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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #52 • View online
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Hello Geeks!
First off this week… Twitter’s testing a feature to prevent social media manager panic attacks.
No more heart-stopping moments after hitting the publish button on a tweet. Hopefully.
DID YOU SEE…
One bit of news that got my attention this week was Norway’s new law requiring social media influencers and celebrities to disclose when a sponsored post contains an image or video that has been altered or enhanced with a filter or effect. Failure to label a post could lead to a large fine or imprisonment. Seems a BIT harsh!
Social media platforms like Instagram do need to address the ever-rising tide of concerns about the impact of social media on young and vulnerable people, and to their credit, most platforms have introduced a range of features to protect users in recent years.
Adding labels to lots of post to inform and protect users could work…But once every post has some sort of label, will their value and purpose be lost and ignored?
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ICYMI
Okay… Let’s dive into this week’s biggest news headlines in the world of social 👇
— Matt
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🚨 Everyone's talking about...
It gives me great pain to type the letters ‘T.r.u.m.p.’ into this newsletter again. But it seems no matter how long it is since he left the White House, he still has a way of making significant social media news.
This week, the former President made waves by announcing his intention to sue bosses of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube’s parent company. As Axios explained:
Trump announced at an 11am press conference Wednesday that he is the lead class representative in a lawsuit being filed with the Southern District of Florida.
The filing, Trump said, seeks immediate injunctive relief to allow the prompt restoration of his social media accounts. He also said he is asking the court to impose “punitive damages” on the three social media giants.
The class action element would allow other people who have had their accounts removed to join the action.
But while Trump is right in his Wall Street Journal opinion piece this week that ‘Big Tech’ has grown unaccountably powerful in modern society, forcing companies like Facebook to let people publish obviously dangerous misinformation isn’t the answer.
What’s more, as the Guardian reported, “legal scholars say his case is probably doomed to fail”. It’s probably best to look at Trump’s legal action as another attempt to stay relevant and look like a champion of free speech, while raising more cash from his supporters, which may or may not end up actually being used on legal expenses.
We all love a bit of gossip about the people who run the tech companies that are such a big part of our lives. So it’s no surprise that a New York Times article excerpting a new book called ‘An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination’, detailing an apparent breakdown in the relationship of Facebook’s two most powerful leaders got people talking this week.
The article says:
The Trump era tested a central relationship at Facebook — between Ms. Sandberg and Mr. Zuckerberg — and she became increasingly isolated. Her role as the C.E.O.’s second-in-command was less certain with his elevation of several other executives, and with her diminishing influence in Washington.
The view from inside the upper echelons of the company was clear: It felt as though Facebook was no longer led by a No. 1 and No. 2, but a No. 1 and many.
Given that Sheryl Sandberg has long been Facebook’s clear number 2, this would be a significant shift in power at the company. But is it true? It depends who you ask.
Soon-to-be NYT journalist Ryan Mac revealed that Facebook is preparing staff for weeks of revelations like this as the book’s publicity engine kicks into gear, and that Facebook sees the article as not being a “nuanced portrait” of the situation.
But whatever has happened between Zuck and Sandberg in the recent past, they were certainly keen to be seen together yesterday, walking side-by-side in front of photographers just hours after the NYT story came out. So even if the two aren’t as close as they once were, they’re clearly still on the same team and want the world to know it.
Yes, more than a year since the last episode (blame the pandemic and our epic workloads), Martin and I are back with a new season of Geekout with Matt Navarra, our podcast series where we interview some of the biggest names in social media.
And this time we’re doing it live! Yes, building on the success of our weekly Twitter Spaces shows discussing everything in this newsletter, we’ll be recording the interviews live. And you won’t want to miss the first one. Join us this coming Thursday (July 15th) at 4.30pm UK time as we’re joined by Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp.
Will is in charge of the most important app on the phones of many people around the world. And with the growth of business messaging, attacks on the future of end-to-end encryption and many more hot issues to discuss, it’s going to be a good one.
The rest of the series will feature names from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, the BBC, and more. Give the trailer a listen!
Click here to set up a reminder, and you’ll get a DM when we go live on Thursday.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Instacart poaches one of the highest-ranking female Facebook executives, Fidji Simo, for CEO
  • Instagram mistakenly banned a post condemning solitary confinement… because Facebook ‘lost’ the policy allowing it, the Oversight Board has found. [The Verge]
  • Facebook has funded a study that found Apple and Google stifle competition with their default mobile apps. [The Verge]
  • Facebook is set to build its own ‘city’ next to its Menlo Park HQ. [Hackernoon]
  • Google has removed nine apps from the Play Store for stealing users’ Facebook passwords. [Ars Technica]
  • Facebook is boosting its shopping credentials by giving independent UK shops fancy window displays. [@alexvoica]
Twitter:
Twitter will comply with India’s new rules to keep its legal immunity
  • The NFL will host 20 Twitter Spaces during the 2021 season, in addition to highlight clips and on-field coverage being featured on Twitter. The NFL has previously used Clubhouse instead. [The Verge]
  • Twitter has been suspending some users for tweeting the monkey emoji, seemingly due to its link to racism in football. [The Independent]
TikTok:
TikTok wants you to send video resumes directly to brands to land your next gig
  • Voice actors are rallying behind the actor who says TikTok used her voice as the basis for A.I. without permission. [Motherboard]
  • TikTok was once again the most-downloaded app in June. [Social Media Today]
  • A Santa Monica home quickly found a buyer after being marketed as a perfect location for TikTok videos. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
And the rest:
YouTube’s Search Algorithm Directs Viewers to False and Sexualized Videos, Study Finds
  • Gettr, the latest ‘free speech’ platform, is an easily-scraped and easily-hacked mess, it has emerged to the surprise of almost no-one. [TechCrunch]
  • Some Snapchat creators say the payments system for Spotlight is unreliable. [Social Media Today]
  • Social media news alerts company Dataminr has made its first acquisition, a UK-based geovisualisation platform called WatchKeeper. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube will let creators make custom rewards for channel members, through a partnership with Emojam. [TubeFilter]
💬 You can quote me on that
When I get quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
Why YouTube Shorts is in the 'best position' to successfully compete with TikTok
🤔 Thought for the week
How do you strike the balance in your career between bigging yourself up and being realistic about the fact you’re often part of a talented team who all pull their weight?
Richard Cook
as a social media manager, how much credit do you take for growing a channel?

