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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #95 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
BREAKING NEWS: The Elon Musk Twitter Circus continues, folks.
Just in as I’m writing this… Elon Musk has put the Twitter deal on hold! 🙄
We’ll come back to that in a moment.
But first:
Also… Don’t miss this…👇 
Want to know how *your* Instagram performance stacks up against your rivals?
Right… Here are the hottest news headlines of the week:
  1. Instagram started testing NFT features with creators [NFT FTW]
  2. Elon Musk said he would reverse Trump Twitter suspension [PLEASE NO]
  3. Zuck revealed more about Meta’s much-anticipated mixed reality headset [MORE META] 
  4. Number 10 Downing Street joined TikTok [BRACE YOURSELF]
  5. Twitter published new rules to limit reach of duplicate tweets [CHECK RULES]
Switch your brain into download mode. I’ve sifted through every social media news update from the past seven days, so you don’t have to. Here’s everything else worth knowing about this week (in no particular order):
Twitter is working on pinned tweet replies AND ‘Start a space about this tweet’ features… (I like the look of the pinned replies thing)… YouTube is rolling out its video clipping tool to more users… Google revealed its own AR glasses (don’t call it Google Glass)… TikTok is working on enhanced video editing tools for its creators. 
YouTube will now let you gift channel subscriptions to other users… TikTok’s ‘Friends’ tab is rolling out to more users (the discover tab was more useful)… Twitter Blue added 1080p video uploading on mobile as a new perk… Instagram’s avatars feature is rolling out (you going to use it? Me neither).       
📣 EXPLAINER | WTF is ‘Conversational Commerce’ on Social Media?
Chatbots, Voice Assistants, and Human Agents: ‘Conversational commerce’ is an important part of selling online in 2022. But how do you integrate it with your social media activity? Answers here… [LEARN MORE]
YouTube added a new TikTok-style greenscreen feature for Shorts… TikTok has invented a new social media buzzword. CGE is the new UGC (seriously, tiktok?)… Instagram held a meme conference in NYC… Meta is about to tell news publishers to pivot to video… again (Meta’s got balls of steel to give news publishers that update).
Is TikTok is turning into a record label? It’s hiring A&R managers to find and sign new music talent… Meanwhile, TikTok’s ‘explosive growth’ continues… Colleges in the U.S have launched TikTok classes for influencers making $5k a post… But working at TikTok sounds INTENSE.
⭐️ TWITTER: Join Geekout on Twitter Communities [REQUEST INVITE]
📊 FREE TOOL: TikTok’s got a handy new Insights tool [TRY IT OUT]
📏 FREE GUIDE: Instagram image and video sizes in 2022 [HOW BIG!?]
🕹 FUN STUFF: Twitter made a weird game about data [PLAY NOW]
Okay then… Analysis of the week’s most-talked about news headlines coming up next.👇
— Matt 
P.S. Join us for the Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 4PM UK / 11AM ET / 8AM PT today (May 13) - LISTEN / REPLAY

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
I really wanted to not include Elon Musk in this section of the newsletter yet again, but the man just keeps generating drama.
The latest episode in his rollercoaster of a Twitter acquisition came as this week’s Geekout was being finished off today. The deal’s on hold! In a tweet, Musk said it was “temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”.
Musk seems to believe the percentage may be higher. Does he want to negotiate a cheaper price? It’s easy to assume he might be looking for a way out of the deal, though. The collapse in tech stocks is the latest spanner in the works making the acquisition far more painful for Musk than it seemed a few weeks ago. He’s already facing an SEC investigation over his delayed disclosure of his stock purchase.
Even before the deal was put on hold, Musk had generated plenty of drama both inside and outside Twitter this week.
His announcement that Twitter under his control would allow Donald Trump back generate plenty of headlines, as all the old arguments about whether or not you can ban such a notable figure from social media (or even permanently ban anyone) came rushing back to the surface. There’s no one right answer to any of this, but there’s no doubt Trump returning (if he wanted to) would change the vibe of the platform - and many would say for the worse.
And the vibe inside Twitter certainly changed too, as Parag Agrawal—keeping the CEO seat warm until Musk (maybe) arrives—announced two well-liked execs were leaving the company. In a memo to staff, he said “it’s critical to have the right leaders at the right time”. It quickly emerged that Kayvon Beykpour and Bruce Falck had been fired.
In a tweet, Beykpour said Agrawal wants to take the consumer product team “in a different direction”. Given Beykpour led the recent period of rapid product innovation at Twitter, we could be facing a distinct change at Twitter, likely in the direction Musk wants to go.
Here’s a reminder of the changes the billionaire has suggested. This week, it emerged he has set some ambitious targets for the company to double revenue, largely through subscriptions. Although the idea that Twitter really could get 69 (nice!) million paying Blue subscribers ever seems a stretch.
Meanwhile, the idea that a Musk-owned Twitter would become a haven for unfettered free speech looked increasingly flawed. Musk seemed to be on the same page as EU regulators on user safety measures, and is increasingly qualifying his idea that all legal speech should be allowed as he gradually learns the lessons content moderators have been learning for years.
