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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #101 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
Hope you’ve all had a good week on the socials.
Pouring one out for @sudocrem’s social media manager this week. 🥃  
More on that in a bit.
But first… 
Okay folks. Let’s jump into the hottest news headline about social media this week.
  1. Zuckerberg revealed Meta’s next-gen VR headset prototypes [SNEAK PEEK]
  2. Leaked audio from inside TikTok reveals sketchy U.S > China data sharing [FULL STORY] 
  3. Twitter launched its own blogging platform Twitter Notes [LONG-FORM TWITTER]
  4. Instagram has a new AI face scanning feature for age verification [NO KIDS ALLOWED]
  5. Meta opened a digital clothing store to style-out your avatar [DIGITAL TRENDY]
Want a quick rundown on everything else worth knowing about this week? No problemo. *cracks knuckles / quick stretch*. Let’s do this…! 
Meta launched a bunch of new monetisation features for creators, including a new Instagram Creator Marketplace… And Meta says it won’t take a cut of creator revenue until 2024… but Instagram’s affiliate marketing incentive thingy is ending
Meta has a new Community Feedback policy to tackle fraudulent and spammy reviews on its platform… Meta is also working on new NFT features for Facebook and Instagram Stories… And Instagram has new ‘AR stickers’ for Stories… A new startup is now offering Instagram hacking insurance to creators
This is a really useful guide to how the algorithms of eight social platforms work, from YouTube to Reddit. Well worth a read! [SHOW ME]
Twitter has been busy this week. In addition to Twitter Notes, it’s launched 1) A Campaign Manager tool for advertisers 2) Experimental features for Twitter Spaces 3) A new Twitter Shopify Integration… It is also working on a new ‘Stations’ feature for Twitter Spaces, and it mentions podcasts (interesting)… And I tweeted about my frustration with Twitter Communities.
TikTok says it’s clamping down on dodgy ads and promotions following pressure from the EU… Reddit’s social audio feature Reddit Talk got a soundboard and new discovery features… And Clubhouse (yes it’s still a thing, barely) is testing private audio chat groups feature called Houses.
Spotify is working on new social features with a new in-app ‘Community’ feed… And Telegram officially launched Telegram Premium, offering paid-for power-tools and special features (following Snapchat Plus and Twitter Blue).
And finally… China wants ALL social media comments to be pre-moderated before publishing (good luck checking 1 BILLION comments a day, China!).
🔥 INFLUENCERS: Super-charge your TikTok influencer strategy with this [SMART GUIDE]
🤑 NFTS: Meta published a beginner’s guide to NFTs [CHECK IT OUT]
🤳🏻 TIKTOK: How Duolingo went viral on TikTok + gained millions of followers [PRO-TIPS]
🎙 PODCASTING: YouTube shares top tip for creating video podcasts [MORE PRO-TIPS] 
✨ YOUTUBE: How to succeed on YouTube Shorts, based on analysis of 4.5m videos [EVEN MORE PRO TIPS]
Alrighty then. Let’s take a look at what EVERYONE’S talking about this week, in a little more detail. Analysis of the biggest stories coming up next👇
— Matt
P.S. Sorry - the Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces has to take another week off, but we’ll be back soon. Promise!