like there’s been times in the past when i’ve done a CV and wanted to include “growing” @monzo

but that’s much more to do with the Product teams and other growth from marketing than me.

opinions?
📊 Chart of the week
A notable moment: TikTok usage overtook Facebook on Android in the US last year.
🌟 New feature of the week
Something you really need to try…
Instagram Tests New Comment 'Limits' to Help Reduce the Impact of Targeted Abuse by Groups
🐣 Tweet of the week
Quick thinking response from whoever was in charge of the BBC Sport Twitter account on Thursday 👇
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • How can you improve your Facebook ad creation skills? The company’s new ‘Creative Guidance Navigator’ can help. [Social Media Today]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook has made changes to how it tracks events and conversions for advertisers, following Apple’s new tracking options in iOS. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook will now show Stories by friends in your News Feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has outlined how it will build “the next generation of personalised experiences”. [Social Media Today]
  • A new Harry Potter AR experience is now available for Facebook Portal. [Facebook Newsroom]
  • Facebook has started signposting how to talk to the support team in Ads Manager. [@adzflowers]
  • Instagram is working on privacy settings for Reels Remixes. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram recently started letting some users start renaming audio in Reels. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is still working on ‘Collectibles’. It has developed the ability to add a Collectible when creating a post. [@alex193a]
  • And you can watch a video of how bidding on NFT ‘collectibles’ works on Instagram. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram now shows how many Reels have been created with a particular piece of audio. [@eskoosme]
  • Instagram is developing a ‘Call Friends’ section in the Rooms tab. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram’s Branded Content section in Creator Mode now has more tools. [@newinsocial]
  • Instagram is working on a new ‘Business Diversity Info’ section for business profiles. [@insta_leaks]
  • WhatsApp is testing a new feature that lets users select the quality of videos before they share them. [TechRadar]
  • WhatsApp’s upcoming platform migration feature has been demoed in a video. [@WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is testing a larger link preview. [@WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is set to open up beta testing of its multi-device support. [@WABetaInfo]
  • Twitter has shared early concept designs of new privacy-focused features. [@TechCrunch]
One of the privacy-focused ideas Twitter has shared.
One of the privacy-focused ideas Twitter has shared.
  • Twitter is working on integrating ChipperCash and Wealthsimple into its tipjar feature. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on banners to show when only Super Followers can reply to a tweet. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is promoting Super Follows with a focus on the cash eligible users can make. [@alex]
  • Twitter is exploring ways to make it easier to tweet from inside Spaces. [@Mr_DannySingh]
  • Twitter is testing showing fleets of people you don’t follow in the fleets bar. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is working on letting users speak in Spaces from the Web. [9to5Mac]
  • Twitter has brought the ability to edit scheduled Spaces to Android, a month after it arrived on iOS. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter’s Revue now lets you import your newsletter from Substack, with support for more newsletter platforms to follow. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok is testing the ability for advertisers to attach virtual gift cards to their ads. [@KorzembaColin]
  • YouTube now lets you create Shorts using the sound from videos on Android. [TestingCatalog]
  • YouTube is testing letting creators set custom rules for their comments sections. [TubeFilter]
  • YouTube is working on unlockable achievements to keep creators incentivised. [Social Media Today]
  • Snapchat is still working on a Poll sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Snapchat introduced a White House-endorsed ‘patriotic’ lens in the US to mark Independence Day. [Axios]
  • Signal has followed WhatsApp in adding voice message playback speed controls. [Android Police]
📖 Weekend reading
How TikTok products go viral
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
Okay you lovely lot… Time to wrap things up for another week.
I hope you will join me in sending the England football team good vibes for the Euro2020 final on Sunday… Except if you’re Italian :)
Have an awesome weekend, whatever you get up to.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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