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why the metaverse is going to be weird

Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #74 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, Geeks!
Welcome home geeks! First off this week… 
Why the Metaverse is going to be wild… or really, REALLY weird.
This is one of the best social media trend reports for 2022 I’ve stumbled upon. Recommended reading! #ad
  1. Jack quit Twitter [LINK] 
  2. Spotify Wrapped 2021 is inescapable [LINK]
  3. Twitter’s new private info policy confused everyone [LINK]
  4. LinkedIn finally rolled out LinkedIn Live + other creator tools [LINK]
  5. Reddit added dynamic real-time features [LINK]
It’s been yet another busy week for the major social platforms. Product teams must be keen to ship out a host of new features and updates ahead of the holidays. Here’s a few of the most noteworthy things I spotted this week… 
YouTube launched a useful search insights feature… Twitter is testing double tap to ‘Like’ a tweet… Twitter also rolled out seasonal themed app icons for Twitter Blue subscribers…  
And more signs Twitter emoji reactions, downvotes, sorted replies features may be coming soon… TikTok announced new creator monetisation tools AND relaunched its Q&A features with a new ‘Ask on Tiktok’ community… Jimmy Kimmel mercilessly mocked Mark Zuckerberg with ‘Zuck on a Truck’… AND the Home Alone house is now on Airbnb.
💎 HIDDEN GEM | Don’t miss this… Worth tuning in for! 
Battenhall’s Social Media Trends for 2022 event next Tuesday.
Battenhall’s experts share super-useful insights about the big trends in social for 2022. 
Oh, and it’s free. Nice! #ad 
EMOJIS: The Most Popular Emojis in 2021 [LINK]
GIFS: The Most Popular GIFs in 2021 [LINK]
YOUTUBE: The Most Watched Videos on YouTube in 2021 [LINK]
PODCASTS: Meta’s Guide to Podcasts on Facebook [LINK]
YOUTUBE: A Chrome Extension to Bring Back the YouTube Dislike Counter [LINK]
Okay… Let’s jump into these week’s top stories in a bit more detail👇
— Matt

🔥  LIVE EVENT: Social media trends for 2022 with Matt Navarra
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
Well that was an unexpected start to the week… or was it? Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter who came back to run the company in 2015, announced he had resigned on Monday.
The move came out of the blue, and yet stepping back to look at the wider context, it wasn’t a massive surprise.
He was always a part-time CEO, somehow managing to run another publicly traded company (Square, this week rebranded as Block) at the same time. Dorsey has been notoriously slow at decision-making, and the company’s accelerated product development schedule over the past couple of years seems to have been driven by others at the company, like product chief Kayvon Beykpour.
Activist investors Elliott Management nearly ousted Dorsey last year. He only survived by agreeing some tough performance targets and giving Elliott two seats on the Twitter board.
That situation directly led to this week’s events, as Axios explained this week:
Twitter disclosed last November in an 8-K filing that it had “updated the CEO succession plan in line with best practices.” That line was intentionally vague, but it basically meant that Twitter had launched a yearlong process to replace Dorsey, the culmination of which was made public yesterday.
Elliott stepped off the board earlier this year, but it continued to be involved — having signed a confidential information-sharing agreement with Twitter.
In short, Dorsey was essentially forced out, even if the specific timing might have been his own.
It’s a bittersweet departure. There seems to be plenty of goodwill towards Dorsey among Twitter staff as he leaves, and Dorsey himself says he is very happy with the choice of CTO Parag Agrawal as his replacement.
Agrawal has plenty of challenges ahead of him… but at least he’ll be working full-time to solve them.
When a third-party safety tool is promoting itself as a Christmas gift, you know Twitter has problems it urgently needs to fix. But the company might have fumbled the ball on the latest ‘enhancement’ to its safety policy.
What’s new? Well, as TechCrunch explained:
Twitter updated its private information safety policy this morning to ban sharing images or videos of private individuals without their consent….
This doesn’t mean that Twitter will require consent from all individuals in a photo or video before its posted. But if a person depicted wants the media taken down, Twitter will take it down.
Twitter was careful to make exceptions, noting in its policy that: “This policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”
But still, the move has backfired, receiving a torrent of criticism. Mike Masnick explained the key issue: sometimes people share media of others doing things that it is clearly in the public interest to share, but that a cautious moderator might remove. This will lead to Twitter helping to make the world a worse place:
The most obvious example of this is one of the biggest stories of 2020: the video taping of police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until he died. In theory, under the broadness of this policy, that video would be taken down off of Twitter…. There are plenty of other examples where people are filmed in public, without their permission, but it’s done to reveal important things that have happened in the world. 