Musk says he’s “still committed” to the acquisition, but whatever happens next, don’t expect Jack Dorsey to return and save the day this time.
Instagram this week officially launched support for NFTs, with a limited roll out to select creators.
As Engadget explained,
In the US-based test, you can show what you’ve bought or created for free by connecting your Instagram account to a compatible digital wallet and posting for the world to see. If you like, the social network can automatically tag both creator and collector using public blockchain data. You can display info like a description, too. And yes, as mentioned, NFTs will shimmer to help you flaunt your art collection.
Meta is also working on augmented reality NFTs, or 3D NFTs, that you can bring to Instagram Stories, and other kinds of tokens (AKA the “Zuck bucks” the FT reported recently).
But in a week where the cryptocurrency market has crashed, and amid declining interest in NFTs, has Instagram jumped on the train too late?
10 Downing Street this week launched its TikTok account with a personal message from Boris Johnson. But as the Mirror reported, “in their latest attempt to make the Prime Minister appear down with the kids, Number 10’s social media team may have made two serious errors - they not only left comments switched on, they didn’t disable duets.”
What followed was completely predictable and probably not what the government wants to help set the tone for a new account.
Embarrassing duets aside, I’m not sure whether your average TikTok user wants b-roll of Johnson rowing a boat in Sweden, or cringe-tastic, flashy videos of ‘Boris and Rishi" listening to your priorities for 2022’ popping up in their FYP.
But all this doesn’t mean Number 10 should close the account down and run away. As Chris Stokel-Walker wrote for Input, “if 10 Downing Street did TikTok correctly — by more genuinely engaging with the norms of the platform and its users — it could actually be a huge win.”
I spent 18+ hours writing this week’s Geekout newsletter.
And I give it to you for free!
I’d love it if you supported my work by:
🤯 WTF?!
"I gave Instagram photos of my baby. Instagram returned fear"
🎧 Listen again
This was a fun chat about the TikTok-ification of social media
Hit replay if you missed it 👇
👀 Read of the week
For celebrities, Twitter is no longer the place to be. Can Elon Musk bring them back?
🔨 Tool of the week
📊 Stat of the week
🧑‍🏫 Study of the week
A Week Off Social Media Reduces Depression and Anxiety
❓ Question of the week
Being a social media manager can really suck sometimes, but many of you still really love your job! Tap through for lots of life-affirming replies to this tweet 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

why do you love your job
Rachie Oh🦋
@MattNavarra The flexibility it gives me to express my creativity on different social media platforms.

And times when a campaign/content I am involved in goes viral, I scream and say “I did that!”😁

I could go on and on...
🔵 Meta news
Meta Looks Set to Push Publishers Towards Short Video in New Pivot
  • Meanwhile, Meta and Google generate revenues of £1bn a year from UK news content, according to a new study published by a British newspaper association. [Press Gazette]
  • Meta is scaling back its Reality Labs efforts, with some projects expected to be cancelled or postponed. It says it is not planning layoffs, though. [Reuters $$$]
  • Meta has withdrawn a request to its Oversight Board for guidance on Ukraine war content policies. Is the company avoiding highly visible board recommendations it’s likely to (on reflection) reject? [Axios]
  • Meta has shared details of its VR long-game. [Protocol]
  • Facebook Pay will soon be renamed Meta Pay. [Protocol]
  • Facebook’s removal of ‘sensitive’ ad targeting options has not been as effective as it could have been. [The Markup]
  • Meta has now opened its first physical store, in California. [CNet]
  • More details have emerged about why Facebook is closing down some of its location-based services. [TechCrunch]
  • Instagram held a ‘MemeCon’ event in New York City this week. [TubeFilter]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Are you up to date on Instagram video sizes, dimensions, and formats? This guide could help. [Hootsuite blog]
  • Meta has announced details of its ‘Conversations’ business messaging conference, which takes place next week. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta has published new ‘Culture Codes’ to help advertisers improve their ads’ performance. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook Live has a new ‘Saved Settings’ feature. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has been spotted offering a news setting to enable Stars on posts. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Creator Studio is testing a new post creation flow, including Vimeo templates. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Facebook has made the ‘Player Info’ feature available to all Groups. [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • Instagram now supports natively sharing posts and Reels to other social platforms. [@eskoosme]
  • Instagram’s new TikTok-style main feed has been spotted in the wild. [@MattNavarra]
  • Instagram is rolling avatars out to more users. [@WFBrother]
  • Instagram could soon let you add a Facebook Group link to your profile. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is testing the ability to send comments via DM. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram has been spotted offering an insights button on a user’s own profile. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram is testing a redesigned product tag. [@ec_wife]
  • Instagram is still building a ‘Boards’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a redesigned Reels menu. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp is working on a desktop app for Mac. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp might soon let you filter chats in your conversation list. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp looks set to support default vanishing message timers for existing chats, not just new ones. [WABetaInfo]
  • Mark Zuckerberg has shared a first look at what mixed reality experiences will be like on Meta’s upcoming Project Cambria headset. [Mark Zuckerberg]
  • Horizon Worlds has added 100+ pre-made items in a new Asset Library. [UploadVR
