the worst job in social media (updated)

…this would be brutal

Hello, geeks…

So… That Elon BBC interview, huh? A lot to unpack.

But first… The (new) worst job in social media 

And… I got a very surprising new job. Thanks Mark.

Also… A big thank you to everyone who’s supporting my work by joining Geekout PRO. ❤️

The reaction to Geekout PRO by new members has been incredible. 400+ members already!

Some of the world’s top social media talent who are the masterminds behind the most savage brands on social, have already joined the private group chat.

But be warned… the private WhatsApp group chat is wild and highly addictive.

And later today, I’ll be spilling tea about an uncomfortable question I got asked by a Meta exec, AND the time I got in serious trouble at a private Twitter party at SXSW.


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Shall we get into it? First up… The hottest headlines in social media land this week:


  1. That Elon Musk BBC News Interview [WAR OF WORDS]

  2. Discord Emerges at Centre of U.S. Military Secrets Leak [LEAKING]

  3. News Organisations NPR and PBS Quit Twitter [BREAKING]

  4. Meta is Paying $1m Salaries to Staff Working on Metaverse Projects [HOW MUCH?!]

  5. Twitter Went to War with Substack [SUBTWEETS]

What else is new and noteworthy this week? I got you. Here’s everything else worth knowing about…

Meta / Facebook / Instagram / WhatsApp…

Meta’s AI can now turn your drawings into animations Meta upgraded Stories and Reels audio codec to deliver HD sound….Meta says it’s expanding Reels monetisation to more creators (+ new features for professional profiles)...

Instagram is testing a new privacy-friendly ‘hide account followers’ option… Instagram also added new creator marketplace features… WhatsApp launched in-app payments for users in Brazil WhatsApp is testing a ‘Companion mode’ so you can finally use your account on multiple mobile devices… And WhatsApp also launched new security features to protect users from hacks.

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Twitter has re-launched Subscriptions (previously ‘Super Follows’)... You will soon be able to trade shares and crypto on Twitter with a new eToro integration (no-one asked for this)...Twitter Blue subscribers can now post 10,000 character tweets AND bold / italicise words in tweets (this will look great 🫤)... Encrypted Twitter DMs may finally be coming soon… Twitter is testing a new ‘Verified for you’ tab… And Twitter Inc. is is now X Corp.

TikTok / YouTube / Snapchat…

TikTok’s CEO was named in TIME’s 100 most influential people list for 2023 (but so was Elon)... YouTube Premium subscribers got new perks, including 1080p bitrate streams Snapchat expanded its Sounds Library with new licensing deals… Snapchat Lenses can now be used in Microsoft Team calls (please never invite me to these meetings)... TikTok is testing GIF-like video stickers in messages And TikTok is also testing a Facebook-like ‘Memories’ feature for TikTok Stories.

LinkedIn / Spotify / CapCut / Lemon8…

LinkedIn launched a surprisingly useful verified badge (and it’s free)... Spotify rolled out new tech to convert radio shows into podcasts… TikTok’s hot sister app Lemon8 is copying ByteDance’s playbook based on its latest job hires Instagram co-founders’ news app Artifact is turning into Reddit… ByteDance’s video editing tool CapCut added a 2k/4k resolution option and a new face/body/hand tracking feature

And finally…

The White House is considering giving influencers their own dedicated briefing room. 🇺🇸


  • ⭐️ PRO TIPS: How Insider Boosts Engagement With LinkedIn Audio Events [INSIDE INFO]

  • #️⃣ HASHTAGS: How to Track LinkedIn Hashtags for Better Reach [REACHING]

  • 🛠️ TOP TOOLS: 25 Top Social Media Listening Tools For 2023 [TUNE IN]

  • 🚫 ANTI-TWITTER: Your Guide To Every Twitter-Alternative Platform [TAKE YOUR PICK]

Moving along… Let’s talk about THAT BBC News interview… Geekout analysis of this week’s top talking points is coming up next 👇

– Matt

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🚨 Everyone's talking about...

Elon’s Twitter continues to be a chaotic place, with two major media brands fleeing this week and a spat with the BBC that turned into a sting operation at Twitter HQ.

More on all that in a sec, but first - in the week we found out that Twitter Inc [2006-2023] is dead, replaced by X Corp as Twitter’s parent company, it looks like Elon Musk’s vision of what Twitter should be is starting to take shape.

