TikTok turns up the heat on YouTube

… And Threads just hit the Deck 🔥

Hello, geeks!

Welcome to this week’s edition of Geekout.

Before we get into it…

What is the ONE emoji that confuses you the most? 🤔

Well… The world’s most misunderstood emoji has been revealed.

Can you guess which emoji it is? » Reveal «


Look for the fear in my eyes… 👀

Last week, I was in Germany speaking at the awesome OMR Festival in Hamburg.

The 5,000+ people in the audience heard my take on the biggest hot topics in social in 2024.

Yes, speaking in front of that many people still terrifies me! 😬

I discussed the U.S TikTok ban bill, how generative AI is transforming the role of a social media manager, the battle between Elon Musk’s X and Zuck’s Threads, the shift to private social, and more.

You can now watch the full session on YouTube (free!). 👀


Geekout heads to Italy.. 🇮🇹

My mini-speaking tour of Europe continues in June

I will be speaking at the We Make Future (WMF) festival in Bologna, Italy. It’s HUGE and has a incredible speaker line-up.

WMF is ‘the world's largest festival on innovation’. In 2023, over 60,000 attendees, from 90+ countries, watched 1,000+ speakers on 90+ stages dedicated to digital and social media marketing.

The festival is also attended by the world’s top tech companies like Google, LinkedIn, TikTok, Microsoft, Meta and more, who will be showcasing their latest products and features in a huge expo.

And of course, there will be endless afterparties, live concerts, and side events across the city, across three Italian summer nights.

I have an EXCLUSIVE Geekout discount code that gets you €50 OFF the full ticket price (€149 > €99).

Just use the coupon code: "speaker_99” when purchasing your ticket.

Geekout friends in Italy… Lets meet up! » Get your ticket now «

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Geekout’s pick of the hottest headlines in social this week:

  1. TikTok Is Now Testing 60 Minute Video Uploads [YOUTUBING]

  2. Threads Finally Starts Its Own Fact-Checking Program [VERIFYING]

  3. TikTok Creators Sue U.S. Government Over Potential Ban [CHALLENGING]

  4. Meta Is Shutting Down Its Slack-Rival Workplace [REFOCUSSING]

  5. EU Hits Meta With New Probe Over ‘Addictive’ Algorithms Harming Children [SCRUTINIZING]



TikTok supersizes video uploads

If you’ve been paying attention to the gradual increase in maximum video length on TikTok, the introduction of a new hour-long maximum length shouldn’t be too surprising.

But even though this is currently just a limited test, there’s something about letting creators hit the one hour limit that makes this feel significant. This is clearly saying ‘put all your content on here rather than YouTube’.

TikTok told TechCrunch that the increased time limit is designed to give creators the opportunity to “experiment with new or expanded types of content with more flexibility” without having to publish a series of shorter, multipart videos.

60 minutes gives more options for broadcasters to put whole TV shows on the platform, too. After all, plenty of shows end up on YouTube, and TikTok’s algorithm could provide a far better discovery mechanism for your new favourite old TV show than YouTube can offer.

TikTok has no immediate plans to roll this new maximum length out widely, but in the meantime we can simply wonder whether twitchy TikTok audiences will be able to manage to watch one thing for an hour without swiping away.


Threads turns up the heat on X with ‘ThreadsDeck’

In the week that X finally stopped using the twitter.com domain, it seems timely that Meta announced some new features for Threads that might make it feel more like the Twitter of old.

The main one is something you could call ‘ThreadsDeck’ - a new desktop web layout that looks spookily like TweetDeck and is currently in limited testing. This should be great for consuming more information more quickly on Threads.

Your pinned columns can even auto-update, which could give Threads more of a ‘live’ feel. That’s something it’s been missing since it launched.

The Threads algorithm’s bizarre ability to show you news two days late is a bleak joke among would-be power users. Hopefully this new layout will help the platform become a more ‘now’ place for people who want that.

The addition of a ‘Recent’ filter for search results should also help with this.

Also, Threads now has a fact-checking programme, which echoes old Twitter’s top-down efforts to keep the information ecosystem clean.

