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wtf is going on?!

Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #91 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
Seriously. Twitter. Musk. WTAF is going on!?
If we thought last week was crazy, this week Elon went next-level.
Before we get into that:
…And check this out:
📈 The Best Instagram Post Format for Engagement - Carousels? Images? Reels? analysed 81 MILLION Instagram posts to find out 🚀 [Reveal Results] [ad]
  1. Elon Musk’s $43bn Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter [$$$$$]
  2. Meta’s 47.5% Metaverse Fee Angered Creators [WTF I] + [WTF II]
  3. Gen-Z’s Fav New App BeReal Went Viral [REAL BORING]
  4. WhatsApp’s New Communities Feature Launched [NEW STUFF] 
  5. Meta’s AR Glasses Plans Revealed In More Detail [INSIDE INFO]
Aside from news related to Twitter shitstorm generator Elon Musk, what else happened this week? Quite a lot, actually. Here’s everything else worth knowing about from the past seven days (in no particular order):
Facebook appears to have lost interest in its plans for podcasting (that didn’t last long)… TikTok’s mobile gaming live streaming feature was spotted in the wild… Meanwhile, YouTube Shorts has added a TikTok-stich like Remix feature and web version of the platform. 
WhatsApp’s new Communities features bring the ability to host group voice calls with up to 32 people… And WhatsApp emoji reactions feature is finally rolling out… Not wanting to be left out, TikTok is also testing reaction emojis, as well as a ‘dislike’ button for comments.
Social media marketing has come a looong way in the past 16 years. 
From the vanity metrics of the 2000s
To the social media gold rush in the 2010s
…But that will the next decade bring? [Read More]
Snapchat launched a ‘Dynamic Stories’ feature for news publishers… Twitter bought a company that makes notifications way better.TikTok launched its own AR effects platform ‘Effect House’… Also, TikTok might be getting into podcasting based on this job listing
YouTube is testing a stricter moderation filter for comments… Twitter reverted its controversial changes to tweet embeds following complaints…
⭐️ TWITTER: Join Geekout on Twitter Communities [REQUEST INVITE]
💬 SMS: Are you bad at texting? There are new rules for 2022 [SRSLY? FFS]
🏆 EMOJIS: The 10 year battle between 😂vs 😭 on Twitter [EMOJI STATS]
😂 MEMES: The best Elon Musk Twitter drama tweets [TOP TWEETS]
Fun stuff. Done. Time to dig a little deeper on the stories generating the most headlines this week 👇
— Matt
P.S. Join us for the Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 4PM UK / 11AM ET / 8AM PT today (APRIL 15) - LISTEN / REPLAY