Super Follows have been relaunched as as Subscriptions, Twitter Blue subscribers can now post 10,000-character tweets with bold and italic formatting, and a partnership with eToro was announced that will allow users to trade stocks and crypto from within the app.

That might seem a bit strange, but remember Musk said he wanted to turn Twitter into an everything app. The choice of eToro might raise some eyebrows but the app is certainly shaping up to offer more than it used to

Also, news broke that Twitter recently purchased around 10,000 GPUs for a mysterious generative AI project, for which Musk has hired engineers from DeepMind.

But things can’t just go smoothly for a week with Musk around, can they? This week’s drama included:

  • Elon throwing his toys out of the pram about the launch of Substack Notes. Engagement with tweets containing Substack links was restricted and searches for ‘Substack’ redirected to the word ‘newsletter. Elon’s response to the drama was hilariously factchecked and eventually Twitter backtracked.

  • Elon fell out with another of the Twitter Files authors, Matt Taibbi, over the Substack spat.

  • It turns out Twitter has lifted restrictions on Russian and Chinese state-linked accounts

  • The BBC was wrongly labelled as ‘government funded’, leading to a row with the corporation.

That last drama led to BBC News being invited to Twitter HQ for an interview at short notice. Twitter then surprised the BBC crew by demanding the interview be livestreamed on Spaces. It had the air of a sting - lure in the ‘mainstream media’ and turn the tables on them.

A one-hour live interview is a very different thing to prepare for compared to a pre-recorded one, so it’s no surprise that the reporter tripped up over a question about hate speech (whether it’s on the rise is open to how you define hate speech), only helping Musk’s ‘biased media hate me’ narrative - mission accomplished.

The BBC’s label on Twitter got changed to ‘Publicly-funded media’ shortly after the interview. The BBC got what it wanted, and Musk got what he wanted.

But there are signs news is falling out of love with Twitter. And with two major US news outlets deciding enough was enough and leaving, just as ‘new Twitter’ seems to be taking shape, it appears this new form could be less of the breaking news hub it once was.

But hey, at least Elon will still have the esports industry.

When state secrets are leaked, it’s usually by traitorous spies or by whistleblowers exposing wrongdoing. But the latest major leak appears to have been something very different - and social platforms will be watching closely.

An incredible report from the Washington Post this week (building on earlier work from Bellingcat) explained that the leaks were made by a young member of the US military who was just trying to show off to his friends on a small, private Discord server.

Yesterday, a 21-year-old was arrested in the case. While we can’t be sure of all the facts here, there’s a strong argument that being hyper-online from a very early age can change how you think about and interact with the world.

Leaking classified docs seemingly just to to show off online is a new thing, and while the Pentagon will no doubt become extra vigilant in the wake of this episode, there are serious question over how well these documents were protected if they’d been floating around online for months before being spotted.

Discord has been co-operating with the authorities this week. But when the stakes are as high as potentially changing the course of the war in Ukraine or US relations with China, other social media companies will no doubt be hoping they’re not next to miss classified documents showing up on a quiet corner of their platforms.

How they guard against that risk is a serious question with no easy answers - but potentially serious consequences for the world if they don’t.

😆 LOL tweets


🐾 Tracking…

Stories I’m keeping an eye on…

And that’s not the only thing that has disappeared from TikTok…

🐣 Brand Twitter

Aldi UK really can’t let it’s caterpillar cake dispute with Marks & Spencer go, after all this time 😆

Skittles channels its inner social media manager…

😮 What did you say?!

He actually admitted it!

🌟 New platform to watch

Creatorland has been described as ‘LinkedIn for the creator economy’ 🤔.

You can read more about it at TubeFilter and sign up for the waitlist here.

😮 WTF?!

Like me, you probably thought the whole point of memes was for them to be copied, but the people behind the ‘dude with sign’ meme have preferred to sue brands that copy them 🙃

Hilariously, the people doing the suing are Fuckjerry. Pot, kettle, black, eh guys?


🤦 Fail of the week

This is painful. Just watch Substack’s ‘we put free speech first’ argument crumble in the face of a simple question from The Verge’s Nilay Patel 👇

📖 Hot book

I’m looking forward to reading friend of Geekout, Taylor Lorenz’s upcoming book: “a groundbreaking social history of the internet—revealing how online influence and the creators who amass it have reshaped our world, online and off.


