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Geekout Newsletter for Social Media Managers
Issue #85 • View online
*Read this newsletter on the web for the best experience*
Hello, my fellow geek! 
There’s a lot going on this week. I’ve pulled together everything you need to know.
But before we kick-off:
+ Don’t miss this…
⭐️ FREE EVENT: Secrets to Success for a Career in Social Media
I’ll share tips on how to advance your career in social incl. LIVE Q&A.
When: March 17 at 10am EDT / 3pm GMT. Register now
Okay… On to this week’s top stories:
  1. Social media platforms lock down the spread of Russian propaganda [FULL DETAILS]
  2. TikTok increased video upload limit to 10 mins [TIKTOK GONE LONG] 
  3. Meta (partially) revealed most popular FB posts + pages [READ REPORT]
  4. Instagram killed-off IGTV [RIP IGTV]
  5. TikTok’s got a war misinformation problem [GIMME THE FACTS]
Every week, I typically read about 120+ news articles + 100s of tweets or DMs about new social media features or platform changes. Here’s my brain dump of the bits I think you’ll want to know about:
Meta launched a new app to help manage your ‘To Do’ list. It’s an experimental app, so it will likely get canned later this year… TikTok has a new ‘Agency Center’ feature to help creators connect with…well… agencies.
Twitch is going to start banning persistent spreaders of misinformation… In the U.S, the FTC’s attempts to break up Meta won’t reach a courtroom until at least 2024 (that’s an eternity in tech)…
Twitter’s Birdwatch fact checking program got slated by the Washington Post for its slow pace of rollout. Two days later… Twitter announced an expanded Birdwatch rollout in the U.S (coincidence? hmmm). Meanwhile, Twitter appears to be working on podcasting features (I wonder how this will sync up with Twitter Spaces).
Facebook is shutting down its Campus feature (many of you right now: “wtf is Campus?”)… Meta’s own internal research shows its apps can make people feel lonelier (but it’s complicated)… Trump’s Truth Social launch continues to be super-lame….
China implemented strict new rules for tech companies that use algorithms on their platforms…. and finally, Instagram’s boss says an iPad app is not coming anytime soon as not enough people want it (Boooo! 😕).
🤦 FFS: The most common passwords leaked on the dark web [DUMBASS123] 
✅ UKRAINE: Twitter created a list of trusted news sources for Ukraine news [FOLLOW]
🤳🏻 EXPERIMENT: Does the seven-second TikTok algorithm ‘hack’ actually work? [RESULTS]
🎶 NOSTALGIA: A 34-minute megamix of 600 songs from the 1990s [MMM-BOP, BA DUBA DOP]
Okay.. That was your geeky starter. Time to dig into the main course with a deeper dive into the biggest news stories of the week 👇
— Matt
P.S. Join us for the Geekout Debrief on Twitter Spaces at 8AM PT / 1PM ET / 5PM UK today (FRI 4 MAR) - LISTEN / REPLAY
✨ SPECIAL GUEST: Chris Stokel-Walker, journalist and author of TikTok Boom

🔨 Tool of the week
Walling: The productivity power tool for busy social media managers
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
For a supposed ‘master of disinformation’, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin certainly hasn’t won the international war for hearts and minds since he began the invasion of Ukraine last week.
Ukraine’s defiant spirit has been clear in posts from both President Zelenskyy and the country’s population. They have, as the Washington Post put it, “used social media to humiliate the Russians and rally the world”.
The ‘meme-ification’ of war might feel a little insensitive and detached from the suffering on the ground in Ukraine; TikTok and Instagram users don’t always treated the war in the most careful way, after all. But it’s also very much a modern, natural, human response to the empathy and anxiety we’re all feeling right now.
So we’ve seen influencers in Russia and Ukraine speak up, and grassroots efforts like the teenager who shot to fame for tracking Elon Musk’s private jet on Twitter turning his attention to the oligarchs.
One reason Russian disinformation hasn’t muddied the waters of online discourse in the way that its campaign about the Syrian war did a few years ago, is that the world has this time united against a clearly pointless, stupid, dangerous conflict. But also, the social platforms’ efforts to push back against disinformation have been more prompt and forceful than anything we’ve seen in the past.
Social Media Today has a good roundup of the actions the major platforms have taken, even if those actions got off to a shaky start in places. Even Chinese platforms cracked down on warmongering and mocking posts about the war.
This is a war, so the restrictions didn’t just go one way. Retaliatory action from Russia included: restricting Facebook and Twitter access, trying to ban Ukraine war footage on TikTok, and threatening to block Wikipedia (Wikipedia is defiant that it won’t bow to pressure). Meanwhile, anti-Western trolls even spammed Facebook’s GitHub repo.
