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TikTok needs to stop doing this

Hello, geeks! Ok. Fleets. Twitter’s spin on Stories. Aside from the rollout having a few issues this
Geekout Newsletter
Issue #21 • View online
Hello, geeks!
Ok. Fleets. Twitter’s spin on Stories. Aside from the rollout having a few issues this week (more on that later), what do we think? I hope they stick around and people find smart ways to use them. I’m curious to see how many views fleets get once the novelty of them wears off.
I rarely create stories on other platforms (reason: laziness), but as Twitter makes up about 80% of my social media consumption diet, I’m excited to have a stories-like feature on the platform. Although I have already spotted some irritating issues with fleets. And Twitter gets that lots of users are already hating on fleets. I’d love to hear what you think. Drop me a tweet?
On to this week’s hidden gem: an awesome Twitter directory of top tweets by brands. Grouped into useful categories such as live tweeting, memes, threads, and more, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your next Twitter campaign.
Quick thing that’s been bugging me this week…
TikTok notifications - Is it just me, or do you also hate those “[username] has just posted a new video” notifications, which when you tap them you realise they are BS. No new video was posted, it’s just bait to get you to open the app and spend more time on the platform. Although TikTok is not the only social app that does this, TikTok’s concern me more, given the number of younger users it has.
This tactic feels wrong when set against the backdrop of fear over the addictiveness of social apps and the impact of social media on younger and more vulnerable people’s mental health. I don’t like this seemingly dark design tactic at all. I’ve contacted TikTok about it and will update you when I get their response.
Finally, here’s a bunch of other cool, geeky things I wanted to quickly share with you: 

— Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
After months of being tested in a handful of countries, Twitter finally gave Fleets to the rest of us this week. If you haven’t got the feature yet, it’s because the rollout has been slowed to address some technical issues. As expected, fleets are basically the Stories format with minimal tweaks for a Twitter audience. But maybe not enough tweaks.
Users were quick to point out how they could be used for harassment and to spread disinformation. To his credit, Twitter’s product lead, Kayvon Beykpour, was quick to discuss how the company was moving fast to address people’s concerns and fix the problems.
Fleets highlight how copying Stories isn’t enough. Features like replies going into your DM box seem natural on Instagram, but can feel invasive on Twitter, a platform with a very different vibe.
Why didn’t they test for these issues with people who suffer harassment before Fleets launched? Interestingly, that’s exactly what Twitter is doing with its next big product — Clubhouse-like audio chat rooms called Spaces. Twitter product designer, Maya Gold Patterson told reporters: “We are going to launch this first experiment of spaces to a very small group of people — a group of people who are disproportionately impacted by abuse and harm on the platform: women and those from marginalized backgrounds.”
Social apps should really do this kind of testing as standard.
YouTube kicked up a storm this week by announcing it would run ads on videos by creators who aren’t in the Partner Program… without paying them.
The Partner Program requires a channel to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months. It’s easy to see why many people have seen this new move as exploiting the work of creators with smaller audiences. Why can’t they get paid, too?
If you use YouTube’s platform, you have to play by its rules. But YouTube would be wise to not take its creators for granted. It’s not like there aren’t other video platforms out there who might end up becoming more attractive to those with small-ish audiences.
Here we go again. Zuck and Jack were back in front of their webcams this week, answering more questions from the US Senate, this time in the wake of an election that seemed to go quite smoothly at the time, but has proved messy in the aftermath as Trump tries every move he can to stay in power, sometimes with the help of social platforms.
As you’d expect, there was plenty more simplistic (some would say “dumb”) discourse from the politicians for the execs to bat away. But we did learn some interesting new things.
The two men have differing standpoints on the idea of social media addiction. Jack Dorsey said it exists, while Mark Zuckerberg more cautiously said the research is ‘inconclusive.’
And Jack was up for the idea of social platforms revealing more about how their algorithms work. Zuck, tellingly, ignored the question.
It always feels like Jack approaches subjects like these from a philosophical point of view, whereas Mark Zuckerberg plays the slick political operator, avoiding saying anything that might cause Facebook any problems later on.
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👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Facebook is now using AI to sort content for quicker moderation
  • Facebook and Apple are scrapping again, this time over iPhone user-tracking. [MacRumors]
  • Instagram is reportedly planning to experiment again with paying publishers. [Axios]
  • Facebook failed to convince a court to block a UK competition probe of its Giphy acquisition. [CNBC]
  • Facebook has sued a website owner who allegedly scraped 100,000 Instagram profiles and created Instagram clone sites. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook says it has labelled 180 million posts as ‘false’ since March. [Mashable]
  • Facebook moderators want better treatment from the company during the pandemic. [The Guardian]
  • Instagram has ‘failed’ in its self-harm responsibilities, according to a UK charity. [BBC News]
  • US regulators will reportedly probe Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. [CNet]
  • Not everyone is happy with the latest Instagram update. [Insider]
  • Labelling Trump’s posts only reduces sharing by 8%, Facebook data shows. [BuzzFeed News]
  • Actor Rupert Grint has beaten Sir David Attenborough’s record, getting to 1m Instagram followers just 4 hours and 1 minute after opening his account. [BBC News]
Twitter names famed hacker 'Mudge' as head of security
  • Twitter is exploring a ‘downvote’ system to help users communicate when they dislike a tweet. [Mashable]
  • Amazon has apologised after it accidentally seemed to declare a united Ireland in a support tweet. [BBC News]
  • Brands had fun with the ‘This claim is disputed’ Twitter meme this week. [AdAge]
TikTok granted 15 more days to close deal for US business
And the rest:
Obama says social media companies 'are making editorial choices, whether they've buried them in algorithms or not'
  • Snap has acquired Voisey, a TikTok-like music app. [Business Insider $$$]
  • YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are teaming up with UK fact-checkers and the government to tackle Covid-19 vaccine conspiracy content. [BBC News]
  • Social media companies should face penalties for not removing anti-vax content, the UK’s opposition Labour Party says. [The Guardian]
  • French social app Yubo has raised $47.5m. It doesn’t involve following users and won’t rely on advertising to make money. [TechCrunch]
  • A UK startup paid social media influencers to create hype for a bank card that may be a scam, regulators have warned. [CNBC]
  • Twitch has banned one of its most popular streamers for cheating. [TNW]
  • US debt collectors can go through debtors’ social media accounts, the government has confirmed. [The Register]
  • Lil Nas X got 33 million views for his concert inside hit game Roblox. [The Verge]
  • UK politician Damian Collins faced heat for his ideas around online censorship. [TechDirt]
❓ Question of the week
Here’s a question that never seems to completely go away. As I write this, the poll in this tweet (click through 👇 to see it) is swinging clearly in one direction. But what to you think? And what should the app be called?
Matt Navarra
a separate Twitter DMs messaging app