In the age of X, Elon Musk has leaned heavily on Community Notes, which doesn’t always work as well as it should and has been criticised for being slow to add notes and fact-checks to posts.



Everything else you need to know from the past seven days…

Meta / Facebook 👤

  • Meta has added an experimental Travel Mode to Quest 2 + 3 headsets ✈️ (above)

  • Meta is working on earphones… with AI cameras built in… internally called Camerabuds

  • Facebook reportedly once wanted to buy the AP to help it make a mark in the news world

  • Facebook users are being bombarded by inappropriate tag spam

  • Facebook now lets you control who can comment on your posts directly within the app

  • Meta now lets you boost Instagram posts directly from desktop, without needing go to Business Suite or Ads Manager


WhatsApp / Threads 💬 🧵

Twitter (‘X’) 🤡

YouTube 📺

TikTok 📱

Reddit / Snapchat / Pinterest / More… 👽

🔥 Want to see more hot NEW features spotted in the wild this week?
Just head to the More news’ section below!





King Charles’ first official portrait is not your typical regal painting. Of course, that meant it quickly became a meme.

Domino’s social media manager had the same thought… 🍕



To some, the Met Gala is just a bit of fun. To others, it’s a symbol of ‘them and us’, with celebrities galavanting while wars and suffering play out around the world.

The result? Lists of celebrities to block as a protest have gone viral this week…




Meta considered buying the Associated Press!

Back when Facebook was set on becoming a major venue for news, Mark Zuckerberg reportedly considered going straight to the source and buying news agency Associated Press (the AP).

…but Facebook quickly realised regulators might not be keen the deal, and the idea was canned.



As both Instagram and TikTok keep pushing their video lengths longer, it was, er, interesting to hear Adam Mosseri say this week that Reels longer than 90 seconds can actually hurt distribution. 🤔




Social media features heading for the graveyard:

If your workplace uses Meta Workplace, your workplace needs to start looking for something else for your workplace communication.



😮 WTF?!

Some people really need an intervention…




“Over the past few weeks, online forums such as Reddit and Twitter have been teeming with rants from angry users who are facing a particularly vexing problem: Facebook tag spam.

“They keep getting tagged on Facebook by unfamiliar accounts, apparently with the intention of being redirected to spammy posts or tricked into clicking on suspicious links.”



Meta is working on earphones… with cameras on them?!

It sounds like this is Meta’s form factor for a wearable A.I. device along the likes of the Humane Ai Pin or the Rabbit R1. The cameras could be used to do things like identify objects or translate text.



“Twitter cofounder Ev Williams is backing a new social network called Maven, which trades likes and follows for algorithms designed to foster serendipity and deep discussion.”



If you’ve been meaning to check out A.I. tools to help you with making videos, this is a really handy guide:



All the ways A.I. is transforming social media:




– The increase in QAnon-related slogans and hashtags on X under Elon Musk

  • According to TikTok, there has been an overall 373% rise in financial content in the app over the last year.

  • X says that over 500,000 users are now contributing to Community Notes

  • Snapchat reaches 90% of the 13-to-24-year-old population in the US, and more Snapchat stats

  • Do Facebook and Instagram influence your politics? A study of 35,000 people found out

  • X boasts 8 billion daily video views as it pushes to become video-first

  • 61% of TikTok users discover new brands/products on the app, 1.5x more than other platforms



B2C marketers are increasingly eyeing LinkedIn….



  • Marvel has subpoenaed Instagram to unmask an anonymous movie leaker. [Passionfruit]

  • Meta is working on a Quest For Education offering for schools. [Upload VR]

  • Meta's Oversight Board has overturned a takedown decision for a Pakistani child abuse documentary. [TechCrunch]

  • On Instagram, a jewellery ad aimed at young girls attracted convicted sex offenders as an unintended audience. [New York Times $$$]

  • People who deactivate Facebook and Instagram appear to be less likely to believe election misinformation but also less likely to be knowledgeable about general news. [NBC News]

New features and tests:


  • Facebook now lets you to ‘sort by hidden’, to see comments that have been manually hidden or moderated. [@jonahmanzano]

