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Geekout Newsletter
Issue #48 • View online
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Hello Geeks!
This NEW iOS 15 feature… Built for social media managers? 😮
…AND…
We feel your pain, @McDonalds social media manager. This. 😆 
DID YOU SEE…
It’s been crazy-busy for me this week. I’m just finalising the launch of TWO new things for Geekout. The NEW Geekout audio show + a NEW Geekout newsletter which will feature social media manager insider tips, industry gossip, and lots of memes! Look out for details next week!
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  • How to setup a killer social media team optimised for jumping on trending topics & viral moments
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  • Tips, tools, & tactics to optimise your social media planning + scheduling activity
It will be packed full of actionable steps you can walk away with and try out for yourself.
See you there! [GET YOUR FREE TICKET]
Before we jump into this week’s top social media talking points, here are a few more things I spotted that I think you’ll like:
ICYMI
Right then… Let’s get into this week’s full debrief on what went down in social media land.
— Matt
P.S. 🗣 GEEKOUT on TWITTER SPACES
Join us for Geekout Weekly on Twitter Spaces today (Fri 11 June) at 4pm [UK] where we’ll be discussing ALL this week’s social media news, scandals, and top new features.
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🚨 Everyone's talking about...
For Facebook’s PR machine, this week was all about creators. Instagram held its first ever Creator Week, emphasising just how much social platforms see the fight for creators as a top priority right now. In addition to it being a training week for creators, there was plenty of news.
An affiliate programme letting creators earn cash for promoting products available via Instagram Checkout will launch soon, initially to be tested with a small group of American influencers and beauty brands. Creators will be able to open merch stores accessible via their Instagram profiles, and cash rewards for livestreaming are also on the cards.
In another pro-creator move, Facebook says it will clearly show on payout summaries how much Apple or Google have taken as a cut from the final sum creators receive. This seems reasonable enough, but it’s clearly designed to increase the pressure on mobile operating system providers to reduce the slice they take. It’s pretty bizarre for the company behind the OS and the app store to take more than the platform that provides the creator with their audience.
Facebook won’t take a cut of payments to creators at first, but Mark Zuckerberg has said that when it does, it will be less than Apple and Google’s 30%. But whatever Facebook eventually charges, if Apple and Google reduced their cut there would be more scope for social platforms like Facebook to increase theirs in the future. 🤔
And it’s not just Facebook turning on the pressure. A platform called Fanhouse (“OnlyFans without the nudity” as the Verge put it) has started a campaign to push Apple and Google to reduce their cut.
But as Instagram chief Adam Mosseri explained this week, even if the mobile companies don’t respond, there will be other ways platforms can help creators make “a stable living.”
Donald Trump’s planned US TikTok ban may be dead and gone, but the company isn’t out of the woods yet. The Biden administration is taking a less dramatic approach to Chinese influence in American tech, but it could be just as much of a headache for TikTok.
As the AP reports:
new executive order directs the Commerce Department to undertake what officials describe as an “evidence-based” analysis of transactions involving apps that are manufactured or supplied or controlled by China. Officials are particularly concerned about apps that collect users’ personal data or have connections to Chinese military or intelligence activities.
…a senior administration official said Wednesday that the Trump actions weren’t “always implemented in the soundest fashion” and the aim of the review is to set up clear criteria to evaluate specific data security and privacy risks for each app. He said that could lead to a range of potential future actions on an app-by-app basis.
So while TikTok won’t be panicking the way it was throughout much of the second half of 2020, the new “tailored, tough approach” could still feasibly end up with a TikTok ban eventually. It’s worth noting though, that there is no evidence available right now that TikTok shares any data about American users with the Chinese government.
Could Facebook’s next hardware product be a smartwatch? The Verge reported this week on a device in the company’s labs that sounds quite different to the Apple Watch:
The device will feature a display with two cameras that can be detached from the wrist for taking pictures and videos that can be shared across Facebook’s suite of apps, including Instagram, The Verge has learned.
A camera on the front of the watch display exists primarily for video calling, while a 1080p, auto-focus camera on the back can be used for capturing footage when detached from the stainless steel frame on the wrist. Facebook is tapping other companies to create accessories for attaching the camera hub to things like backpacks.
If we get past questions like ‘won’t the camera on the back get covered in sweat and grime by rubbing against your wrist all day?’ and ‘won’t removing the watch from your wrist to take a photo be a massive hassle?’ this is certainly some fresh thinking, and at the very least, the camera on the front for video calling sounds like something more smartwatches should have.