Remember when Google turned Google+ into a work-focused thing called Currents? No? Well Google just remembered…


  • YouTube is shutting down its product tagging feature for shopping

  • Legacy Twitter checkmarks will apparently really disappear on 4/20. But who knows, maybe it will be delayed until 6/9.

🪲 Bugging out

Bugs annoying social media managers this week:

💡 New feature spotlight

Want some help from A.I. when coming up with new Stories? Facebook is testing a new feature that does just that…

👀 Must-reads

How Instagram’s logo became iconic: “Here’s the story of how the ubiquitous app’s logo evolved from skeuomorphic camera to gradient icon.”

And don’t miss:

😮 What did you say?!

Kara calls it like she sees it:

⬇️ Trending down

“BeReal was pitched as Gen Z’s safe haven from the artifice of social media. For some, authenticity only proved interesting for so long.”

🧵 Top threads

How do social media users in the UK get their news? I break it down in this thread:

Meanwhile, social media is a (slightly) less important source of traffic for news sites. Find out more in this thread:

💬 You can quote me on that

When I’m mentioned in the news, you’ll find it here:

🤔 Did you know…?

Useful info snippets:

📊 Stats of the week

Long tweets don’t embed in full, so tap through for all the key stats:

The BBC might have been surprised by Twitter’s livestream of their interview with him this week, but it certainly did numbers:

📈 Chart of the week

The rise and rise of CapCut:

Meta News

  • Meta Verified is under fire in sex work circles for revealing users' legal names. [TechCrunch]

  • Meta is being urged by children’s advocacy groups to cancel plans to allow minors onto Horizon Worlds. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Facebook plans to make more creators eligible for ad revenue share from Reels. [@liahaberman]

  • Facebook fan Pages are causing problems for tribute acts and impersonators. [Sky News]

  • Meta won’t say if politicians are exempt from fact-checking of A.I.-generated images. [Washington Post $$$]

  • Meta has reportedly been paying salaries as high as $1 million for VR developers. [Washington Post $$$]

  • Meta has shared details of how it’s improving audio quality in its apps. [Engineering at Meta]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

New features and tests:


  • Facebook’s Page Insights API. now lets businesses understand more about their video view counts. [Meta News for Developers]

  • Facebook has added video display elements to Marketplace listings. [Social Media Today]

  • Facebook now displays ‘insights and ads;’ for every post type. [@oncescuradu]


  • Instagram has added the ability to better define your audience control when going live. [@jonah_manzano]

  • Instagram’s creator marketplace has new features, as access is expanded to brand agencies. [TechCrunch]

  • Instagram now has a ‘View Story Reshares’ option. [@BusMark_w_Nika]

  • Instagram is testing the ability to hide your follower list. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram is adding a new badge for posts containing branded content. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram now lets you add more people when you send a message on an Instagram story. [@jonah_manzano]

  • Instagram is testing the ability to reply to stories with a voice message. [@hammodoh1]

  • Instagram has been spotted removing emoji reactions from Stories. [@hammodoh1]

  • Instagram could soon let you post comments on Stories. [@alex193a]


  • WhatsApp has rolled out multi-device support to all beta users. [Android Police]

  • WhatsApp has added new security features, including protection from impersonation and malware. [Social Media Today]

  • WhatsApp now allows users in Brazil to pay merchants through the app. [TechCrunch]

  • WhatsApp could soon let you record video messages. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp is testing search in the Settings section. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp for Android will soon let you edit contacts without leaving the app. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp is working on a way to share status updates to Facebook Stories. [Social Media Today]

VR, adtech, and more:

  • An A.I. team at Meta have revealed a first-of-its-kind open source project bringing animated drawings to life. [Meta News for Developers]

Twitter News

  • Twitter is failing to report some political ads after it promised transparency. [Politico]

  • Twitter is leaving Russian and Chinese propaganda unchecked, according to a BBC investigation. [BBC News]

  • Twitter wants to open a homeless shelter in an unused San Francisco building, Elon Musk claims. [Insider]

  • Twitter’s former CEO Parag Agrawal is suing the company over unpaid legal bills. [Financial Times $$$]

  • Twitter approved a Blue badge for a user with the N-word in their handle. [DailyDot]

  • Twitter is being sued by an advertiser who claims it overcharged for an by $5,950. [@ZoeSchiffer]