  • Facebook will soon allow you to like or follow a page from the “Search” section. [@oncescuradu]


  • Instagram now lets you auto-tag a collaborative account in your post after mentioning it in your caption. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Instagram has added 'Digitally created or altered' option to its report for false information. [@cmcalgary]

  • Instagram is testing a tweaked profile styling. [@theahmedghanem]



  • WhatsApp will soon let you manage channels from your linked devices. [Android Police]

  • WhatsApp is making it easier to find and add new sticker packs. [Android Police]

The rest: Creator Studio / Adtech / Quest and more:

  • Meta has made it easier for small developers to get apps into the main Quest Store. [Road to VR]



  • An Australian court has lifted an order forcing X to block videos of a church stabbing. [Reuters $$$]

  • X has lost a lawsuit against Israeli data-scraping company Bright Data. [Reuters $$$]

  • A Welsh Conservative politician broke ministerial code with a video on X, according to Labour. [The Guardian]



  • BBC Studios, ITV and Channel 4 have joined TikTok’s Pulse Premiere ad programme. [@MattNavarra]

  • TikTok has announced a new strategy summit for small businesses. [Social Media Today]

  • TikTok’s global comms head Hilary McQuaide has quit for “a new adventure”. [PR Week]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

New features and tests:

  • TikTok has added a slider sticker like the one on Instagram. [@JonahManzano]

  • TikTok has added a profile frame for the new Mad Max movie. [@JonahManzano]

  • TikTok has added a new series of gifts on Live. [@JonahManzano]

  • TikTok is rolling out the new TikTok Studio to more users. [@theahmedghanem]

  • TikTok has added an ‘account check’ feature. [@JonahManazno]

  • TikTok now lets you hide or show the music sticker when you use music on Stories. [@theahmedghanem]



  • YouTube will block Hong Kong protest anthem videos after court order. [Reuters $$$]

  • Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger is A.I. company Anthropic’s new chief product officer. [The Verge]

  • YouTube’s Brandcast event this week featured Billie Eilish, Roger Goodell, A.I. talk, and lots of creators. [Hollywood Reporter]

  • Reddit is considering introducing ads in search results. [Search Engine Land]

  • An adult webcam platform paid $2.6m into controversial influencer Tristan Tate’s bank account, leaked documents show. [ICIJ]

  • Telegram’s CEO has continued his seemingly baseless attacks on Signal. [The Register]

  • BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music will no longer post on Facebook or X, only Instagram and TikTok. [Daily Mail]

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai is now active on LinkedIn. [Afaqs]

  • Social media posts have sent meme stocks soaring again. [CNBC]

  • Young people are buying large knives on Telegram and TikTok, police say. [The Guardian]

  • Rumble has sued Google over its practices in the digital ad business. [TubeFilter]

  • Snapchat is getting better at detecting illicit drug use content. [Social Media Today]

  • Snap is currently offering quite steep discounts and comps to incentivise advertisers to try new features. [Digiday $$$]

  • Snap has launched a programme to measure the carbon emissions of digital ads. [Social Media Today]

  • An OpenAI exec gave an impressive non-answer when asked if Sora was trained on YouTube videos. [9to5Google]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • Snapchat’s head of UK partnerships has shared tips on how publishers can connect with young voters. [Press Gazette]

  • Snapchat has shared notes on how to improve ad campaign performance. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:

  • Snapchat now lets you share your snaps to other apps from the uploading screen. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Snapchat has partnered with Datahash on a conversions API integration. [MediaPost]

  • Snapchat's Family Centre is now easily accessible. [@JonahManzano]



“Your online influencer girlfriend is actually a rotating cast of low-wage workers. I became one of them.”



Check out these really old school emojis, dating back as far as 1980s Japan:



… If you made it this far, you are a hardcore OG Geekout reader.

Sadly, there is no prize. But you gain my utmost respect 🫡

Right… I’m heading off to do a Glastonbury Festival gear check.

Only 39 days until drinking warm beer, enduring the long-drop toilets, but having my best 5 days of the year.

We have the best tent flag as well.

Can’t wait!

Goodbye, geeks!

p.s. This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant

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