  • Horizon Venues will be integrated into Horizon Worlds from 6 June. [TechCrunch]
  • Mark Zuckerberg demoed Meta’s wrist-worn XR controller prototype to Ray-Ban’s parent company last week. [Road to VR]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter made a browser game to help explain its privacy settings
  • Twitter has announced a new policy to tackle copypasta and duplicate content at scale. [TechCrunch]
  • Donald Trump’s court bid to be reinstated on Twitter has been thrown out by a judge. [New York Times $$$]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Planning some Eurovision activity on Twitter this weekend? It’s worth checking Twitter’s Eurovision tweet insights. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter Blue has added support for 1080 Full HD video uploading. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter is testing a ‘Direct Tweets’ notifications tab for tweets from which you’ve chosen to receive tweet notifications. [@isajorsergio]
  • Twitter now lets some users browse Spaces by topics. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter is working on a ‘Start a Space about this tweet’ feature. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter seems to be putting the finishing touches to its Notes (AKA Articles) feature. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter could soon offer a ‘Pin reply’ option. [@wongmjane]
  • More details have emerged of Twitter’s ‘Vibes’ feature. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter is still developing a ‘friends of friends section for Blue’s 'Top Articles’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter could soon show a user’s total number of tweets at the top of their profile timeline. [@alex193a]
  • …and also how frequently the user tweets. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter’s work-in-progress ‘Friends of Friends’ section has been renamed ‘People they Follow’. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on a warning that professional profile categories are selected by users and not verified by the company. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter could soon offer a Spaces shortcut in the tweet composer. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter has lined up new seasonal icons for Blue subscribers, including Juneteenth and Pride Month. [@alex193a]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok’s Work Culture: Anxiety, Secrecy and Relentless Pressure
  • Goodbye UGC. TikTok prefers the term “Community Generated Entertainment (CGE)‘. [@MattNavarra]
  • American TikTok users will spend more time on the platform this year than YouTube users will spend on YouTube, a new projection suggestions. [eMarketer]
  • TikTok is hiring A&R managers to find and sign new music talent. [TubeFilter]
  • The family of a girl who died after trying the 'Blackout Challenge’ is suing TikTok, alleging she discovered it there. [TubeFilter]
  • TikTok and Foursquare have expanded their adtech partnership to help advertisers understand how ads on TikTok drive foot traffic. [AdWeek $$$]
  • And TikTok has expanded a partnership with Integral Ad Science to offer broader ad measurement capabilities. [Social Media Today]
  • TikTok is the official entertainment platform for UEFA Wonen’s Euro 2022. [TikTok newsroom]
  • US colleges are running TikTok classes for influencers. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • TikTok has removed a number of videos amid a cruel trend for videos showing people slapping Amber Heard. [Rolling Stone]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • TikTok has a new Insights tool to discover the latest TikTok research from around the world all in one place. [TikTok for Business]
  • Are you a journalist who wants to get started on TikTok? Check out these tips. []
New features and tests:
  • TikTok now lets you use the original sound from a specific video rather than using the music attached. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok is developing enhanced video editing tools. [@alex193a]
💥 More social media news and updates
Federal appeals court restores Texas's social media censorship law
  • US Congress has asked Meta, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter to archive evidence of Russian war crimes. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube will add 1,000 hours of content from UK broadcaster Channel 4 in a new deal that sees Channel 4 able to sell ads against its shows on the platform. [The Guardian]
  • LinkedIn has announced a new Scholars program, enabling “academics to work alongside LinkedIn’s engineering teams to solve hard technical challenges”. [LinkedIn Engineering]
  • The EU’s Digital Markets Act is set to come into force in spring next year. [TechCrunch]
  • Young influencers and their child fans need more protection, UK MPs have said. [BBC News]
  • It looks like Snap didn’t make enough Pixy drones. Shipping dates are as long as four months away. [The Verge]
  • Chinese children have been banned from a lot of activity in the live-streaming world. [Eurogamer]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube now lets users to gift paid subscriptions to each other. [The Verge]
  • YouTube Shorts now has a TikTok-style green screen feature. [TechCrunch]
  • YouTube is rolling out its Clips feature to all creators. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube has expanded automatic chapters and translated captions to be available in 16 languages. [Android Central]
  • YouTube is adding new brand safety tools. [AdWeek $$$]
  • LinkedIn has added live captions for audio events, and custom URL listings on creator profiles. [Social Media Today]
  • Adobe has integrated ContentCal into Creative Cloud Express, making it easier to post videos to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. [TechCrunch]
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Get in touch:
📖 Weekend reading
Insiders Tell Us About All the Terrible Things Influencers Get Away With
😳 And finally...
Dark Pattern: How Youtube Makes Sure You Don’t Always “Skip Ad”
📅 Back next week...
…You. Are. Done! ✅
Is your brain hurting after downloading all that news? 🤯
Right… I’m off to watch the final ever episode of Ozark on Netflix. (no spoilers please!)
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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