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
It’s no secret that Meta sees the metaverse as its future. But is it maybe a little too focused?
As Insider reported, this week Mark Zuckerberg said he expects “1 billion users of the metaverse, each spending ‘hundreds of dollars’ a year on various products, like virtual goods for spaces and avatars. That suggests he’s expecting the metaverse to generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue by the end of the decade.”
To help Meta get there, it might even launch its own operating system, he said. The company is also a founding member of a new Metaverse Standards Forum to develop an ‘open metaverse’ so tech from different companies works together. Other members include Microsoft, Epic Games, Adobe, Nvidia, Sony, and Unity.
But is all of this big-vision future stuff taking Zuckerberg’s eye off more important matters for today? As the New York Times reported this week, Meta’s work to safeguard elections seems to be less of a priority:
Safeguarding elections is no longer Mr. Zuckerberg’s top concern, said four Meta employees with knowledge of the situation. Instead, he is focused on transforming his company into a provider of the immersive world of the metaverse, which he sees as the next frontier of growth, said the people, who were not authorized to speak publicly.
The shift in emphasis at Meta, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, could have far-reaching consequences as faith in the U.S. electoral system reaches a brittle point. 
Of course, a CEO can’t focus on everything at once, but when democracy in the USA seems more fragile than ever, it’s worrying that Meta doesn’t seem to be taking the Midterms as seriously as perhaps it should.
And then there’s the apparent impending end of CrowdTangle. Bloomberg reported this week the tool is “still on track to be shut down”. Social media managers will decry its demise, but so will researchers who use it to keep an eye on bad behaviour of users that Meta might not be dealing with. Again, the impending US Midterms are ripe for disinformation and other activities that might be looking to unduly influence the results.
Let’s face it, if you’re Mark Zuckerberg, it must be tempting to look at the metaverse as the ultimate solution to your company’s problems. If you’ve helped make the world a worse place for many people through aiding disinformation and even genocide in the past, offering people a new world free of all of that complexity must seem easier than fixing the real one.
We knew it was coming thanks to the efforts of code-diggers over the past year or so, and this week Twitter finally threw a spotlight on Notes, its new longform content feature.
As TechCrunch reported:
A small group of writers in the United States, Canada, Ghana and the United Kingdom now have access to Notes as part of the initial testing phase. Twitter says Notes can be read on and off Twitter by people in most countries.
Users who are part of the testing phase will get access to a new “Write” tab, which is where they can write and access all of their Notes. These users will also have a new “Notes” tab in their profile that holds their published work to make it easy for their followers to find their long-form content.
More than just longer tweets, Notes are like blog posts. They can can currently be up to 2,500 words long and formatted using tools very similar to those available in Twitter’s Revue newsletter tool. That’s no surprise, as the same team works on both tools.
I’m part of the test group trying out Notes. You can read my first note here, although it might look familiar if you read last week’s newsletter!
The big question is whether this will take off. The number of people on Twitter who share threads and link to blog posts elsewhere indicates there might be demand for something like this.
But all too often, Twitter finds that whatever it offers, people like its core functionality and rarely use much more beyond that. Communities isn’t exactly taking off, and other features like audio tweets sit there largely unused. Spaces is a rare exception; can Notes be another?
My poll this week shows that my followers largely aren’t convinced. But even if it does take off, you have to wonder if Twitter will keep its Revue platform (which powers this newsletter!) running in the long term. Offering newsletters and Notes feels too much of a confused offering. For now, Revue and Notes are both bundled under the ‘Twitter Write’ banner.
Let’s face it, the future of Notes and Revue might all come down to one of Elon Musk’s top-of-head decisions a few months down the line.
…and speaking of Mr Musk, here’s where the deal is up to:
  • Twitter’s board has endorsed the deal [CNet]
  • …but Musk says three issues are unresolved: bots, debt financing for the deal, and shareholder approval. [CNBC]
  • … and Musk says he wants to get 80% of North America and “like, half the world or something” on Twitter in one form or another. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meanwhile, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel thinks Musk is right to want to turn Twitter into a ‘super app’. [Axios]
If you use TikTok regularly you might well have had a little voice in the back of your head at some point saying ‘I wonder if the Chinese government gets access to my data?’ The answer seems to be more than just speculation. As BuzzFeed News reported:
For years, TikTok has responded to data privacy concerns by promising that information gathered about users in the United States is stored in the United States, rather than China, where ByteDance, the video platform’s parent company, is located.
But according to leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings, China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users — exactly the type of behavior that inspired former president Donald Trump to threaten to ban the app in the United States.
TikTok responded with a statement highlighting its commitment to high standards of privacy and security, but didn’t directly address the leaks.
For its part, TikTok has now transitioned to using US-based Oracle servers for American users’ data, but that isn’t necessarily watertight reassurance, especially for users who aren’t in the US.
Meanwhile, TikTok is projected to hit $12bn revenue for 2022, and shows no sign of having scared users off.
But TikTok users can reasonably wonder what information about them parent company ByteDance has about them in China, and how much of that might be shared with the Chinese government. This is especially concerning for anyone who has been a vocal critic of the Xi regime.
👀 Must-read of the week
It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?
🗣 Industry gossip
Influencers say brands are canceling ad deals and delaying payments as the market downturn hits the creator economy
👺 Creepy AF
Amazon's Creepy New Alexa Skill Could Be Mimicking Dead Relatives' Voices
🔥 Going viral
How brands are jumping onto the ‘he’s a 10 but…’ trend 👇
Credit: @digitalbrandbites on Instagram
📄 Report of the week
YouTube Publishes New insights into Key Video Consumption Trends Among Gen Z
🤦‍♂️ Fail of the week
Turns out Sudocrem has to respond to every mention on Twitter and it got very funny, very quickly
…and of course Brand Twitter had to get involved…
Domino's Pizza UK
@AngelaHaggerty Pizza also won’t help sadly.

