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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #38 • View online
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Hello, geeks!
Surprise! Geekout is out a day early due to a public holiday in the UK (Good Friday) this week.
Before we go any further… This Clubhouse copycat is a step too far! 
New Geekout sponsor!
A big welcome to our NEW sponsor Hootsuite! Keep an eye out for a bunch of super-useful new blog posts, webinars, reports, and deals from the Hootsuite team in future editions of Geekout. 
DID YOU SEE…
On my mind…
We’ve all been there… Senior management has a ‘great idea’ for social. You look at ‘great idea’. Head hits desk. Wine poured. You think FML and hit tweet. All joking aside…This is / was a bad idea and is a high risk strategy.
HIDDEN GEM: Clubdeck - Get Clubhouse on your desktop with this unofficial Clubhouse client for MacOS + Windows. Neat!
I had a creepy AF Twitter incident earlier this week. Someone alerted me to a spammy-looking Twitter account using a photo of me with my 10 year old daughter as its avatar. I reported it to Twitter. They said it did not break any rules of impersonation and took no action. Later, other friends reported the account and Twitter notified them all it had suspended the account, yet I didn’t get notified. Odd.
ICYMI
Time to bring you up to speed on all the big talking points, hot topics, and big news stories in social media land this week… 
Let’s do this!
— Matt
P.S.
🟣 Join me on Twitter Spaces
I will be firing up Twitter Spaces on FRIDAY 2 APRIL @ 4PM [UK/BST]
We’ll be hanging out for about an hour discussing ALL the big talking points in this week’s Geekout Newsletter. Join us!

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Facebook made a big splash yesterday with a PR push to promote new tools that give users more control. The most notable of these was a News Feed filter bar that will let you choose between the standard algorithmic feed, a chronological feed (previously available but increasingly difficult to find), and a feed of your manually-chosen favourite friends and Pages.
Beyond that there were new tools for restricting who can comment, letting Pages switch off comments, letting Group admins slow down how often users can comment on busy threads, and the ability for Group admins to tag a link to Group rules when things start getting feisty.
This is all good, useful stuff, but Facebook clearly didn’t want you to get the idea that it had suddenly conceded that its platform can be divisive and problematic for society.
Comms chief Nick Clegg published a Medium post, yesterday that clocked in at just shy of 5,000 (five! thousand!) words. As this newsletter’s editor wrote in his own newsletter earlier today: “when the length counter at the top of a Medium post says it will take you 21 minutes to read, you might start to wonder if the author wants you to read it all in the first place.”
While the tone of Clegg’s post, and of his interview with Casey Newton (linked above), seems a little more open to engaging with the issues than the often brash and arrogant approach we’ve seen in the past, the usual Facebook comms approach is still very much in action.
Clegg’s central argument seems to be that Facebook’s (very complex, too complicated to explain) algorithm reflects your interests, so if people put bad things into it then that’s society’s fault. I suspect that won’t wash with the company’s biggest critics.
Amazon really doesn’t want its American warehouse workers to join a union, so it’s been doing everything it can to fight back against the idea that it treats its frontline workers poorly.
Aggressive, confrontational tweets directed at politicians were enough to make one staff member file a report of suspicious activity, so off-brand was it for the company. But orders to fight back publicly reportedly came directly from Jeff Bezos.
This form of assertive comms seems to be becoming more common as criticisms of big tech companies’ behaviour becomes more widespread. It’s not unusual to see Facebook PR staff and execs responding directly and forcefully to journalists on Twitter when they feel an article has misrepresented the company, for example.
Amazon’s other Twitter tactic has been to make use of its army of tweeting warehouse staff who tell the world just how amazing it is to work in a fulfilment centre. The Intercept had an interesting look at how that programme works, which is worth a read.
Unfortunately for Amazon, if anyone was convinced by the genuine Amazon tweeters, a glut of fake employee accounts made it difficult to tell who was a company shill and who was fictional worker. Amazon insists these hoax accounts weren’t its own work, and a comedian claims he created the one that got most people’s attention.
Fighting your battles on social media can be a messy business when you’re as well known as Amazon.
Everyone is going after creators these days, and this week LinkedIn made its own play to boost creator activity on its platform with a new ‘creator mode.’ As TechCrunch explains:
People who already make LinkedIn Live videos and other content can shift over their profiles to becoming Creators instead of ordinary LinkedIn citizens. This is something you choose yourself, unlike the Influencer tag that LinkedIn confers on a smaller subset of thought leaders, and it means you can be “followed” on LinkedIn for people to watch and stay up to date with what you post.
Unlike rival platforms, LinkedIn won’t be giving creators any way to monetise their content for now, but a certain kind of LinkedIn user (you know the type!) will embrace this new mode as soon as they can, and it might encourage them to invest even more time on creating for their LinkedIn audience.
In related news that is no surprise at all, LinkedIn has confirmed it is building a Clubhouse rival. It shared a prototype mockup of the feature with TechCrunch after reverse engineer (and regular name in our Quick Hits section) Alessandro Paluzzi spotted an early version of the code.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
  • Facebook underpaid video creators thousands of dollars in ad revenue due to a “technical issue.” [The Verge]
  • Here we go again. In a repeat of the recent fiasco in Australia, Facebook is threatening to pull news content from Canada. [CNet]
  • US lawmakers have asked Facebook to hand over any internal studies they have done on the platform’s impact on children’s mental health, following last week’s hearing on moderation. [Reuters]
  • The UK competition regulator is gearing up for a deeper investigation of Facebook’s plan to acquire Giphy. [@MarkDiStef]
  • Donald Trump was thwarted in an attempt to sneak onto Facebook and Instagram via an interview published to his daughter-in-law’s accounts. Facebook said this still violated his ban. [NBC News]
  • Facebook has expanded an initiative to help out-of-work ad agency professionals find new work, to the US, Canada, Italy, and Singapore. It was previously available in South America. [Adweek $$$]
  • Oculus Quest 2 has already outsold every previous Oculus headset combined, according to Facebook’s Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth. [UploadVR]
  • A.I. experts say Facebook’s anti-bias A.I. toolkit doesn’t go far enough. [VentureBeat]
  • Facebook has promised Oculus fans “amazing” VR content partnerships that will “blow people away” in the future. [UploadVR]
Twitter:
Periscope shuts down, six years after popularizing mobile live streaming
  • A UK police force has been accused of “suppressing the human side of policing” by removing individual offers’ Twitter accounts. [BBC News]
TikTok:
TikTok's algorithm is sending users down a far-right extremist rabbit hole
  • TikTok parent ByteDance could be worth $250bn according to trading of shares on the secondary market. [Insider]
  • TikTok remained the most downloaded app worldwide in Q1 2021, according to App Annie. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has joined the Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, which aims to stop the illegal online trade in wild animals. [Adweek $$$]
And the rest:
Snap Plans Hardware Push With AR Spectacles, Drone
  • A ‘spam folder’ for abusive messages and an SOS button for users overwhelmed with abuse are suggestions for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from non-profit organisation PEN America. [CNBC]
  • Trump is “moving forward” with his own social network, but is reportedly “taking time to do it right.” [Fox News]
  • Spotify is the latest platform to plan to take on Clubhouse, with plans for live audio social features after it acquired an app called Locker Room. [The Verge]
❓ Question of the week
It’s April Fools’ Day and while Google may have cancelled its jokes again this year, plenty of brands have tried to get some attention for themselves. Click through and share what’s caught your eye 👇
🟣 Matt Navarra
the best / worst April Fools Day posts by brands on Twitter today?