  • NiemanLab has shut down its Twitter link tracker Fuego due to the high cost of the platform’s new API access options. [NiemanLab]

  • A new disinfo campaign has been found on Twitter, focused on disparaging the work of two Chinese dissidents. [Axios]

New features and tests:

  • Twitter has rolled out support for 10,000-character tweets with bold and italic formatting. [@TwitterWrite]

  • Twitter now hides the bottom nav bar as you scroll on Android. [@KishanuK]

  • Twitter is internally testing a "verified only for you" feed. [@ZoeSchiffer]

  • Twitter could soon let you report a Space for violation of Germany’s NetzDG law. [@alex193a]

  • A screenshot has emerged purporting to show encrypted Twitter DMs. [@512×512]

TikTok News

  • TikTok sister app Lemon8 has been installed 17 million times globally since its launch in March 2020, including 650,000 times in the U.S. in the past week and a half. [Axios]

  • …and Lemon8 is recruiting for creator-focused initiatives. [DigiDay $$$]

  • TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has made it into the Time 100 Most Influential People List 2023. [Insider]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • TikTok has shared tips on how to boost brand exposure by connecting into topical communities. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:

  • TikTok has quietly launched a GIF-like ‘video stickers’ feature for direct messages. [TechCrunch]

  • TikTok is testing a ‘Memories’ feature for Stories. [@oncescuradu]

💥 More social media news and updates

  • ChatGPT is beginning to cause a serious spam problem for Reddit. [Motherboard]

  • Snap has signed new music licensing deals to expand its Snapchat Sounds library. [TechCrunch]

  • YouTube is shutting down its product tagging feature for shopping, on 19 April. [Insider $$$]

  • Reddit banned 5,853 users for excessive copyright infringement last year. [TorrentFreak]

  • Layoffs at Twitch removed about 15% of its safety staff. Former employees are worried about the imapct. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • California’s social media addiction bill has been significantly watered down as it moves closer to becoming law. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • The company behind the '@dudewithsign’ Instagram account is suing brands for copycat memes. [BuzzFeed News]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • Want to give your LinkedIn ads a boost? These insights could help. [Search Engine Land]

  • Why news outlets are putting their podcasts on YouTube. [NiemanLab]

  • Snap has shared new tips on creating effective Snapchat ad campaigns. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:

  • YouTube Premium is adding iOS SharePlay support, mobile Queue, 1080p enhanced bitrate, and more. [TechCrunch]

  • YouTube has added a reminder button for upcoming live streams. [Social Media Today]

  • LinkedIn now offers a free verified badge that lets you prove where you work. [The Verge]

  • LinkedIn has announced improvements to Audience Network ad campaigns. [Social Media Today]

  • Snapchat lenses are now available in Microsoft Teams. [TechCrunch]

  • Snapchat has added a Tone feature to improve the quality of your photos. [@techjalal]

  • Snapchat is still working on dark mode as a paid subscriber benefit on Android. [@alex193a]

  • Snapchat has integrated with Rockerbox to provide marketing performance insights. [Social Media Today]

  • Snapchat will remove ‘Promotional Tokens’ on 28 April. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram’s founders’ news app Artifact has added some (lightly) social features. [Gizmodo]

  • CapCut has added a ‘Lock’ feature to you can maintain focus on a specific body part in a video. [@oncescuradu]

  • CapCut has a new ‘2K/4K’ resolution option. [@techjalal]

  • Pinterest pins can now be embedded in Notion. [@NotionHQ]

  • Pinterest is working on new features to protect teenage users. [Pinterest newsroom]

📖 Weekend reading

😳 And finally...

Want to feel old? Or just smugly young?

How many of these do you remember…? 👇

📅 Back next week...

…And that’s everything new in social this week. ✅

Your head hurts, but your SMM brain just got bigger. 👊


I will be speaking at Nas Summit in Dubai on April 29th - 30th. 🗣️

It’s an awesome event featuring some of the world’s top TikTok talent and YouTube creators, sharing their top tips, industry insights, and more.

If you’re in Dubai, come along and say hi! I’d love to meet you. 👊

Right… I’m heading off to prepare for the Geekout PRO ‘Out of Office’ video chat.

I’ll be spilling tea about Twitter and Meta. It’s going to get messy. 😯

Goodbye geeks

– Matt


This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant

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