But for all the praise the platforms should get for their action, it’s worth noting that perhaps if they had taken previous crises as seriously, perhaps the world might be in a better state right now.
10-minute-long TikTok videos are here for everyone. As the Verge reported:
“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” said a company spokesperson in a statement given to The Verge. “Last year, we introduced longer videos, giving our community more time to create and be entertained on TikTok. Today, we’re excited to start rolling out the ability to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes, which we hope would unleash even more creative possibilities for our creators around the world.”
TikTok is still all about social, easily consumable videos, just stop thinkg about it as ‘shortform’. Maybe it will end up being what Quibi wanted to to be.
It’s easy to get annoyed by a move like this as another platform loses focus on what arguably made it unique. But what’s happening here is platforms are realising that easily consumable video is where audiences are gravitating to now, and more video lengths = more opportunities to serve your audience and serve ads.
That’s why we’ve seen YouTube go the opposite way and push Shorts. It’s about covering all bases and offering what users seem to want - lots of video.
However, one platform giving creators fewer options is Instagram, which is saying RIP to its standalone IGTV app. Instagram, and increasingly Facebook, are focused on Reels now as a key driver of attention and revenue.
Really these changes all converge on one thing: relatively short videos displayed in a vertically scrolling, full-screen mobile feed, whatever app you’re using. Hey, it works, so get used to it.
Meta published its latest ‘Widely Viewed Content’ report this week, as it aims to counter criticism that it’s not open about the most successful content on Facebook.
But for a report hosted at ‘’, it wasn’t very transparent. The most-viewed Page in Q4 of 2021 was… well, Meta wasn’t saying. All it would say was that it had removed the Page for violating community standards.
Some digging by Ryan Broderick’s Garbage Day newsletter revealed it was a viral content Page called ‘That Ain’t Right’ that pumped out trashy posts, although Broderick couldn’t work out exactly what it might have done to offend Meta.
In a world where disinformation can be a life-or-death matter (hello, anti-vaxxers), Meta owes the world the transparency of showing what attracts the biggest audiences on its platform. As well as helping us understand the problem, it would signal that Instagram knows it has work to do, and spur it on to actually do it - transparently and in partnership with the public, rather than in secret.
🎧 Podcast of the week
Mark Zuckerberg Says He Is ‘Aware’ He Will Die Someday, Discusses Meaning of Life
👀 Must-read of the week
TikTok Was Designed for War
📈 Chart of the week
I discussed this above, but it’s worth taking a complete look at Facebook’s top 10 most-widely viewed Pages from its new Widely Viewed Content report 👇
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m quoted in the news, you’ll find it here…
Ukraine wages ‘information insurgency’ to keep Russia off balance
🤔 Thought for the week
🌟 New feature of the week
Instagram adds auto-generated captions to videos
❓ Question of the week
There are lots of inspiring examples of work to admire in the replies here 👇
Matt Navarra
social media managers

which brand's social
which social media manager

do you admire the most?
🔵 Meta news
All the latest from Meta brands: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond:
Facebook is shutting down its college student-only social network, Campus
  • Facebook *can* make people lonelier, Meta’s own research shows, but the results and mixed and complicated. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Meta has launched a new experimental app called Move, designed to help groups of friends organise shared tasks. [Social Media Today]
  • The UK government plans to target Meta’s largest investors in its campaign to get the company’s end-to-end encryption plans cancelled. [Financial Times $$$]
  • The FTC’s case against Meta won’t go to trial until at least spring 2024. [@leah_nylen]
  • Face and eye tracking will be a big focus for the next Quest hardware, Mark Zuckerberg has said. [UploadVR]
  • Meta has expanded its developer certification programme, with new badges for Mobile Ad Technical Specialist and Advertising API Developer Specialist. [Adweek $$$]
  • An Instagram iPad app still isn’t high priority at Meta. [MacRumors]
New features and tests:
  • Facebook is rolling out a feature that lets users know when their posts have been removed by A.I. [Protocol]
  • Facebook is pushing users towards a dedicated Ukraine News hub. [@MattNavarra]
  • Facebook Groups has a new feature to help reduce comment spam., [@TechnicalMJTV]
  • Instagram is testing a redesigned share page for Reels. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram could soon offer a ‘Subscription’ sticker. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is still working on its ‘Notes’ feature. It appears to be an evolution of Statuses. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram could soon launch a new ‘lo-fi’ chat theme. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is developing the ability to place ads on Facebook feeds too. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram has been spotted testing a new layout for Stories. [@hammodoh1]