The Verge reported that Facebook was planning to launch the watch next summer, although company exec Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth responded to the story by suggesting the device was still at a more experimental stage.
Whether it comes to market or not, it’s at least fun to consider that the Apple Watch isn’t the absolute ‘final form’ of smartwatches and the concept can evolve.
👀 ICYMI...
Stories you need to know about:
Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp:
Donald Trump to remain banned from Facebook for two years, effective from Jan. 7
  • Facebook has acquired Unit 2 Games, a company that has built a game-creation platform. [Facebook Gaming]
  • Facebook’s ads chief is leaving. Carolyn Everson will be replaced by the company’s EMEA boss Nicola Mendelsohn on an interim basis. [CNBC]
  • The global rollout of Instagram Reels has been delayed due to music licensing issues in some countries. [@MattNavarra]
  • A scam that can see users lose control of their WhatsApp accounts continues to spread. [BBC News]
  • Facebook’s free data app for developing markets favours the company’s own apps, a study has unsurprisingly found. [Engadget]
  • Facebook Portal has a new ad campaign called ‘Share Something Real’. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook wants the A.I. community’s help to develop software that can beat ‘the hardest game in the world’, NetHack. [Engadget]
Twitter:
Nigeria suspends Twitter operations, says platform ‘undermines its corporate existence’
  • India warned Twitter to comply with new social media moderation rules or lose its legal liability protections. [Engadget]
  • And Twitter blocked four accounts to comply with an Indian government request. [TechCrunch]
TikTok:
ByteDance launches Volcano Engine brand to offer its 'secret' to businesses
  • TikTok is jacking up its ad prices, charging as much as $2m per day for top spots. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • TikTok appears to be dipping its toe into gaming. A FarmVille-style game has been spotted within the app. [@MaxLowenthal]
  • TikTok changed the shape of some users’ faces in what appeared to be a beauty filter that couldn’t be switched off. [MIT Technology Review $$$]
  • TikTok topped the App Store download charts again in May. [Cult of Mac]
  • TikTok has partnered with UEFA for the delayed Euro 2020 football tournament, and for a campaign to promote greater equality in the game. [TikTok newsroom]
  • TikTok has called on the help of some of the platform’s best animators for an anti-bullying campaign. [The Verge]
And the rest:
Apple is encroaching on Facebook's territory like never before with new social features
  • Clubhouse’s Android userbase keeps doubling. This time it has 4m versus 2m a week ago. [Adweek $$$]
  • LinkedIn has invested in virtual events platform Hopin. [CNBC]
  • The comments for Gangnam Style on YouTube became temporary home to the notorious WallStreetBets group when Reddit went down this week. [Mashable]
  • YouTube could soon overtake Spotify as the biggest platform in terms of payouts to the music industry. [Rolling Stone]
  • India’s friction with social media companies could spread more widely, experts have warned (we’ve discussed this in the newsletter a lot lately!) [Protocol]
  • Social media can slow the spread of fake news by prompting users to consider the accuracy of an article before sharing it, a Google and MIT study has shown. [Fast Company]
  • Reddit users are upset over the closure of the platform’s annual ‘Secret Santa’ exchange. [The Independent]
  • Dating apps are offering users free ‘super likes’ and ‘superswipes’ to encourage them to get vaccinated against Covid-19. [Insider]
❓ Question of the week
There are plenty of great responses to this already. Add your own! 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

the worst bit of my day is when...