Casey Newton sees the policy as taking inspiration from the EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ rule, most commonly associated with individuals being able to get information about themselves removed from Google search result pages in certain cases, so it’s not like this new policy is without precedent. And Twitter has clarified just how cautious it intends to be in applying it.
But it’s hard to see how Twitter won’t make some bad judgement calls along the way. Indeed, it seems it already is. This particular safety move needs an urgent rethink.
We knew the UK’s competition regulator was minded to force Meta to sell Giphy, and this week it made the move official.
As the Verge reported:
The CMA said the acquisition could be used to deny or limit other platforms’ access to Giphy GIFs and drive more traffic to Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. It also raised concerns that it could be used to require other platforms to provide more data to access the GIFs. Finally, the CMA also believes that Giphy’s advertising services could have competed with Meta’s, but that these were shuttered as a result of the merger.
Meta has yet to announce how it will respond to the news, and there’s a chance it will appeal, so the company might still control all those GIFs for some time yet.
But setting aside how completely wild it is that a UK regulator can force two non-UK companies to separate, this first-of-its-kind move is likely to make tech giants more cautious about who they acquire and how they communicate their intentions for what they’ll do with their new purchase.
⚡ Must-read of the week
The Facebook users who reacted with laughing emojis to news of 27 asylum seekers drowning in the Channel
🔨 Tool of the week
Magic Sidebar
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
The leader of Facebook’s stalled cryptocurrency project is leaving the company
  • …and the head of Workplace has also left Meta. [@SylviaVarnham]
  • Meta has launched a new tool to stop the spread of so-called ‘revenge porn’ on Facebook and Instagram. [NBC News]
  • Meta has removed more than 500 accounts linked to an online disinformation network largely based in China. [BBC News]
  • Meta has outlined how it plans to address safety concerns when it eventually starts applying end-to-end encryption to all messages. [TechCrunch]
  • Meta’s NPE team has shifted focus from developing experimental social apps to investing in apps being developed in emerging markets. [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook has reversed a policy of blocking searches and praise for acquitted killer Kyle Rittenhouse. [BBC News]
  • Facebook Marketplace is proving a holiday season shopping hit. [Protocol]
  • Facebook is warning users with a large number of followers to turn on Facebook Protect… or they’ll get locked out of their account on 17 December. [TechCrunch]
  • The Meta Oversight Board wants your views on Facebook’s ‘cross check’ VIP policy. [Protocol]
  • Facebook won’t let you un-Like inactive Pages, which could be embarrassing. [Mashable]
  • Meta has expanded eligibility to run ads about cryptocurrency on its platforms. [Meta for Business]
  • More than 1.5m people on Facebook and Instagram raised more than $120m for good causes as part of Meta’s Giving Tuesday campaign. [Sheryl Sandberg]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to make the most of Facebook’s podcast features? Meta has a new guide for you. [@MattNavarra]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook now auto-suggests optimum times to schedule new posts or stories. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Creator Studio has added an ‘Inspiration Hub’ feature. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is testing a ‘live test’ feature in Live. [@oncescuradu]
  • Facebook is introducing Covid-19 vaccine booster shot profile frames in the US. [Meta newsroom]
  • Facebook is now restricting the ability to create profile frames to organisations included in one of its Information Centers. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is inviting more creators to join its ‘Reels Play’ bonus program. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook’s Page transparency info now shows “organisations that partnered with this page”. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook and Instagram have added a ‘Cookies’ option to their privacy settings menus. [@MattNavarra]
  • Some changes have been spotted in the latest Facebook beta on Android. [@uyangoda_]
  • Instagram has a new ‘bubble captions’ effect for Stories. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram could soon offer 3D backgrounds for video calls. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is testing ‘reply with a video’ on Reels, similar to TikTok. [@ItsSachinShah]
  • Coming to Instagram: Reels within Reels. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram appears to be expanding its test of Likes for Stories. [@JackHorwood]
  • Reels could soon have a scrubbing slider. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram poll stickers could soon come to Reels. [@hammdoh1]
  • WhatsApp is continuing to work on message reactions. [9to5Mac]
  • WhatsApp is testing new ‘undo’ button for Status posts on iOS. [9to5Mac]
