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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #86 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, Geekout friends! 
I hope you’ve had a productive and enjoyable week. :) 
Before we get started…
and…
Okay… Let’s get started with the biggest stories in the news this week…
🔥 GEEKOUT HOT 5
  1. TikTok seems unprepared to tackle war misinfo [FULL STORY]
  2. Twitter Shopping features expanded in the US [MORE INFO] 
  3. Pinterest also revealed new shopping features [WHAT’S NEW]
  4. Facebook has useful new tools for Group admins [FULL DETAILS]
  5. Twitter hired a teen app hitmaker to help attract younger users [HELLO KIDZ] 
You know the drill… Here’s my speedy summary of the most noteworthy bits and pieces spotted in my RSS feeds, TweetDeck, and Google Alerts this week:
Twitter has added useful new alt-text features to improve accessibility… Twitter Communities has added a much-needed ‘request to join’ / membership moderation tool… And here’s why some emojis may look different on Twitter this week.
WhatsApp may soon further restrict message forwarding features to tackle misinformation spread… Instagram launched updated creator tags to provide more credit for content contributors… Instagram is also working on a curious looking dual camera feature for Stories (who remembers the Frontback app?).
🏆 PRO TIPS  | The Evolution of Being a ‘Social Media Manager’
The role of social media manager has come a long way since it emerged in the early 2000s.
The key skills needed to be a top-tier SMM have changed… A lot!
Check out Emplifi’s guide to being a social media manager in 2022. It’s a fascinating read!
TikTok’s ‘Collections’ feature appears to have rolled out to more users… BBC News finally joined TikTok only months after saying it would not be doing so (make up your mind, Beeb!)… Twitter launched a new Creator Dashboard… Amazon has announced it own Clubhouse-style audio app with a twist (because we need yet another audio app).
Mr Beast told Joe Rogan he’s uninstalled TikTok due to spending to much time scrolling in the app (I need to do this). Google says it’s working on ways to show more short videos in search results… YouTube is now offering podcasters up to $300k to make video… AND FINALLY… RIP Instagram Hyperlapse and Boomerang apps.
WORTH A LOOK… 👀
⭐️ INVITATION | You can now join Geekout on Twitter Communities [REQUEST INVITE]
📈 INSIGHTS | Twitter’s new Trends Report for 2022 is worth a read [VIEW REPORT]
📊 STATS | 25 WhatsApp stats every marketer needs to know [VIEW STATS]
🧪 CREATORS | Instagram launched a Creator Lab portal full of pro-tips [ACCESS LAB]
🛠 TOOL | Linkedin has a useful new ‘Future Skills’ data tool [MORE INFO] 
Right then… Let’s take a deeper dive on the most important developments this week 👇
— Matt
P.S. The Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces is taking a break this week, but it’ll be back next Friday.

🧑‍🏫 Workshop of the week [Free!]
How to Use Social Media to Get More Clients
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
The story of how creators in Russia feel abandoned after TikTok cut them off this week tells us something about what we’re all learning about 21st century war right now.
As Vice reports:
Creators told VICE World News that TikTok’s decision to suspend new posts from users in Russia while it assessed Russia’s new “fake news” law had cut them off from the world, and funds they had accrued via the app…
“I lost the opportunity to broadcast my ideas, to share the real picture,” said the creator, whose identity we are not publishing for safety reasons. “I also see it as a very sad fact that limits our ability to connect with each other while being in different countries. Of course I realise TikTok does it not to censor but for perhaps a different reason – but the result is that we have fewer ways to connect with people around the world.”
The sad story of ordinary Russians ‘losing their voice’ reflects how social media is helping us understand Russia’s invasion of Ukraine like no conflict before it, while also being a far more important front in the war than any conflict before it.
As Russia tries to hide the reality of the situation from its population, we’ve seen authorities block Facebook and Twitter over ‘discrimination’ against state media. To counter its block, Twitter launched Tor support.
The more popular Instagram and WhatsApp were not blocked, perhaps suggesting the move was designed to encourage the platforms to bend to Putin’s will. Keeping the population happy by not cutting off their Insta, but hoping parent company Meta would play ball with censorship seemed to be the goal… Until today, when Russia branded Meta an "extremist organisation” and banned Instagram too. 😬 WhatsApp remains safe for now.
Meanwhile, Western social media companies continued to cut Russia off in an array of ways. Facebook banned Russian advertisers, Telegram joined a wider ban on Russian state media, and YouTube stopped most monetisation for Russian creators.
And social media’s potential to be used as a weapon was addressed by the platforms too. Twitter banned #IStandWithPutin accounts, while Twitter and Facebook removed disinformation by the Russian embassy in London. Snapchat turned off its ‘heatmap’ in Ukraine so it couldn’t be used to see where people were posting from, and Instagram also took steps to improve the privacy of users in Russia and Ukraine.
But TikTok turned out to be a useful tool to create disinformation. The platform has been less well prepared for war in a way other platforms weren’t, but it’s learning fast.