#AprilFoolsDay #AprilFools
🔨 Tool of the week
Improve YouTube!
🐣 Tweet of the week
That’s dark, Paddington Bear…
Paddington
I don't like marmalade anymore.
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • Facebook has published two deep-dives to help you make more of the latest incarnation of Pages. [Facebook for Creators]
  • Confused by Shorts? YouTube has published and overview and explainer of its short video format. [Social Media Today]
  • Want to be a LinkedIn thought leader? The company has published a 50-page guide. [Social Media Today]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook is killing its stand-alone Analytics product on 30 June. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook’s updated Groups interface is rolling out more widely, and admins can choose to switch their Groups over to it, but there’s no going back. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook is working on auto-captioning for Stories. [@alex193a]
  • It seems auto-captioning will also be available for videos shared as posts. [@alex193a]
  • Facebook’s forthcoming Clubhouse rival appears to include emoji reactions. [@alex193a]
  • The speaker invite interface has also been uncovered. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has officially launched its TikTok-style Remix feature for Reels. [Social Media Today]
'Remix this Reel' Credit: Instagram
'Remix this Reel' Credit: Instagram
  • Instagram has expanded IGTV ads to the UK and Australia. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram has has been spotted adding context to suggested posts, explaining why you see them. [@benjaminwardyt]
  • Instagram could soon let you watch Reels videos with friends in a video chat. [@insta_leaks]
  • Instagram is working on filter controls for post comments. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a “see limited comments” option for posts, although it’s unclear what this will do. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger has added a shortcut to Facebook’s Avatar creation tool. [@MattNavarra]
  • WhatsApp Pay has been cleared for launch in Brazil. It was due to be made available there last year but regulators needed time to investigate the feature. [9to5Mac]
  • Twitter has updated its Amplify ad product with more curated categories to advertise against. [Tubefilter]
  • Details have emerged of how Twitter’s forthcoming ‘Communities’ feature is coming together. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is working on a slider to adjust the font size in fleets. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter seems to be readying in-app purchases on Android. This is likely for Super Follows and other subscription products. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is developing an account settings section directly inside its mobile apps. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter now lets you follow Clubhouse as a topic. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok has started to roll out a playlists feature, making it easy for creators to get their audience to see a video series in one go. [Social Media Today]
TikTok playlists [Screenshots compiled by Social Media Today]
TikTok playlists [Screenshots compiled by Social Media Today]
  • TikTok has launched a new celebrity content series called Headstream. The first episode features Demi Lovato. [TikTok newsroom]
  • YouTube now lets creators monetise more categories of video. [Search Engine Journal]
  • LinkedIn now lets you add pronouns to a dedicated section of your profile, initially in the UK, US, Ireland, and Sweden. [Thompson Reuters Foundation]
  • LinkedIn Live has a new dashboard. [@MattNavarra]
  • Reddit now lets new users specify their gender identity when they sign up, although it will not be publicly displayed. [Adweek $$$]
  • Discord has officially launched its Clubhouse-style ‘Stage Channels’ feature. [The Verge]

📖 Weekend reading
Inside BitClout, the dystopian social network with big backers and vocal critics
💀 Meme of the week
via @workinsocialtheysaid on Instagram
📅 Back next week...
In the words of Looney Tunes… ‘That’s All Folks!’
BEFORE YOU GO…
🟣 JOIN ME ON TWITTER SPACES
I will be firing up Twitter Spaces on FRIDAY 2 APRIL @ 4PM [UK/BST]
We’ll be hanging out for about an hour discussing ALL the big talking points in this week’s Geekout Newsletter. Join us!

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Time to go eat my bodyweight in chocolate eggs.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt

This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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