💬 You can quote me on that
When I get quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
Twitter Blue explained: for a fee you can undo tweet, bookmark and more
🔨 Tools of the week
TweetHunter
🔍 Insights
Social media data, insights and reports to give you an edge at work:
  • What are the rising discussion topics on Facebook and Instagram that you should keep an eye on? Facebook has published some research. [Adweek $$$]
  • What are the most important factors influencing online shopping? Facebook has published a report. [Social Media Today]
  • How important is audio to TikTok engagement? The company has shared its research. [Social Media Today]
  • Already planning marketing for November and December? Snap has published a shopping insights and research hub for the holiday season. [Adweek $$$]
  • The reach of social video is apparently closer to that of TV than you might think. [TubeFilter]
📲 Quick hits
Updates, experiments, and useful info snippets:
  • Facebook is testing monetisation for videos as short as 15 seconds. [@Mattnavarra]
  • Facebook Group admins can now make members ‘experts’ in their communities. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook is now featuring Instagram Reels and short videos in the News Feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has extended availability for its Revenue Lift tool for Instant Articles, following requests from publishers. [Adweek $$$]
  • Facebook has a new Music post option on iOS. It lets you attach a 30-second clip of any song in Facebook’s music library to a new post. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Ads Manager on iOS has new a bunch of improvements, including improved campaign listing, and campaign comparisons. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Business Suite now lets you control which Facebook and Instagram notifications you want to receive. [@testingcatalog]
  • Facebook is working on a new option to display a status to friends for up to 24 hours. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is developing ‘Camera Search’, letting you search for a product by from a photo. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on a shortcut to create a new Reel from the Reels tab on the profile screen. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram may soon sync Reels drafts between your different devices. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram appears to be changing the Branded Content Center to ‘Monetization & Shop’, to let you manage your branded content, monetization, and shop in one place. [@ahmedghanem]
  • Instagram is working on an ‘activity center’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram’s forthcoming text-to-speech feature for Reels has been shown in action. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon let you add multiple audio tracks to a Reel. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on letting you schedule Rooms. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram continues to work on its Story Drafts feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is developing a redesigned music search screen. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on the ability to search within chat conversations. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has published a summer edition of its Insider magazine to coincide with its Creator Week. [Social Media Today]
  • Messenger has added QR codes and links to send and receive payments from any other user. It’s also added a quick reply bar. [Facebook newsroom]
QR codes for payments in Messenger. [Credit: Facebook]
QR codes for payments in Messenger. [Credit: Facebook]
  • Messenger now lets you choose whether to view new message requests in your chat list, requests folder, or not at all. [@MattNavarra]
  • Messenger has a new Fast & Furious theme. [Adweek $$$]
  • WhatsApp will soon let you verify your account via a phone call on Android. [9to5Google]
  • New details have emerged about WhatsApp’s forthcoming end-to-end encrypted backups. [TechRadar]
  • Oculus Quest will get a third-person spectator view for casting. [Road to VR]
  • Oculus Quest 3 could arrive next year, according to supply chain analysis. [Android Central]
  • Twitter’s Revue newsletters will soon get a ‘subscribe’ button on authors’ Twitter profile. [Mashable]
Subscribe to Revue newsletters from a Twitter profile. [Credit: Twitter]
Subscribe to Revue newsletters from a Twitter profile. [Credit: Twitter]
  • More Twitter Super Follows details have emerged. It seems the feature will be limited to adults with 10,000+ followers, who have posted at least 25 tweets within the past 30 days. [The Verge]
  • And your paying followers could have a ‘Super Follower’ label on their profile. [@wongmjane]
  • Twitter Spaces has made hashtags and @mentions in space titles clickable. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter is working on a ‘reply later’ feature for DMs. [@alex193a]
  • TikTok has added a ‘Promote’ feature in Creator tools. [@MattNavarra]
  • TikTok seems to be testing a Live broadcast button on the home feed. [@santoro29]
  • YouTube Shorts has launched in the UK, Canada and Latin America. [TechCrunch]
  • And YouTube Shorts will soon let users sample audio from any video on YouTube, starting in the new regions mentioned above. [The Verge]
  • YouTube will let creators add midrolls, end screens, and captions while their videos are still processing. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube has introduced new tech to detect copyright violations as videos are uploaded. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube is testing its timestamped comments feature on more videos. [Android Police]
  • And YouTube is also testing a floating comment box above full-screen landscape videos on Android. [9to5Google]
  • YouTube TV’s Android app now has speed controls. [9to5Google]
  • Snapchat has a new story viewer on iOS. [@KenSchillinger]
  • Reddit has launched a TikTok-style interface for browsing videos. [@iamstake]
  • Twitch has announced animated emotes to celebrate the feature’s 10th anniversary. [TechCrunch]
  • Pinterest has a new Shopping List feature that saves shoppable product pins and notifies users of price changes. [Digiday $$$]
  • Pinterest now has a pronouns field on profiles. [Social Media Today]
  • Tinder will soon let you block users by their phone number. [The Verge]
📖 Weekend reading
Young Creators Are Burning Out and Breaking Down
💀 Meme of the week
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s everything from this week!
You just levelled up your social media manager knowledge points 🏆
Time for me to go copy/paste/bulk send “No - I cannot help you get verified” to 136 NEW messages in my DMs this week.
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
PS. I’d love to hear from YOU!
Drop me a reply to this email to tell me
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OR
- What would you like me to change / improve?
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
Copyright 2021: Matt Navarra Media Ltd
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Tech Revolution makes sense of the tech and media stories that deserve your attention most if you want to understand the future. All delivered in a fun, easily digestible, but by no means lightweight, package
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