Perhaps the strangest policy change the war has ushered in is Meta loosening rules around death and violence threats against Russian leaders and soldiers. In what internal emails called “a spirit-of-the-policy allowance”, users in certain Eastern European countries can vent their frustrations with some violent catharsis, as long as they don’t get too specific about the details.
Some death threats are more serious than others, so it’s good to see flexible rules that recognise Vladimir Putin threatening death to Ukrainians is very different to a Polish student venting that they wish Putin was dead. Still, ‘Facebook allows some violent speech’ is a strange thing to see as welcome news, isn’t it?
Ask a person under 25 which social platforms they use and you’ll probably hear the words ‘TikTok’, ‘Instagram’, or ‘Snapchat’, but probably not ‘Twitter’. Considering that millennials are coasting into middle age, Twitter needs to address that.
As the Washington Post reported this week, Twitter has hired Michael Sayman, a developer who has carved out a reputation as tech platforms’ connection with youth. He’s previously worked at Meta, YouTube, and Roblox on youth-focused things like Stories and Shorts, and now he’ll work with a team building experimental Twitter features aimed at young people.
Twitter is a very different product for young adults, and most people are unaware of that,” he told The Washington Post. While media and politics people generally use the app for news, younger users, Sayman says, are more likely to turn to it as a place to express opinions or drive conversation on issues. “People in the media look at Twitter as an important news platform,” he says. “That is not how young adults use Twitter at all. Their perception of Twitter is much more varied, encompassing news for some, but not for many others.”
Experience tells us that very few glossy new Twitter features resonate with core users like its original one (tweets, of course), but even that could be a greater draw to a young audience. Sayman argues “young people want a service where they can share their thoughts without the pressure of having an algorithm factor their physical appearance into the popularity of their content.”
So, maybe Sayman’s challenge is mainly a case of figuring out how to present Twitter’s existing features to a younger audience.
This one fell under the radar a bit this week with everything else going on, but it’s worth flagging up. Twitter has joined the trend for integrating storefronts into social profiles.
As TechCrunch reported:
Twitter Shops… will allow merchants to curate a collection of up to 50 products to showcase on their Twitter profile. The mobile-first feature, which is free to use, aims to encourage users to go from talking about products on Twitter’s platform to actually clicking through to browse the merchant’s selection, then check out.
It’s launching in the US on iOS only, with support for “hundreds” of brands. But the feature doesn’t go all the way to integrating commerce into the Twitter app itself. You’ll get bumped out to a web browser to complete the transaction.
E-commerce is just one of several new areas Twitter has been experimenting with since it ramped up product development following the investor pressure that also saw Jack Dorsey step down as CEO. It’s not clear though, whether a primarily text and news-based platform (see Michael Sayman’s comments in the section above) will be a natural fit for retail in the same way that the visual media of Instagram and TikTok are.
But, hey, Twitter’s got to try it… if only for the shareholders.
🎧 Podcast of the week
Mr. Beast - The Joe Rogan Experience
👀 Must-read of the week
Twitter and Tone Collapse in a Time of War
🤦 Fail of the week
Facebook Is Testing A Desktop Redesign, And What It’s Doing Is Baffling
📲 App of the week
Substack launches an iOS app for reading newsletters
🔨 Tool of the week
Accessible Social
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
TikTok and YouTube Shorts are heading in opposite directions, and that's a good thing
📈 Chart of the week
Watch out, YouTube. TikTok is catching up…
📊 Stat of the week
Read more at eMarketer.
❓ Question of the week
The best social media managers I’ve ever worked with all had an innate ability to know what great content looks like, and to write social copy that triggers people’s core emotions.
…how about you? Tap through below and get involved 👇
Matt Navarra
the one skill all great social media managers possess?