Not legally obliged to tell you. Admin just wanted to join the Sudocrem party.
🔨 Top free tool
Signature Hound
📈 Chart of the week
Matt Navarra
The average TikTok user in the U.S spends 29 hours a month using the app

That's more than Facebook (16 hours) and Instagram (8 hours) put together.
🌟 New feature of the week
Matt Navarra
Telegram's NEW Voice-to-Text messaging feature is a smart addition

"Voice messages can be converted to text for those times you don't want to listen, but want to see what it says"

I send lots of voice messages to friends

Some of whom much prefer text!
🎯 On-point meme
Matt Navarra
zuckerberg: we've invented a new type of content feed
❓ Question of the week
My followers really delivered with the answers here. Tap through and add your own 👇
Matt Navarra
things a social media manager never wants to hear...
…here’s a sample reply 😆
Tom Stabb👨‍💻(he/him)
@MattNavarra *watching Adam Mosseri video*

"So we've introduced a whole new bunch of features that we think you're really gonna love..."
🔵 Meta news
Meta to roll out new monetization tools on Instagram and Facebook, including a creator marketplace
  • Meta will change its ad algorithms after the US government sued it for allegedly enabling housing discrimination. [Protocol]
  • Meta says the UK’s Online Safety Bill “risks people’s private messages being constantly surveilled and censored” unless it’s changed. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has won a judge’s backing to obtain information from TikTok, WeChat and Telegram to bolster its defense against an antitrust lawsuit by the FTC. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has a new Community Feedback Policy to tackle fake or fraudulent reviews on its platforms. [Meta newsroom]
  • The Meta Oversight Board‘s annual report says the company should be more transparent. [Washington Post $$$]
  • Upskirt videos are being shared in Facebook Groups, an investigation has found. [BBC News]
  • A startup called Notch is offering influencers insurance against Instagram account hacking. [Insider $$$]
New features and tests:
  • Meta has launched its Avatar Store buy new outfits and customisations for your avatar across the company’s properties. [@MetaNewsroom]
  • Facebook now offers a ‘post to subscribers only’ option in its app, in addition to the web. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Facebook Live now has a ‘Bring a Friend’ option. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Facebook is testing a new design for the ‘create a post’ section, with buttons to emphasise Stories, Reels, and Live. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Meta is working with Acast on an integration that will allow podcast listeners to join private Facebook Groups. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Instragram is testing new age verification features, including video selfies with A.I. face scanning, and the ability for three adults to vouch for young users. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram is testing a Notes feature. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram is letting some users comment on posts privately with a message. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram now has new filter options for messages. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram is testing templates for Reels. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram now lets you create a Boomerang from a video. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram is working on subscriber Group chats. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram AR stickers and AR text could be coming soon to Stories. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on the ability to hide content from the Explore section. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram continues to work on Communities. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram’s Question sticker could soon let users answer with a photo. [@salman_memon_7]
  • WhatsApp is testing the ability to react with any emoji. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp could soon offer larger heart emojis. [WABetaInfo]
  • Mark Zuckerberg has shown off some of Meta’s latest VR headset prototypes. [The Verge]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter is bringing back its long-lost Chirp Developer Conference in November
  • Twitter has brought back its Twitter Innovators Awards for agencies. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Twitter has apologised for personal data misuse with alert in users’ timelines. [@MattNavarra
  • Apple’s privacy tech inside Safari means you might have to keep telling Twitter which timeline setting you prefer. [The Register]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter and Shopify have partnered to allow Shopify users to sell through Twitter. [TechCrunch]
  • Branded likes will be available to all advertisers in the US, UK & Japan from next week. [Social Media Today]
