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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #99 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, geeks!
How has your week at work been? 
Probably a LOT less stressful than those in the TikTok UK Shops team (eeesh!). 
More on that in a moment!
Kicking things off this week:
Also… Don’t miss this… 👇
My BIG Social Media Trends 2022 Mid-Year Review Event ✨ 
Tune in to hear me reveal:
  • The hottest social media platform updates in 2022, so far
  • The social platforms top brands are spending big on, and why
  • My social media trends predictions for the next 6 months
Right then… Let’s take a look at the hottest headlines in social this week:
  1. TikTok UK team in crisis as staff report ‘aggressive work culture’ [FULL STORY]
  2. Elon Musk dropped more hints about killing Twitter takeover deal [ESCALATING]
  3. Meta pulling back on hardware: Portal goes B2B, smartwatch plans dropped + smart glasses delayed [1] [2] [3]
  4. TikTok’s privacy policy changes are a cause for concern for its users [SNEAKY] 
  5. Johnny Depp’s lawyers said social media had no role in the final verdict [U SURE?]
What else is new in social media this week? Well, quite a lot actually. I’ve sifted through hundreds of new features and platform changes spotted in the past seven days to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Ready for the rundown? Let’s go…
Facebook rolled out a music sharing feature to more groups (myspace vibes)… Meta launched its own Fortnite / Roblox style gaming metaverse… Instagram rolled the ability to pin up to 3 posts on your profile AND longer 90 second reels + an audio import tool and interactive stickers for Reels… Instagram also launched enhanced sensitive content controls (reach for certain types of account could take a hit.) 
Twitter still thinks it can get people shopping via tweets (good luck with that)… This week it launched a Product Drops feature (fancy product launch reminder feature, basically)… 
💎 HIDDEN GEM | How UK Creators Woody & Kleiny Grew Their Facebook + Instagram following by 2.1 Million in 2021 | [REVEAL TOP TIPS]
TikTok added new screentime controls to help FYP feed junkies curb their addiction (no one will use this… and TikTok knows it)… TikTok also rolled out its Avatars feature globally… YouTube added a useful ‘critical alerts’ feature for channel analytics
LinkedIn’s product team have been busy. It cranked out long list of new tools and features for creators this week, including: Lead gen forms for Company Pages, new follower growth tools, and new features to help creators build their personal brand… Meanwhile, Clubhouse’s slow death continues… And apparently influencers are charging a lot more in 2022​… Oh, and Johnny Depp joined TikTok (12.6m followers at last count)
…And finally… Facebook will now let you edit an image you attach to a comment (what took them so long to add this!)
🔥 LINKEDIN: The most effective LinkedIn post formats in 2022 [REVEAL]
💰 YOUTUBE: Watch MrBeast’s latest insanely expensive YouTube video [WILLY WONKA]
⭐️ MEMES: 16 memes from internet history + what they look like today [FAMOUS FACES] 
🎶 SPOTIFY: Discover your awful Spotify listening habits with Spotify Pie [SOUNDS GOOD] 
🔮 JUST FOR FUN: Get your free YouTube tarot card reading [REVEAL YOUR FATE]   
Enough of the fun already. Time to get a little more serious. Analysis of the week’s most talked about social media developments coming up next…
— Matt
P.S. Join us for the Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 4PM UK / 11AM ET / 8AM PT today (May 27) - LISTEN / REPLAY

🚨 Everyone's talking about...
TikTok hasn’t had the best week, it’s fair to say. The Financial Times reported on trouble at the platform’s London office, where a team has been working on live shopping feature TikTok Shop:
Joshua Ma, a senior executive at China’s ByteDance — owner of the viral video app — and the head of ecommerce at TikTok Europe, outraged London-based staff at a dinner this year when he said that, as a “capitalist”, he “didn’t believe” companies should offer maternity leave.
Yikes. The report also said at least 20 members of the team have left and more are on the verge of quitting, with two having been paid settlements relating to working conditions.