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
The future of Twitter is suddenly a cloud of uncertainty. One thing’s for sure though, what looked a week ago like the chaotic banter timeline—that Elon Musk wouldn’t take up his Twitter board seat and would instead launch a hostile takeover of the company—turned out to be true.
Since last week’s newsletter, Musk turned down his board seat after a weekend of provocative tweets. He asked if Twitter is dying, suggested a form of verified status for all Blue subscribers, and suggested turning Twitter HQ into a homeless shelter.
Many employees breathed a sigh of relief at the news Musk wouldn’t be on the board. But they must have felt a cloud over them about what he might be planning next.
Now he’s launched his bid, the Twitter board is required to carefully review it to see if it’s in the best interests of shareholders. In the meantime, Musk had an opportunity to share his plans for Twitter at a perfectly-timed TED interview. Some, like an open-source algorithm, seem to align with Twitter’s long-term goals anyway, but his thoughts on free speech (basically allowing anything that’s legal) were branded “childish” by former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos. And we don’t know what Musk would do about Twitter users who affect his other businesses, like the swarm of pro-Tesla bots out there or the account tracking his private jet.
What happens next? Twitter staff didn’t get many answers at a short all-hands call yesterday. It seems there’s little appetite at Twitter, or even among some prominent shareholders, for Musk to succeed. But he might just have invited open season on rival bids. Private equity giant Thoma Bravo is said to be exploring one while Vanguard Group upped its stake in the company, meaning Musk is no longer the largest shareholder. Twitter could also implement what’s known as a “poison pill” defence via a shareholder rights programme.
Musk claims to have a plan B to acquire Twitter if his current bid fails, but this could also just be one big expensive prank by one of the world’s biggest and most powerful trolls. Whatever the case, there are certainly better uses for his money.
Horizon Worlds has barely launched and Meta is already opening up monetisation opportunities for creators. As The Verge explains:
A “handful” of Horizon creators will be able to sell virtual items and effects in the worlds they create for others to explore. The idea is that creators can sell everything from access to a VIP section of their world to virtual items like jewelry or a special basketball, according to Meaghan Fitzgerald, the product marketing director for Horizon. Participants in the US will also be able to earn money from a $10 million creator fund Meta recently set up to reward creators with the most engaging worlds.
Fair enough, right? But it’s deal for creators that raised eyebrows. The Verge again:
For Horizon purchases, Meta is taking a 25 percent cut of the percentage that’s left after a platform fee. For platforms with a 30 percent fee, like Meta’s own Quest Store for VR titles, the creator will be left with a little over half of the sale price (the math there being that Meta is taking 25 percent of 70 percent).
In other words, Meta is double-dipping - taking a platform fee and a cut of the sale itself. Casey Newton gave an example of what that means, in his Platformer newsletter:
If you’re a creator selling $10 worth of virtual goods through the Quest, Meta’s Oculus store will keep $3, and Horizon will keep 25 percent of the remaining purchase — in this case, another $1.75. That leaves the creator with $5.25.
You can argue that this is just two different business units within Meta taking their fair cut of a sale, but for a company that has taken so much effort lately to present itself as creator-friendly, taking so much of a creator’s cash feels at best poorly thought-through. Apple took the opportunity to call out the hypocrisy, which didn’t impress Meta’s Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth. Boz also said a future web-based version of Horizon Worlds would take a much smaller cut.
But to be generous, if Meta is to make mistakes in the creator economy, a nascent platform with a comparatively small audience is the place to do it.
For all the talk of the big platforms’ dominance, new social media challengers can break through. And BeReal is particularly interesting because European social platforms rarely get any cut-through internationally.
As Axios explains, Gen Z are lapping up the app, which encourages you to share a photo of your ‘real’ life at a different time every day.
Monthly active users on BeReal have grown 315% since the beginning of the year, per data from Apptopia.
While the app launched in December 2019, a majority of its lifetime downloads (65%) have taken place this year. The app has relied mostly on word-of-mouth marketing on college campuses.
The app, created in France, is gaining steam globally, per data from (formerly AppAnnie). BeReal ranked 4th in downloads in the U.S., the U.K. and France for Q1 2022, after Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.
But is there anything to BeReal beyond the novelty? As Motherboard argued this week, BeReal is “a different type of fake social media dystopia: one where everyone’s life looks bleaker and more boring than it actually is.”
If you want a feed of your friends sitting in bed, washing up, buying groceries, or looking bored on the sofa, BeReal is for you. It’s certainly different from the carefully presented world of Instagram While it might seem baffling to older audiences, the mundane could hold an appeal at least for long enough for bigger rivals to clone BeReal’s key features.
📃 Report of the week
If the metaverse is the future of social media, teens aren’t convinced
🎧 Podcast of the week
🤯 WTF?!
Metaverse Company to Offer Immortality Through ‘Live Forever’ Mode
👀 Must-read of the week
Why are people with no social media so damn hot?
❓ Question of the week
…And inspired by the article above…
How would YOU feel if your partner was off the social media grid?
Check out this thread featuring some highly amusing responses! 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

if your partner never used social media

and had no social media accounts

how would you feel?
🔨 Tool of the week
Headlines: Free mental health resources for social media professionals
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m mentioned in the news, you’ll find it here…
Gen Z calling for more honesty on social media, experts say
🤔 Thought for the week
This tweet from Monday has aged well. No, seriously…
Matt Navarra
Twitter thought having Trump on the platform was tough

