what tiktok’s algorithm learnt about you

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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #103 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
Welcome back, folks.
This week’s news cycle has been a fun one if brand Twitter is your thang. 
Boris Johnson’s resignation, the Gentleminions TikTok trend, Usher’s ‘Watch This’ viral meme, and more, have given social media managers lots of material to play with…We will dig into ALL of these in a bit.
But first…
And… A quick pro-tip for you
I subscribe to a LOT of newsletters. But this is one of the best.
Marketing Brew drops a quick-to-read newsletter in your inbox every weekday with the latest on influencers and advertising to social media & more. 
Marketing Brew never misses a beat. I highly recommend it. Check it out.
Okay… Let’s take a look at hottest stories in social media land this week:
🔥 GEEKOUT HOT 5
  1. TikTok’s social shopping plans fail to takeoff in Europe + U.S [FULL STORY]
  2. Meta is killing Facebook logins in the metaverse [MORE INFO] 
  3. #GentleMinions TikTok viral trend is driving cinemagoers nuts [EXPLAINER] 
  4. Twitter’s started testing a new ‘CoTweet’ feature [NEW FEATURE]
  5. Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover deal is reportedly ‘in peril’ [FFS ELON]
What else happened that is new and noteworthy this week? I got you… (*cracks knuckles… stretches*):
Reddit launched ‘Collectable Avatars’ NFT thing (but Reddit doesn’t want to call it an NFT)… Pinterest launched a bunch of new shopping features, including a new Shopping API, and a Shop tab on business profiles… 
Meta’s high-end VR headset is likely to be called Quest Pro (copy Apple much?)… Twitter is testing an in-app podcast player (because WTF not?)… Meanwhile, Spotify is working on adding in-app podcast creation tools (bye, bye Anchor)…
YouTube has rolled improvements to analytics for Shorts (+ a few other tweaks to help creators)… TikTok is testing an option to let users restrict livestream to viewers aged 18+… 
Instagram has expanded its Reels templates feature, and added music recommendations for Reels… And Twitch is testing a channel surfing feature
WATCH | META’S ‘ROAD TO THE METAVERSE’ EVENT
Meta invited me to speak at its ‘Road to the Metaverse’ event in Berlin this week.
Hot topics we discussed included: 
  • Why I’m excited about the metaverse
  • The future of social media in the metaverse
  • The risks of increasingly living in a virtual world
The EU has approved landmark legislation to regulate big tech and social media companies (but its ability to enforce the new rules looks problematic)… Also, Europe could face an Facebook / Instagram blackout as the data transfer row with the U.S reaches its climax…
Twitter randomly removed its image filters for tweets, but they are finally back… Also, Twitter Spaces no longer have a 30-day recording expiry… WhatsApp may soon increase the window of time to delete sent messages… Facebook’s ‘Collab’ post feature is rolling out to more users… And finally, Amazon is pinning its hopes on influencers to crack livestream shopping (TikTok execs will be watching this one with interest). 
WORTH A LOOK 👀
🔥 EXCLUSIVE: Join the PRIVATE Geekout Group for SMMs on Facebook [28,000+ MEMBERS]
💀MEMES: The Best Boris Johnson Resignation Memes on Twitter [SHOW ME]
💯 PRO-TIPS: TikTok Shadowbans Explained + 5 Tips to Get Unbanned [TELL ME]
✨ FREE STUFF: Twitter’s New Brands Playbook Full of Top Tips for Marketers [CHECK IT OUT]   
Alrighty then… Let’s take a look at the week’s biggest developments. Analysis of the stories everyone’s talking about is coming up next 👇
— Matt
P.S. Geekout is BACK on Twitter Spaces at 4pm UK / 11am ET / 8am PT today. We’ll be talking about all the big topics from today’s newsletter. GET A REMINDER / LISTEN BACK

