your tweets with a slice of TikTok? Twitter is testing a new feature that lets some iOS users add a video reaction to a quote tweet. You can see the feature in action here. It’s a fun idea… but will it stick?
Given how ubiquitous TikTok is across modern culture it’s no surprise Twitter is trying this. The question is whether the average Twitter user (or even the average Twitter celebrity) wants to use the platform in this way.
Twitter’s history of cribbing ideas from elsewhere isn’t stellar…The Stories format didn’t work (RIP fleets), and Twitter is hardly swamped with audio clips and native live video streams, despite it being possible for users to do both those things on the platform. With the possible exception of Spaces, it seems no matter what Twitter tries, users really just want text, images, and the occasional pre-recorded video clip.
But the idea isn’t without potential. Comedy is one area where reaction videos could work. It’s easy to imagine satirists like Rosie Holt taking to the format to skewer politicians’ hypocrisy. Maybe this will be the time when an idea cribbed from elsewhere works for Twitter’s main feed.
If you’re in the UK and spend a lot of time on Twitter, you’ve no doubt come across Politics for All over the past year.
Its signature approach (grab a juicy—ideally politically divisive—snippet of information from a newly published news story, add ‘Breaking’ and some 🚨 emojis, and watch the quote tweets flood in and the follower count stack up) annoyed many journalists because it only linked to the source material in a follow-up tweets, meaning many people will have missed the nuance of a story and not given the original publisher a click.
But there’s no doubt that by figuring out how to make political news hyper-shareable, Politics for All engaged a wider (and perhaps younger) audience with politics than many other publishers achieve.
It’s unclear exactly what has led Twitter to permanently suspend the account, along with other ‘for All’ accounts and their 19-year-old founder Nick Moar. Speculation has included allegations of undisclosed advertising; ‘For All’ accounts retweeting each other being viewed by Twitter as ‘platform manipulation’, or even an established media company getting revenge for having a bid to acquire Politics for All turned down. These are all speculation, though. Twitter hasn’t given any details.
But as the Guardian notes, even if Politics for All never returns, its removal without full transparency for the reasons behind the move could prove to be a case study that leads to tighter rules for social platforms:
The deletion of a relatively popular news aggregation service by Twitter could attract political scrutiny. Social media platforms will soon be regulated by Ofcom under the forthcoming online harms legislation, with mainstream journalism outlets lobbying hard to ensure their access to audiences is protected.
🔉 Podcast of the week
Twitter’s former C.E.O. discusses the unique difficulties of running the platform
⚡ Must-read of the week
The History and Evolution of Brands on Twitter
🤦 Fail of the week
Pabst Blue Ribbon Deletes Tweets About ‘Eating Ass,’ Saying They Were ‘in Poor Judgment’
🔨 Tool of the week
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m in the news, you’ll read about it here…
The rise of WhatsApp journalism: Pros and cons
🌟 New feature of the week
TikTok is testing a Twitter-like Repost button for sharing videos
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond:
Instagram's Chief Outlines the Key Areas of Focus for the App in 2022
  • Facebook has filed a challenge against the UK’s order for it to unwind its Giphy acquisition. [The Register]
  • Meta has sued phishing scammers who had been operating more than 39,000 fake login pages. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta has been named ‘Worst company of 2021’ in a Yahoo Finance survey. [Yahoo Finance]
  • Meta has ceased development on one VR operating system project it had been working on for several years. [The Information $$$]
  • Facebook’s ban on targeting ads at people based on medical conditions could be a problem for treatment testing programmes. [Politico]
  • Facebook is killing its LinkedIn-like job features from 22 February. [@ItsSachinShah]
  • France has fined Meta and Google a combined €210m for making it difficult for users to refuse cookies. [The Guardian]
  • Meta’s newsletter platform, Bulletin, is growing slowly. It has only 115 writers on board after six months, although it’s invite-only, unlike rivals. [The Verge]
  • Meta aims for ‘deep compatibility’ with blockchain technologies, according to an internal memo from incoming CTO Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth. [New York Times $$$]
  • Hundreds of Facebook moderators have been allowed to work from home after they protested against being forced to return to the office by their contractor employer Accenture. [BuzzFeed News]
  • Facebook really wants developers to add ‘Share to Stories’ to their apps. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook Groups played a key part in spreading false narratives that led to the January 6 2021 insurrection, analysis shows. [Washington Post $$$]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook is testing a Story Highlight Clips feature in Creator Studio. [@MattNavarra]
  • Creator Studio has been updated with new features in the Tools and File Management sections. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Ads Manager is getting a campaign creation overhaul that will consolidate 11 objectives into six. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook appears to be rolling Fantasy Games out more widely after an initial launch in North America last year. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is now showing a carousel of local businesses to support in the News Feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook’s ‘Group Experts’ feature is finally showing up in more communities. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Stories now has an audio channels mix feature. [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • Facebook has added a ‘Creative Apps’ shortcut to Story composer. [@uyangoda_]
  • Instagram has begun testing chronological feed options. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram is testing private likes on Stories. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram appears to have released a profile status feature to more users. [TestingCatalog]
  • Instagram could soon let you pin message threads in your inbox. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram continues to work on the Stitch feature for Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon let you change the audience of posts you share to Facebook. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on letting you share your screen during video calls. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is testing the ability to send ‘avatar’ stickers in chats. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has a new design and font for the @mention sticker. [@hammodoh1]