Elon Musk is going to be a corporate nightmare

And he's only just warming up.
📈 Chart of the week
Matt Navarra
Social Media Usage by Age, Visualized

Source: Pew Research, U.S Adults in 2021
📊 Stat of the week
Find loads more interesting and useful TikTok stats here.
🐣 Tweet of the week
🔵 Meta news
Behind Mark Zuckerberg big plans for AR glasses
  • Meta is facing challenges as it develops its own chips for its devices. [The Information $$$]
  • It seems like Reels aren’t a hit with advertisers. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Facebook is scaling back its interest in podcasts. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has subpoenaed Dispo in its efforts to prove to the FTC that it isn’t a monopoly. [TechCrunch]
  • Meta has clamped down on sharing of private addresses, following an Oversight Board recommendation. [The Verge]
  • 124 Quest apps have earned more than $1m, according to data shared by Meta. [Road to VR]
  • Meta is spending more than ever on Mark Zuckerberg’s security. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Apple’s tracking changes could cost Meta $13bn this year. [9to5Mac]
  • WhatsApp has permission to expand its payments service to 100m users in India. [TechCrunch]
  • Accenture bought 60,000 Meta Quest headsets. It gives them to all new employees to encourage virtual socializing. [Wall Street Journal $$$]
  • Instagram promotes pro-eating disorder content to children, according to a new report. [CNet]
  • Instagram scams are on the rise in the UK, according to new research. [Financial Times $$$]
  • A bug saw Facebook ads switched off. Advertisers were not happy. [Search Engine Land]
  • Meta continues to court UK SMBs with a marketing campaign. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Mark Zuckerberg will not repeat his 2020 donations to election offices across the US. [New York Times $$$]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to know more about how Meta’s reporting and safety tools work? The company has released a new video series to explain. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • Instagram now lets you add a Facebook link to your bio alongside a regular web link. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Instagram is testing letting to add mentions to published stories. [@salman_memon_7]
  • Instagram is still working on the ability to reply to posts with a music sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is building a collaborative Collection feature for chat. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is readying a new ‘Everyday Earth’ chat theme. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a ‘safe browsing’ mode. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp has launched Communities to allow for group chats with more features and admin controls. [TechCrunch]
  • WhatsApp is working on stopping images from auto-saving to your phone if they’re sent as disappearing messages. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is testing ETA notices for file downloads. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is working on a quicker way to share a link to your profile. [WABetaInfo]
  • The latest update for Quest 2 features multitasking for all, sharing to iOS, and a new virtual office space. [The Verge]
  • The Ray-Ban Stories glasses could soon get support for sending WhatsApp messages. [XDA Developers]
  • The forthcoming Quest Pro headset could get a ‘super resolution’ upgrade after launch. [Android Central]
  • We’ve received a glimpse of what Meta’s next VR headset could look like. [Input]
🐣 Twitter news
Twitter’s new acquisition could help alert you about only the tweets that actually matter
  • Twitter has undone a change to embeds that showed blanks spaces when the tweets were deleted. [The Verge]
  • An NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet that sold for $2.9m last year was up for sale for $48m, but the best offer the seller received is… $6222.36. [BBC News]
New features and tests:
  • Twitter is rolling out its Business Suite features for Ads Manager. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter now lets you get notifications for all Spaces a user runs. [@BigTentSocial]
  • Twitter now has hashflags for all 30 Major League Baseball teams. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Twitter is working on the ability for brands to test custom like animations on Android. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is still developing a pronouns feature for profiles. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter has been spotted offering a redesigned push notification options panel. [@WFBrother]
  • Twitter could soon let you use more reactions in Spaces. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is still working on the Articles feature. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter could soon dynamically sort sharing buttons on Android. [@alex193a]
🔺 TikTok news
The rise of TikTok: why Facebook is worried about the booming social app
  • TikTok has been downloaded more than 3.5 billion times, according to new data. [Sensor Tower]
  • TikTok is still battling to keep on top of Russian disinformation on its platform. [TechCrunch]
  • …and a research report has found pro-Russian content is rife on the platform. [TechCrunch]