Hours after the FT’s report, Ma was said to be taking some time off and stepping back from his leadership of the UK ecommerce team. The report had clearly caused problems inside the company, with one employee reportedly suggesting words related to the incident (like “Financial Times” and “maternity”) be censored from the comments of TikTok Shop livestreams. Wisely, that wasn’t implemented.
Elsewhere, parent company ByteDance “has seen its valuation drop by US$100 billion over the past year to about US$300 billion, according to sources and published deal offers,” according to the South China Morning Post. Increased regulation and competition in China are said to be the main factors here. But TikTok’s incredible success in the West can probably only be maintained in the long run if it has a working culture that makes staff want to stick around.
Oh, and TikTok has raised eyebrows with a new privacy policy that seems to be granting itself a stronger legal basis for tracking users to target ads in Europe. This hasn’t got much media attention yet, but I suspect it will be tested in court sooner rather than later, stirring up yet more trouble.
Yes, I’m sorry to say this saga is still ongoing. Shortly after Musk’s bid to buy Twitter passed antitrust review, the billionaire seemed to make his most explicit attempt to get out of the now massively overpriced deal.
He asserted his right not to buy the company over the ongoing dispute about the number of bots and fake accounts on the platform. The same day, the Texas attorney general seemed to back Musk up with the announcement of an investigation into whether Twitter was giving a misleading impression of the number of bots on its platform.
Texas is likely only interested in this because Musk is based in the state and recently pledged his allegiance to the Republican party. But it didn’t matter much because soon afterwards Twitter called his bluff and granted Musk access to the real-time ‘firehose’ of tweets to let him run his own investigation. Let’s see how he fares, or whether he comes up with another excuse.
Meanwhile, the deal has spawned another shareholder lawsuit and we found out that Meta’s next chief operating officer is an investor in a little-known fund backing Musk’s bid.
Whatever comes of the deal (it still feels like it could go either way), it seems to have put a spring in Twitter’s step when it comes to growth targets. And if the deal doesn’t get stopped by shenanigans, it could go to a shareholder vote as soon as late July or early August. No matter what you think of Musk, it’ll be a relief just to have an end to this constant uncertainty and back-and-forth drama.
We heard a few weeks ago that Meta’s hardware division was scaling back its ambitions, and now we’re starting to see the impact.
Portal started off as a wild idea: ‘let Facebook (right after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, no less) have a camera in your house!’ But the company ended up selling loads of them during the pandemic as housebound grandparents longed to see their grandkids.
But it seems the Portal boom was short-lived. Given Google and Amazon offer far more fully-featured connected screens that can do much more than calls, that’s perhaps not a surprise. The technology will be re-jigged to appeal to businesses, but it’s not clear exactly how.
And that’s not the only hardware Meta is reining in. Its plans for launching AR glasses have been reportedly pushed back with the first version planned to only go to developers. Work on a smartwatch with two cameras is said to have ceased, although other wrist-based tech is apparently still in development.
👀 Long read of the week
How Harmful Is Social Media?
🍿 Industry gossip
“Clusterf--k”: Inside The Washington Post’s Social Media Meltdown
🐤 No-context tweet
🔥 Going viral
Woman finally gets her 2 ceramic bowls unstuck after epic Twitter saga
🤦 Fail of the week
Burger King: Uproar on social media as fast-food chain ‘totally misses the mark’ in new Pride month ad
🤦 Fail of the week II
Salt Bae’s Nusr-Et Steakhouse slammed as one of London’s worst restaurants
🔨 Tool of the week
LinkedIn announces Business Manager
💬 Opinions
My tweet sharing Mashable’s article complaining about how noisy Instagram has got drew lots of replies from people agreeing that it’s all got a bit much. Check them out 👇
📈 Chart of the week
Matt Navarra
U.S. adults will spend an average of 1 hour 40 minutes per day on social media platforms in 2022

The same amount as last year.