  • WhatsApp is rolling out the ability to search for nearby businesses. [TechRadar]
  • WhatsApp is testing profile photos in notifications on iOS. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp group admins may soon be able to delete incoming messages. [XDA Developers]
  • WhatsApp is working on indicators to show that a chat is end-to-end encrypted. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is building a revised voice call interface. [Android Police]
  • New information has emerged about WhatsApp’s forthcoming Community feature. [9to5Mac]
  • WhatsApp is working on more animated heart emojis. [WABetaInfo]
  • Details of the Quest Pro and Quest 3 may have leaked out. [Android Central]
  • It looks like Quest’s Horizon Home environment will soon get long-promised social features. [Road to VR]
🐣 Twitter news
New features and tests:
Twitter Tests New Placement for the Tweet Composer to Encourage More Activity
  • Twitter now lets users setting up a new account create an emoji profile picture. [@MattNavarra]
  • Spaces now shows hosts with access to the recording feature how many people have listened their shows’ recordings. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter’s Communities team is working on new features including membership requests and algorithmic ranking of tweets. Full Android support will launch in-app this month. [@HiCommunities]
  • Communities now have a ‘share’ option on iOS so you can spread the word about your favourite. [@HiCommunities]
  • Twitter is working on letting you search for text within DMs. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is testing an option to restrict who can join your Spaces event. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is surveying users about its revised Explore page. [@WFBrother]
  • Twitter is working on a topics tag bar on iOS. [Social Media Today
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok tops Google to win Cloudflare’s 2021 traffic ratings
  • TikTok led worldwide app downloads on Christmas Day, according to App Annie. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok is getting into food delivery, with a ‘TikTok Kitchen’-branded service in the US, in partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • TikTok is coming to screens in commercial venues thanks to a new partnership. [TechCrunch]
  • The Chinese version of TikTok has launched a standalone shopping app, Douyin Box. [South China Morning Post]
  • TikTok inundates some teens with eating disorder videos, according to one investigation. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • TikTok now lets you add pronouns to your profile. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok has been accused of violating open source licensing with its new Live Studio streaming software on Windows. [Protocol]
  • Popular TikTok trainspotter Francis Bourgois has signed with a talent agency. [Variety]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • How important is sound to your TikTok videos? The company has shared new insights. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok is testing a ‘repost’ button. [TechCrunch]
  • You can now add an intro to your TikTok Live video. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok is now available in Tesla’s cars. [Engadget]
💥 More social media news and updates
News engagement fell off a cliff in 2021
  • User-generated content represents 39% of time Americans spend with media, according to a new study. [Variety
  • Tumblr has had to block hundreds of search terms in its iOS app to avoid a ban by Apple. [9to5Mac]
  • Clubhouse’s CEO says he is not bothered by the app’s loss of hype and growth. The company has enough money in the bank to build a successful business over time. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Triller plans to go public in a reverse merger with video tech company SeaChange International. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitch streamers are demanding changes from the platform as competition competition with YouTube increases. [Dexerto]
  • Twitch has banned an Amazon Prime Video channel after a presenter revealed her breast on air. [BBC News]
  • Snap is suing the USPTO as it fights to trademark the ‘Spectacles’ name. [The Verge]
  • Snapchat teamed up with Mariah Carey for a Spotlight Challenge over Christmas. [TubeFilter]
  • Crowdtangle’s founder is helping US Congress develop legislation to make social giants more transparent. He left Meta in October. [New York Times $$$]
  • Controversial ‘free-speech’ focused social startup Parler has raised $20m in fresh investment. [Axios]
  • Donald Trump’s Truth Social app appears to be set for launch on 21 February. [The Verge]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • How can you connect with Gen-Z consumers using Pinterest? The company has some advice. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube is testing a reworked channel interface on Android. [Android Police]
  • YouTube is improving the mobile version of its Studio app to bring it more in line with the desktop version. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube is experimenting with letting viewers customise Super Thanks messages to creators. [TubeFilter]
  • A YouTube app is coming to Volvo cars (related carmaker Polestar has separately announced in its Facebook Group for owners that the app is coming to its cars this year too). [Engadget]
  • LinkedIn has launched a test of its Clubhouse-style audio feature. A video version will follow soon. [Social Media Today]
  • Clubhouse has launched a new ‘share on Clubhouse’ option to help you attract more listeners to a room you’re enjoying, [Social Media Today]
  • Telegram is working on a way to hide spoilers in group chats. [Android Police]
  • Signal has rolled out its cryptocurrency payments feature worldwide. [Wired]
  • Tinder is building a ‘Swipe Party’ feature so friends can join your swiping sessions. [TechCrunch]
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📈 Chart of the week
📊 Stat of the week
It looks like TikTok is set for another big year, if this prediction holds true…
📖 Weekend reading
The Dirty Work of Cleaning Online Reputations
😳 And finally...
Social media manager wraps up 2021 with the facts…
alright let’s settle this once and for all

LIKE to raise our metrics
RETWEET to boost our marketing message
COMMENT to increase our engagement rate
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s Geekout edition #1 of 2022. Done ✅
The social media landscape is changing at an ever increasing pace. 
The volume of policy changes, algorithm updates, emerging platforms, and new features will probably feel overwhelming and burn you out.
But fear not.
I got you.
Just stick with Geekout in 2022, and I will keep you on top of EVERYTHING you need to know.
Have a great weekend… Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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