Twitter DMs
Twitter Messenger
Twitter Squawk
🔨 Tool of the week
Twitter Intro
🐣 Tweet of the week
Don't even think about it, Microsoft.
Don't even think about it, Microsoft.
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook’s collage-making app has officially launched in the US. It was previously in limited testing. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook is further rolling out new messaging features on Instagram and Messenger: Watch Together, chat themes, and vanish mode. [Facebook Newsroom]
  • Facebook has announced a new video series which be exclusively available on Messenger and Instagram via Watch Together. [Social Media Today]
  • Facebook is now giving Page admins suggestions of posts to share. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has updated Rights Manager to let creators set up new rules to detect duplicate content as it’s posted by others, then monetise it where possible. [Social Media Today]
  • And Rights Manager will now be available to all Page admins. [The Verge]
  • Facebook has launched a new website for designers. It’s full of case studies, tools, and resources. [Facebook Design]
  • Facebook is promoting a virtual Thanksgiving this year via its ‘Rooms’ feature. [@MattNavarra
  • Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 has been updated to enable 90Hz games, and more. [The Verge]
  • Instagram now lets users opt out of third-party data usage for ad targeting. [Social Media Today]
  • Instagram is working on camera settings options. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram now lets all users create content with its Guides format. [TechCrunch]
Instagram Guides for all. [Credit: Instagram]
Instagram Guides for all. [Credit: Instagram]
  • Instagram has started to roll out keyword search. [The Verge]
  • Instagram has launched a campaign to highlight the diversity of its creators and its community. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Instagram’s Threads app has rolled out a new design. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram may add a close friends filter for messages. [@alex193a]
  • Messenger Kids has been redesigned to look more like the normal Messenger app. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook has fixed a Messenger bug that let hackers listen to you before you picked up a call. [The Hacker News]
  • WhatsApp is introducing a new ‘Read Later’ feature. [TechRadar]
  • WhatsApp will let you mute videos in a future update. [WABetaInfo]
  • New emojis have arrived in the WhatsApp beta. [@Emojipedia]
  • Twitter is testing a new UI for adding Topics to follow. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter for Mac has been updated to support the new Apple Silicon Macs and MacOS 11 Big Sur. [9to5Mac]
  • Twitter is working on an auto-block feature. How will it work? [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is working on a setting for when to upload high-quality photos. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter has launched a Customer Insights Panel for its ad products. [Twitter Business]
  • TikTok has expanded its parental controls. Teens will hate this! [TechCrunch]
More options for parents to control their kids' TikTok use. [Credit: TikTok]
More options for parents to control their kids' TikTok use. [Credit: TikTok]
  • LinkedIn is working on data insights for its Stories feature. [@alex193a]
  • LinkedIn is (finally) working on an image editor for its mobile app. [@alex193a]
  • LinkedIn has announced its top ‘voices’ of 2020. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Snapchat now has new options for app promotions, including improved cross-linking tools [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube has launched audio ads to target music fans. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube will show Covid-19 vaccine information in its fact-check panels. [The Verge]
  • YouTube is updating analytics to show more about how the audience finds videos. [Search Engine Journal]
  • YouTube now has a ‘Your movies and shows’ section for quick access to your purchases. [9to5Google]
  • Twitch is testing ‘multiplayer ads’ that make money for creators. [The Verge]
  • Twitch now lets streamers ‘buy’ affiliate statuses. [Ubergizmo]
  • Twitch has launched a ‘Predictions’ feature to let users bet on what will happen in streams. [TubeFilter]
  • Amazon has launched a game clip-sharing app for Android, called GameOn. [XDA Developers]
  • Apple now lets you embed podcasts on the web. [TechCrunch]
  • Outbrain has launched a newsletter curation app called Listory. [Axios]
  • Fortnite is getting video chat, powered by Houseparty. [The Verge]

📖 Weekend reading
Inside YouTube’s plan to win the music-streaming wars
😳 And finally....
📅 Back next week...
That’s it folks!
You are now fully briefed and up to date.
You’re such a nerd :)
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Signing out. Goodbye geeks!
— Matt

This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2020: Matt Navarra Media Ltd

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