“Almost all social apps will take up more of their users’ time, but Facebook will see steep drops. Its adult users will spend 30 minutes per day on the platform this year, 7.0% less than 2021”
🚨 New feature alert
Twitter may soon let you pick your preferred feed algorithm with a custom timeline feature
Here’s what the future could look like:
❓ Question of the week
I love this question. What are your 🚩s for social media job description? Check out the replies here 👇
Jon-Stephen Stansel
What's a 🚩 that a social media manager job description was written by someone who has no idea what a social media manager actually does?
🔵 Meta news
Facebook Rethinks News Deals, and Publishers Stand to Lose Millions in Payments
  • Meta has been hit with eight lawsuits across the US, claiming its services are addictive and harm young people. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • WhatsApp has been given a month by the European Commission to concerns around its terms of service. [TechCrunch]
  • Meta is pushing for a bigger VidCon presence to push hard on Reels. [Hollywood Reporter]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook is rolling out music sharing to some Groups. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook has been spotted offering a way for creators to react to Stars sent without comments all at once. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Facebook Gaming’s cloud platform is getting Craya, a Roblox-like platform from a Meta-owned studio. [The Verge]
  • Creator Studio metrics will soon appear in Meta Business Suite. [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • Instagram has expanded its Sensitive Content Control feature to more sections of the app. [The Verge]
  • Instagram has officially launched its grid pinning feature. [@instagram]
  • Instagram’s collab post feature is now showing up on Facebook for video posts. [@CarlSchmidt]
  • Instagram is rolling out its subscriptions feature to more users. [@GJGunit]
  • Instagram has added a high-quality upload option for Reels. [@jonah_manzano]
  • Instagram has been spotted offering more useful photo sharing in messages. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram seems to be working on in-app ‘casual games’ feature. [@shailantani]
  • Instagram is still working on a ‘walkie-talkie’ feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram continues to work on desktop audio and video calls. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram will soon update its audience settings for automatically sharing to Facebook. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram continues to work on reposts. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon let you start a live video only for close friends. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on digital collectibles collections - another NFT feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still developing its Notes feature. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon add a creator marketplace section to its branded content settings page. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram accidentally made an ‘Internal’ sticker public in its app. [@hammodoh1]
  • Messenger Kids now features digital literacy lessons. [Social Media Today]
  • Messenger has added word effects, camera stickers, and 3D Avatar for Pride Month, while Messenger Kids has brought back its Pride camera stickers, camera frame, and rainbow AR effect. [Social Media Today]
  • WhatsApp will partner with Apple for digital door keys in iOS 16. [@alexheath]
  • WhatsApp could soon offer an undo option for deleted chats. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is working on a double verification code security feature. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp is testing the ability to rename linked devices. [WABetaInfo]
  • WhatsApp in building the ability to export your backup from Google Drive. [WABetaInfo]
  • Meta now lets you view your Quest VR fitness stats in the Quest mobile app or Apple Health. [Meta newsroom]
🐣 Twitter news
New features and tests:
  • Twitter will let users with the downvote feature note why they downvoted a tweet. [@chrismessina]
  • Twitter has expanded its ‘quick-follow the hosts and speakers after a Space’ feature to iOS. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Twitter has fully rolled out its new tweet reporting tools. [Engadget]
  • Twitter’s ‘Top Articles’ feature for Blue subscribers has a new ‘People they follow’ feed. [@MattNavarra]
  • Twitter is rolling out audio descriptions of charts as an accessibility feature. [@juliussohn]
  • Twitter is working on a custom layout for tweets in notifications. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is testing a 30-day expiration for Spaces recording and the ability for hosts to switch off Spaces recordings. [@JoselineMane]
  • …and Twitter is also testing a way to send reactions without having to open the Space back up. [@TwitterSpaces]