  • Instagram is testing the ability to post a Reel without it being pushed to your followers’ feeds. [@oncescuradu]
  • Instagram could soon let you send reactions in Live. [@alex193a]
  • …and let you reply to comments in Live, too. [@alex193a]
  • Instagram is working on transparent buttons in the Story composer. [@alex193a]
  • More details have emerged of Instagram’s work on NFT support. [@alex193a]
  • WhatsApp is working on bringing pause/resume recording controls for voice notes to Android. [XDA Developers]
  • WhatsApp is still working on message reactions on Mac. [WABetaInfo]
  • Meta has shared its latest advances in automated object recognition. [Social Media Today]
  • Meta now lets you target ads to ‘Oculus companion app feed spotlight’. [@grigg_digital]
  • RIP the Oculus logo. Quest headsets now boot up showing the Meta logo. [UploadVR]
🐣 Twitter news
‘Euphoria’ Is the Most-Tweeted TV Show of the Decade (So Far), Twitter Says
New features and tests:
  • Twitter is rolling out crowdsourced annotated tweets, visible to a limited number of US users, as its Birdwatch project begins to bear fruit. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitter now lets all users add a ‘sensitive content’ warning to photos and videos you upload. [The Verge]
  • Twitter Blue has rolled out the custom icons feature on Android. [9to5Google]
  • Twitter is rolling out the ability to create a new Twitter Community, and letting Blue subscribers upload 1080p video. [XDA Developers]
  • Twitter’s ‘tweet to a subset of your followers’ Circle feature appears to be pretty much complete. [@nima_owji]
  • …the feature’s icon has been uncovered. [@alex193a]
  • …and its onboarding screen has also been found. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on a ‘Podcasts’ tab 🤔 [Social Media Today]
  • Twitter could soon be ready to launch analytics for Spaces hosts and co-hosts. [@alex193a]
  • Twitter is working on tweaking the Community setup flow. [@nima_owji]
  • Twitter once again has a hashflag for the upcoming #AppleEvent. [MacRumors]
🔺 TikTok news
TikTok's effects on kids and teens under investigation by states
  • Amazon has launched a beauty store on TikTok. [Mashable]
  • US diner chain Denny’s is offering a range of dishes devised in partnership with 24 TikTok creators. [TubeFilter]
  • TikTok owner ByteDance is collaborating with Qualcomm to develop XR devices. [UploadVR]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to make the most of branded content on TikTok? A new guide from the company can help. [Social Media Today]
  • Advertise on TikTok? The company has shared insights on reaching users around major events. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
  • TikTok has launched an ‘Agency Center’ feature to help talent agencies connect with creators. [Social Media Today]
💥 More social media news and updates
  • Chinese tech companies must now tell users when they are being presented content using algorithms. [Protocol]
  • LinkedIn has acquired Israeli web analytics startup Oribi for a figure reported to be between $80m and $90m. [TechCrunch]
  • Twitch has suffered an exodus of executives amid concerns the platform is neglecting its core audience of game streamers. [Bloomberg $$$]
  • Twitch says it will ban those who repeatedly share misinformation. [New York Times $$$]
  • Discord has banned sharing harmful medical advice. [The Verge]
  • Reddit is making a push to boost its ads business in the UK. [Digiday $$$]
  • Reddit has partnered with IPG Mediabrands, giving the agency group access to a dashboard that will help its clients jump onto trends. [Adweek $$$]
  • Tumblr will review its moderation algorithms after they were found to be discriminatory. [Engadget]
  • Trump’s Truth Social is already courting controversy, with a verified profile for Nick Fuentes, who has widely been labelled a white supremacist. [Axios]
  • …but Trump still hasn’t posted anything, leading some to say the launch is being bungled. [Axios]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
  • Want to freshen up your LinkedIn marketing? The platform’s new digital magazine is worth a look. [Social Media Today]
New features and tests:
📖 Weekend reading
Twitter Wants to Reinvent Itself, by Merging the Old With the New
😳 And finally...
TikTok Is Playing 'Smash or Pass' With Disney Filters
📅 Back next week...
…And that’s pretty much EVERYTHING you need to know this week!
🤯 My head feels better now I’ve downloaded my brain here for you.
This is the bit where you’re about to close this browser tab or delete this email… 
But before you go, I’d really appreciate your help.
I write Geekout for YOU. 
Every week.
For Free.
All I ask in return is you do one thing ❤️
Right… Time for me to finish watching Severance on Apple TV… It’s good. You should check it out.
Goodbye, geeks!
— Matt
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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant.
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