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond:
EU and UK launch antitrust investigation into Google and Meta’s adtech dealing
  • Instagram has removed its Boomerang and Hyperlapse apps from app stores. [TechCrunch]
  • HBO has been accused of sharing subscriber data with Facebook, in a new class action lawsuit. [Variety]
  • Meta has published tips to help women stay safe on social media. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta has launched an online safety course for journalists. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
Facebook:
  • Facebook has launched new tools for Group admins, including auto-rejection of posts flagged with including false information. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook has launched ‘avatar backgrounds’ for Stories. [@KenSchillinger]
  • Facebook has given Stories, Reels, and Rooms more visible tabs to switch between. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has been spotted offering a ‘share Group comment’ feature. [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • Facebook is working on a new feature called Bonuses. [@ItsJeffHiggins]
Instagram:
  • Instagram will introduce a tag for professional accounts and influencers so they receive credit for their content. It follows Black users not being credited for starting trends. [NBC News]
  • Instagram is testing Reels of up 90 seconds. [@beto011120]
  • Instagram has been spotted testing a dual-camera mode for Stories. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram could soon let you set up automated responses for ads with a message goal. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on crypto wallet integration for digital collectibles. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has been spotted notifying users when someone they follow changes their username. [@ec_wife]
  • Instagram could soon let you archive Reels. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram’s ‘fan clubs’ feature will let you add promotional and welcome videos. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is rolling out its redesigned Poll sticker. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is working on letting you send a message to all users mentioned in a Story. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram’s ‘status’ feature will let you add music. [@alex193a]
Messenger:
  • Messenger marked International Women’s Day with new word effects and stickers. [Social Media Today]
WhatsApp:
  • WhatsApp has launched a tool to help you make sure you’re using a legit version of its web app. [The Verge]
  • WhatsApp is working on polls for group chats. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp could soon restrict the forwarding of all messages to just one group chat at a time. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp’s iOS-only blur tool could soon come to Android. [XDA Developers]
Quest/VR/devices:
  • The Oculus Move health app now integrates with Apple Health. [TechCrunch]
  • Meta is promoting communal VR gameplay with a new weekly ‘Quest Night’ every Tuesday. [VR Scout]
🐣 Twitter news
Behind the Twitter Bot Posting the Gender Pay Gap of Brands Celebrating IWD
  • Twitter has made some new appointments in its content partnerships team. [Variety]
  • Elon Musk wants a judge to end legal restrictions that force him to run some tweets past a lawyer before publishing. [The Guardian]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter is making the ‘Latest’ feed just a little less convenient. It’ll be an optional tab rather than a default feed option. [The Verge]
  • Twitter has launched a ‘request to join’ feature for Communities. [@HiCommunities]
  • Twitter has launched a dashboard to let creators track revenue from Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitter Super Followers on iOS can now hide their Super Follower badges on their replies to a creator’s public tweets. [@SuperFollows]
  • Twitter is testing updated alt-text for images. [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter is working on auto-translate for alt text on images. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is rolling out a new icon for Spaces. [@eskoosme]
  • Twitter has launched new seasonal app icons for Blue subscribers. [@chrismessina]
  • …and more seasonal icons are on their way. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter has tweaked several emojis for its platform. [Emojipedia]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok launches a music distribution platform, SoundOn
  • TikTok is experimenting with allowing cryptocurrency ads. [Morning Brew]
  • TikTok is reportedly nearing a deal to let Oracle store US users’ data. Oracle was part of a consortium that tried to buy TikTok when Trump threatened to ban it. [Reuters $$$]
  • BBC News has joined TikTok, months after saying it didn’t have the resources to do so. [@MattNavarra]
  • WWE is holding contest to find a correspondent to cover Wrestlemania 38 on TikTok. [AdWeek $$$]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has been spotted offering a live polling feature. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok appears to have rolled out its ‘Collections’ feature to more users. [@KenSchillinger]
💥 More social media news and updates
YouTube Offers Up to $300,000 to Get Podcasters to Make Videos
  • YouTube turned to human curation to clean up its Kids app. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Social media companies would be forced to remove ‘fraudulent’ ads under the latest addition to the UK’s Online Safety Bill. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Four groups backed by the tech industry have spent $2m this year so far on Facebook ads criticising anti-tech antitrust bills in the US. [@birnbaum_e]
  • Australia’s new regulations for advertising drugs on social media can easily be dodged by brands and creators posting from overseas. [The Guardian]
  • Telegram founder Pavel Durov has stopped short of telling Russian and Ukrainian users their data is safe from snooping. [Mashable]
  • OnlyFans has opened a creator fund contest for fashion-focused creators. [TubeFilter]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • How long should a social media video be? Check out these tips for every network. [Hootsuite blog]
  • Got questions about YouTube’s algorithms? Check out these answers to common queries. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has launched a new digital magazine for sales professionals. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn will hold its 2022 Spark conference this month to help users make the most of their careers. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn has published a new guide to help tech marketers boost the performance of their campaigns. [Social Media Today]
  • Amazon has launched a new social music app that lets you DJ for others. [The Verge]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube Music now lets you share songs to Snapchat. [9to5Google]
  • Pinterest has announced a bunch of new shopping and ads features. [Protocol]
  • Reddit is expanding availability of creator stats. [Social Media Today]
  • Signal is working on adding its own Stories feature. [XDA Developers]
  • Google could soon show more short-form video in search results. [Search Engine Journal]
  • Google has built a tool to help journalists filter out abusive comments on social media. [The Verge]
  • Tinder now lets users run background checks on their matches through the app. [TechCrunch]
💲 Advertise in Geekout
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You should advertise in Geekout!
Get in touch: matt@mattnavarra.com
📖 Weekend reading
The Infinite Reach of Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s Man in Washington
😳 And finally...
Why are we all so obsessed with early web nostalgia?
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s pretty much everything worth knowing in social media land this week.
If you made it this far and are reading this bit…You impress me!
❤️ Support Geekout ❤️
Don’t keep Geekout to yourself!
Help others discover it:
Right… Time for me to go watch The Adam Project on Netflix. It will never compete with my childhood favorite Flight of the Navigator, but who doesn’t love a bit of Ryan Reynolds!
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
_________________
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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