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Maybe QVC isn’t the future of social media, after all. The FT reported this week:
TikTok has abandoned plans to expand its live ecommerce initiative in Europe and the US, after the social media platform’s foray into QVC-style shopping in the UK was hit by internal problems and struggled to gain traction with consumers…
TikTok had planned to launch the feature in Germany, France, Italy and Spain in the first half of this year, before expanding into the US later in 2022, according to several people briefed on the matter. But the expansion plans have been dropped after the UK project failed to meet targets and influencers dropped out of the scheme, three people said.
Social shopping has been huge in Asia, and TikTok is just one of the tech giants trying to make it work in the West. But maybe there just isn’t quite the appetite for this style of commerce that they all assumed there must be.
To be fair, TikTok says it never planned to launch Shopping in other parts of Europe in the first half of this year and is focused on making the feature work in the UK.
Meanwhile, Amazon is all in on bringing in influencers to make its own take on social shopping a success, as Facebook Live emerged as the favourite destination for livestream shopping in the US.
But I’m really not convinced the widespread appetite for this kind of shopping is really there. Let’s give it a year and see if I’m right.
It’s been showing up in app code for months, but Twitter’s take on collabs finally started rolling out to this week. A user can invite another to share authorship of a tweet with them.
It looks like you can see in the picture above, and it’s clearly early days for the feature. Given that collabs between creators and brands are often perfect fodder for paid promotion, it’s interesting to see that that’s not possible yet.
Indeed, it’s interesting to see that anyone who has the feature on their account can invite another user to collaborate - this could get very spammy very quickly.
It’s surprising this wasn’t rolled out to brands and agencies first, seeing as that’s where the most obvious need for it is. But perhaps Twitter just wants to see what people do with it before it gets too prescriptive about how it should be used.
Speaking of spam, Twitter this week shared more information about how it handles bots, and why replicating the work outside Twitter won’t get the same results. It also revealed that it suspends one MILLION accounts per DAY for spam.
All of that comes as the Washington Post reported that Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter is still being held up over the bots dispute. But however much it might be painted as “in peril”, Musk is still bound to the deal.
Meta’s decision to force Quest users to log in with Facebook accounts must be one of the most tone-deaf in the company’s history. Tying cool, futuristic VR to an association with the app you use to talk to your gran showed a lack of awareness of the sensitivities of gamers.
So it’s good that the company has come up with a solution, as Mark Zuckerberg promised it would last year. However, aside from being free of Facebook brand-association cooties, there’s that much that’s different here, as The Verge explains:
A lot of Facebook account requirements seem present in Meta accounts as well. Meta account creation requires plenty of personal information, including your name, email address, phone number, date of birth, and payment details for buying apps.
If you want no Meta data tracking whatsoever… well, you’ll have to find a different VR platform. But given that Quest accounts for 90% of headset sales, you might not find many friends using the other platforms.
Apple might change that eventually, while Sony will be hoping its next PlayStation VR headset takes some attention away from Meta.
👿 Villain of the week
Meet the guy behind RadioShack's horny Twitter account
👀 Read of the week
How to build trust as a social media manager
👾 Hacked!
British army confirms breach of its Twitter and YouTube accounts
  • Meanwhile, Disneyland’s social accounts spouted racism after they were breached.
🧑‍🎓 TIL
🙅 Unpopular opinion?
📊 Chart of the week
Matt Navarra
TikTok Stars vs. YouTube Creators

Who Earns the Most? https://t.co/YyLmHjIW0u
And a bonus chart that puts it even more starkly:
Matt Navarra
The Difference Between TikTok And YouTube's Biggest Earners, Visualized

via https://t.co/KBrsP1oXOh https://t.co/o5IiXPwbGB
🌟 New feature spotligjht
📈 Trending meme
Usher’s ‘watch this’ meme was inescapable this week.
This was one of my favourites (tap through to see it in action):
But one bad tweet can kill a meme, and the fun was quickly over. RIP, Usher meme.
🐥 Brands on Twitter
The rapid fall of the Boris Johnson government proved rich fodder for brands this week. KFC had a great one (tap through to get the full effect):
…while Ryanair said ‘YEAH’ to the Usher meme:
❓ Quick question
There are some really good confessions popping up here! 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