  • Artwork has been spotted for Twitter’s upcoming longform ‘Notes’ feature. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter is still working on the ‘About’ tab, which will display your interests among other information. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter could soon add a follow button in the results when you search for accounts. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter is working on letting admins delete a Community. [@alex193a]
  • More seasonal app icons for Twitter Blue subscribers have launched. [@chrismessina]
🔺 TikTok news
Johnny Depp reaches 10 million followers on TikTok within 24 hours of posting his first video
  • A PR company is paying TikTok stars to promote liberal causes. [Motherboard]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Looking for TikTok marketing tips? The company’s new series could help. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has launched avatars to take on Snap, Meta, and Apple’s similar features. [TechCrunch]
  • TikTok has added new screen time controls to remind users to take a break. [TechCrunch]
💥 More social media news and updates
Influencers are charging more for their services across social media platforms
  • Amazon is struggling to retain influencers for its live shopping platform because it’s hard for them to build an audience there. [Insider $$$]
  • Social media companies should be required to hand over data linked to child suicides, UK children’s charities have argued. [Telegraph $$$]
  • Yubo has made changes to its safety features after the Uvalde shooter used the platform to post disturbing content. [NBC News]
  • Google has been ordered to pay an Australian politician A$715,000 over defamatory YouTube videos. [CNN]
  • Australia-style rules could mean £10m+ in payments to UK news giants from Meta and Google, according to new research. [Press Gazette]
  • Clubhouse has laid off several staff as it restructures and shifts its strategy. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • …and Clubhouse downloads have called 80% year-on-year. [Protocol]
  • Discord has hired its first federal lobbyists as attention on the platform grows following the Buffalo shooting. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • LinkedIn has sent podcast creators special offers and discounts for top podcasting tools as a sweetener for those unsuccessful in their application to join its Podcast Network. [@MattNavarra]
  • Amazon has been paying influencers $2,000 to $9,000 per month to host shoppable livestreams, leaked emails have revealed. [Insider $$$]
  • Reddit has warned the US Copyright Office that upload filters threated free expression and creativity. [TorrentFreak]
  • Johnny Depp’s lawyers have denied social media pressure played any part in his victory. [Variety]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • What’s the most effective way to post on LinkedIn in 2022? This study finds out: [Social Media Today]
  • Reddit has launched a video series featuring case studies to give you ideas for marketing campaigns on the platform. [Social Media Today]
  • How can AR and camera ads help your Snapchat campaign performance? Snap has new data. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • YouTube has integrated direct shopping into its Beauty Fest 2022 livestream. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube will now alert creators if their channel’s performance drops significantly. [Social Media Today]
  • YouTube has launched a tarot card reading mini-site featuring popular YouTubers from the field. [WithYouTube]
  • Snapchat has started showing restaurant recommendations on its map in certain cities. [TechCrunch]
  • LinkedIn Audio Events are now available to all users that turn on Creator Mode. [Search Engine Journal]
  • LinkedIn has added new features to help you build your personal brand. [Social Media Today]
  • LinkedIn now offers lead-gen forms on company pages. [AdWeek $$$]
  • LinkedIn is working on a ‘people who follow this account also follow these other people’ feature. [@nima_owji]
  • LinkedIn could soon let you include hashtags and @mentions in articles. [@nima_owji]
  • Linktree has launched a marketplace for third-party integrations with its platform. [TechCrunch]
  • Truth Social has added quote-truths (i.e., quote tweets). [@chrismessina]
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📖 Weekend reading
‘After lockdown, things exploded’ – how TikTok triggered a books revolution
😳 And finally...
16 Memes From Internet History And What They Look Like In The Present Day
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s Geekout. Done!
This is the bit where you tune out and close this browser tab or email. 
Before you do… I’d really appreciate your support ❤️
I spent 1.5 days writing this week’s edition of Geekout
And I send it to you for free
I’d love to hit 20k subscribers.
You can help me by:
Right then… I’m off to meet up with members of a new club I joined this week 👹  
Goodbye geeks!
— Matt
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant
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