  • WhatsApp’s latest desktop beta includes a sticker store. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is testing mixed skin tone combinations for couples emojis. [WABetaInfo]
  • Quest has launched Messenger calling in VR, cloud backup, the ability to customise your surroundings in Horizon Workrooms, and a Mobile Mixed Reality Camera to show off in-game VR footage. [Meta Quest]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter removes another 3,000 state-backed accounts linked to six countries
  • Russia says it will continue to slow Twitter’s traffic in the country until all content banned there is removed. [Reuters $$$]
New features and tests:
  • Super Follows have launched on Android, following their earlier iOS rollout. [@SuperFollows]
  • Twitter could soon let you ‘like’ a tweet by double tapping it. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on seasonal app icons for Christmas and New Year, presumably only for Twitter Blue subscribers. [@alex193a]
  • And Twitter Blue already has a new seasonal app icon. It’s only live for a week, so expect more in the run-up to Christmas. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter now lets web users report a Space without joining it, in parity with iOS and Android. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter is testing a reminder that you can change who can reply to a tweet. It’ll show if one of your tweets starts to pick up a lot of attention. [@TwitterSupport]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok adds creator monetization features, including tips and video gifts
  • TikTok has launched a new Transparency Center for information about content removal requests. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok is quietly offering cash bonuses of up to £10,000 to UK TikTok Shop merchants. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok was the most downloaded free app on iOS in 2021. [MacRumors]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has relaunched its Q&A feature, with new features. [@MattNavarra
  • TikTok is testing letting users tag other people in their videos. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok now lets you adjust the video quality when watching live streams. [@MattNavarra]
💥 More social media news and updates
Russia Launches Homemade TikTok Alternative
  • The UK government wants social platforms to reveal how many children use their platforms. [The Guardian]
  • Mozilla is investigating whether YouTube really lets users reject recommendations. [TNW]
  • Debt collectors in the US are now allowed to contact debtors via social media. [CNet]
  • Australia could force social platforms to reveal the identity of anonymous trolls in cases of alleged defamation. [The Verge]
  • 😂 is the most used emoji of the year, followed by ❤️. [Unicode]
  • MrBeast’s ‘real-life Squid Game’ video attracted 100m YouTube views in four days. [Mashable]
  • And MrBeast’s ‘I Spent 50 Hours Buried Alive’ has topped YouTube’s chart of trending US videos this year. [9to5Google]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube is testing a ‘Search Insights’ tool that helps you understand what your audience wants. [Social Media Today]
  • Chromecast’s new YouTube ‘app’ with homescreen and phone remote is rolling out. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube Premium subscribers can now add persistent ‘Listening controls’ for all videos on iOS and Android. [9to5Google
  • LinkedIn is rolling out LinkedIn Live and newsletter features to all users. [Social Media Today]
  • Reddit has introduced a bunch of new, real-time features like a live upvote count and typing indicator. [TechCrunch]
  • Discord has released a beta of an M1-optimised version of its Mac app. [9to5Mac]
  • Twitch’s new anti-harassment tool uses machine learning to detect people trying to evade bans. [Eurogamer]
  • Twitch now supports SharePlay on iOS for Group FaceTime. [9to5Mac]
  • Clubhouse now lets you add topics to your profile. [@whimchic]
  • Signal now lets users easily provide financial support to the non-profit app. [Signal blog]
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Get in touch:
🌟 New feature of the week
This is a very handy addition: Facebook now auto-suggests optimum times to schedule new posts or stories.
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m mentioned in the news, you’ll find it here…
Twitter confirms it removed 3000 accounts connected to state-linked information operations
📈 Chart of the week
Which messaging app is most likely to share your info with the FBI?
Matt Navarra
WhatsApp, iMessage give the most info to the FBI, new internal document shows

Signal and Telegram are listed as giving much less data
🤔 Thought for the week
Instagram sucks because it's becoming a super app
📖 Weekend reading
What’s the Deal With the Corner of Instagram Where Fake Celebrity Accounts Offer Up Motivational Quotes?
😳 And finally...
Mark Zuckerberg Is a BBQ Sauce-Obsessed Killer in New Meta Parody Video
📅 Back next week...
Well.. you’ve reached the end.
You are officially fully Geeked Out for another week. 🙌🏻
Before you go…
Time for me to head into the weekend full of Christmas shopping and putting up xmas decorations. My personal hell. 😩🎅🏻
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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