never have i ever...
lol:
LG UK
@MattNavarra Accidentally tweeted from the brand account
🔵 Meta news
Europe faces Facebook blackout
  • Meta is pushing ahead with plans to support NFTs, despite the crypto crash. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Meta has been sued by a former employee who claimed deleted user data could still be accessed on behalf of law enforcement. [Input]
  • Meta’s new high-end headset will likely be called ‘Quest Pro’. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has launched fresh legal proceedings against data scrapers. [Social Media Today]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Meta has published a handy guide to planning video campaigns, including information about Reels ad formats. [Social Media Today]
  • World Cup campaigns on your mind? Meta has shared a marketing guide containing useful insights. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
Instagram:
  • Instagram now suggests the best music for your video based on the video’s content. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram has added templates as an option on the main Reels creation page. [@ahemdghanem]
  • Instagram has improved its notifications filter. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘Creator Tools’ option. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon show all the stories about close friends in the section above the chat list. [@alex193a]
WhatsApp:
  • WhatsApp is working on a longer timeframe to delete sent messages. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp on iOS will soon let users hide their online status from everyone. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is still working on letting you add another smartphone to your account and sync chat histories between them. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is developing support for captions in documents. [WABetaInfo]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter, challenging block orders, sues India’s government
  • Twitter has laid off 30% of its recruitment team as it prepares for the Elon Musk acquisition. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • The ‘Stranger Things’ finale predictably dominated Variety’s Twitter-focused Trending TV chart. [Variety]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Twitter has launched a useful guide for brands using the platforms ad features. [Social Media Today]
  • Want to make the most of promoted tweets? Twitter has shared some best practices. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter is working on an in-app podcast player. [@wongmjane]
  • Indefinite Spaces recording has expanded to iOS after launching on Android last week. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter has expanded tabs bar customisation for Blue subscribers to Android. [The Verge]
  • Twitter has brought its image filters back. [@CuteekCom]
  • Twitter has launched a Creative Metadata Tagging feature to help brands and agencies. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter could soon add a new ‘pull-to-refresh’ sound effect. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter is working on more convenient in-feed translation. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter could soon let you use your Snapchat Bitmoji as your profile picture. [@alex193a]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok confirms that China-based employees can access US user data, but only through an 'approval process'
  • Parents are suing TikTok, saying their children died after viewing the ‘Blackout Challenge’. [New York Times $$$]
  • TikTok’s latest trend is Gen Z critiques of their former selves. [Wired $$$]
  • The Gentleminions trend on TikTok is being linked to the huge success of the new Minions movie, but the importance of the meme is hard to gauge. [Motherboard]
  • TikTok has partnered with book influencers on the platform to launch the BookTok Challenge. [TikTok Newsroom]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has a new ‘Not for younger audiences’ option in its Live settings. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok now reveals what it thinks you’re interested in and lets you turn off personalised ads for each category. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok has started asking users what languages they understand. [@MattNavarra]
💥 More social media news and updates
Highland Park shooting suspect "Bobby” E. Crimo III Discord server raises moderation questions for app
  • It looks like influencers will be fine as advertising budgets are stripped back. [Marketing Brew]
  • Major new EU legislation affecting social media giants has been approved by the European Parliament. [TechCrunch]
  • The UK could fine online platforms that don’t tackle state-linked disinformation. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • And the UK could force messaging apps to adopt new tech to deal with a suite messages. [The Guardian]
  • News publishers will get a chance to appeal before they’re banned by social platforms under a change to the UK’s Online Safety Bill. [The Guardian]
  • Snap has poached the head of the US Secret Service to run its internal security. [The Verge]
  • A Japanese court ruling could make big tech companies open up about their algorithms. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Reddit has acquired an natural language processing company called MeaningCloud. [TechCrunch]
  • Influencer measurement is one of the biggest problems facing beauty, fashion, and luxury brands, according to a new study. [AdAge $$$]
  • YouTube says Shorts are a hit with musicians. [Bloomberg $$$]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube has launched updated Shorts analytics along with other new tweaks for creators. [Social Media Today]
  • Snapchat has added comments to public Spotlight posts. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Snapchat continues to work on Communitiers. [@alex193a]
  • Discord has added new accessibility features. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Reddit has launched its own NFT collection. [The Verge]
  • Twitch is testing a ‘channel switching’ feature. [The Verge]
  • Pinterest has launched a bunch of new shopping features. [TechCrunch]
  • Pinterest has expanded Pin Ads to Argentina, Colombia, and Chile. [Social Media Today]
💲 Advertise in Geekout
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Get in touch: matt@mattnavarra.com
📖 Weekend reading
The dark side of TikTok tarot
😳 And finally...
Someone Got YouTube Videos To Play on a 40-Year-Old Computer That Can Only Display Green Text
📅 Back next week...
You’ve reached the end of the newsletter…
…If you only achieved one thing this week 😆 
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Right… Time for me to go drop hints about someone buying me this epic new piece of Lego.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt 
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant
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