  • …and Twitter has launched a Campaign Planner tool for advertisers in the US< UK, and Japan. [Twitter Business]
  • Twitter now lets admins delete their Communities. [@HiCommunities]
  • Twitter has rolled out the closed caption toggle to everyone on iOS and Android. [@TwitterSupport]
  • Twitter Spaces could get a sound board feature. [@wongmjane]
  • …and a possibly related sound effects toggle has been spotted in Spaces settings. [@JoselinMane]
  • Twitter could soon let you add multiple types of media to a single tweet. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is redesigning the Communities tab. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on a ‘Stations’ feature for Spaces. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is testing letting you start a Space from the tweet composer and from the Retweet menu. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • …and it’s also testing the ability for hosts and speakers to share tweets into a Space from the Retweet menu. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter’s forthcoming Status feature has a new icon. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter’s collabs feature appears to have been renamed ‘CoTweeters’. [@chrismessina]
🔺 TikTok news
Khaby Lame is now the most-followed account on TikTok with over 142 million followers
  • TikTok will crack down on shady ads after pressure from the EU. [CNet]
  • TikTok is booming in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. [TubeFilter]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has given reaction emojis and upgrade. [@hammodoh1]
  • TikTok is testing a ‘share’ button for comments. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok has been spotted offering a ‘Just Watched’ if you recently watching content in the home feed. [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • TikTok has launched Attribution Manager for advertisers. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok is now available on Vizio TVs. [The Verge]
💥 More social media news and updates
China wants to censor all social media comments
  • …and influencers in China must now have a qualification to talk about certain topics like law and medicine. [CNBC]
  • Canada has approved controversial legislation that compels social platforms to prominently feature Canadian-made content. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has launched a new organisation aimed at boosting the accountability of tech platforms. [Protocol]
  • The BBC has reported on how social platforms can encourage and enable violence among teenagers. [BBC News]
  • Gen-Z wants personally relevant content rather than viral videos, YouTube has found. [AdWeek $$$]
  • LinkedIn’s CEO has warned of a decline in creative skills in the ad industry. [Axios]
  • Snap has hired former Wieden+Kennedy exec Colleen DeCourcy to help the world understand what the company is really all about. [Fast Company]
  • FIFA says it will use technology to automatically block hate speech directed at players on social media during the World Cup. [The Guardian]
  • The LA Times now has a team devoted to publishing experimental content on social media. [NeimanLab]
  • Twitch has overhauled payouts to creators, but the reaction has been mixed. [Washington Post $$$]
  • Reddit moderators do $3.4m worth of unpaid work per year, according to a new study. [New Scientist]
  • Reddit has partnered with DoubleVerify to improve assurance around its ad metrics. [Social Media Today]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • LinkedIn has launched a new content marketing development course. [Social Media Today]
  • Posting podcasts to YouTube? The platforms has some tips for you. [Podnews]
New features and tests:
  • LinkedIn is changing how re-posts work. [@MattNavarra]
  • LinkedIn is rolling out the ‘funny’ reaction. [@MattNavarra]
  • LinkedIn will soon add comments for events pages. [@MattNavarra]
  • Snapchat now offers new insights data to brands. [@YasserM86]
  • More details have emerged about Snap’s Snapchat+ subscription product. [@alex193a]
  • Twitch is testing a new way to browse streams. [Eurogamer]
  • Reddit Talk now includes a soundboard and new discovery features. [TechCrunch]
  • Clubhouse is testing private groups, called ‘Social Clubs’ or ‘Houses’. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Clubhouse has introduced emoji reactions. [@JoselinMane]
  • Telegram has launched its premium offering as it announced it has 700 million users worldwide. [TechCrunch]
📖 Weekend reading
The Rise of the 0.5 Selfie
😳 And finally...
‘The worst person you know’: the man who unwittingly became a meme
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📅 Back next week...
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Ok folks. Time to get my weekend started. 
Goodbye, geeks!
– Matt 
PS. Work in social? Want a FREE 30 mins mentoring call with me? 
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant
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