  • Bots on TikTok are automatically repurposing content from Reddit. [Motherboard]
  • Not all musicians are happy with TikTok’s SoundOn incubator. [Rest of World]
  • TikTok appears to be getting into podcasting, according to a job ad. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok is the official entertainment partner of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. [TikTok Newsroom]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to maximise your content’s performance on TikTok? Check out the platform’s new tips. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has launched its own AR effects development platform, Effect House. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok has added a mobile gaming live-streaming feature. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok will now show auto-generated captions on your videos by default. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok now lets you report issues via a video. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok has started giving you the option of notifying creators if you add their video to your Favorites. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok is letting some users ‘dislike’ comments. [Engadget]
  • TikTok is testing reaction emojis. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok now lets live streamers exchange live gifts for coins. [@jonah_manzano]
  • TikTok has been spotted using a new refresh animation on the home button. [@oncescuradu]
  • TikTok is testing kindness and safety options including reminders shown to creators with videos that receive a high proportion of negative comments. [AdWeek $$$]
💥 More social media news and updates
YouTube Launches $100,000-Prize Global Competition Show to Find Next Big Gaming Creator
  • YouTube is once again the exclusive livestream partner for Coachella. [XDA Developers]
  • YouTube has signed a deal to stream 15 Major League Baseball games from next month. [CNet]
  • YouTube and Nielsen are partnering to test co-viewing measurement for connected TVs. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Snap is still a fan of multi-touch attribution over first click/last click. [Adweek $$$]
  • Snap has revealed the startups taking part in its fifth Yellow accelerator. [TubeFilter]
  • Twitch has banned a number of channels for spreading pro-Russian propaganda. [Financial Times $$$]
  • Algorithms by ByteDance, Tencent and others are the latest targets of China’s ongoing tech crackdown. [South China Morning Post]
  • Agency giant Ogilvy will no longer work with influencers who edit their bodies and faces for brand campaigns. [The Drum]
  • Trump’s Truth Social faked at least one ‘verified’ account on its platform, according to Fox News. [Axios]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Help SMBs make the most of LinkedIn with the platform’s new guide. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube has launched remixes for Shorts, and brought Shorts on the web. [Mashable]
  • YouTube has made it easier for creators outsource creation and editing of subtitles on their clips in YouTube Studio. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube is rolling out Search Insights to all creators and brands this month. [Search Engine Land]
  • YouTube will soon launch new filtering options for channels’ Videos tab. [TubeFilter]
  • YouTube is testing stricter moderation tools to clamp down on comment spam. [The Verge]
  • YouTube has ended its iOS picture-in-picture test for its main app, and it could be months before it rolls out as standard. [The Verge]
  • Snapchat has launched Dynamic Stories to make it easier for news publishers to quickly upload breaking news content. [Axios]
  • LinkedIn is rolling out captions for its Audio Events in beta. [LinkedIn Listen Up!]
  • Linkedin’s ‘Who Viewed Your Profile’ feature has new insights and data filters.[@MattNavarra]
  • LinkedIn is trying to get browser notification access when you follow a page. [@chrismessina]
  • Reddit has made a bunch of improvement to its Community Drawer. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Reddit now lets you search text in comments. [Search Engine Journal]
  • Pinterest has launched version 5 of its API, which will be available to all developers. [Social Media Today]
  • Pinterest is rolling out WooCommerce integration for product pins. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Clubhouse has added games to “spice up conversations”. [TechCrunch]
  • Clubhouse is building a ‘Social Clubs’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Clubhouse is working on a redesigned app layout. [@alex193a]
  • Clubhouse is rolling out dark mode. [AdWeek $$$]
  • Tinder has relaunched its ‘Festival Mode’ to help you meet someone new at live events. [TechCrunch]
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Get in touch:
📖 Weekend reading
In the metaverse, everyone looks the same
😳 And finally...
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s pretty much everything you need to know this week. 🤯
Who knows what will happen in the next seven days?! 
(well, Elon might know)
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
I love writing Geekout for you every week.
If you love reading it, I’d appreciate you support by:
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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