Elon's interview is a total Lemon

…while Zuck enters the Threadiverse 🚀

Hello, geeks!

Welcome to your weekly social media manager debriefing. We have plenty to talk about this week!

Before we get into it… If you subscribe to a lot of newsletters, this free app is a must-download. It’s one of my most-useful tools. 🔥

It’s been a lively week in social media land… 

Don Lemon’s super-awkward interview with Elon Musk had everyone cringing. Threads entered the Fediverse. Reddit launched its IPO. And Meta’s controversial ‘Pay for privacy’ subscription fee is getting more heat from EU regulators. We’ll be digging into all of this and more in a moment.

But first… In a quick follow up from the SXSW #TwitterHouse party leak drama I shared last week… I promised I would fill you in on yet another Twitter drama my account created a year or so later.

Back in 2019 (five years ago this week!), I posted a tweet telling my followers I would be stepping back from tweeting for a short while. Rather than leaving my account dormant and unused, I made an offer to let someone take over my account and become @mattnavarra on Twitter for a week. 

To my surprise, I got a DM from @twitter offering to take up the challenge. But Twitter’s decision to run my account ended up backfiring on them. TechCrunch published this scathing article accusing them of massive privacy violations for participating in what was meant to be a harmless bit of fun.

"Twitter ‘took over’ a user’s account and joked about reading their DMs"

However, I had already deleted nearly all my DMs ahead of them gaining access to my account. I didn’t want Twitter to see DMs from my industry sources, celebrity clients, and journalists. I left a few random funny ones for LOLs, such as my DMs with Satan. 👺

Credit to Twitter, they were not fazed by the heat they got for this. And the vast majority of people who saw it all play out in real-time had a lot of fun seeing them tweet all sorts of wild things from my account.

In the few hours they spent tweeting from my account, I gained several thousand new followers…  and a memorable headline in TechCrunch. 😁

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Geekout with our hottest picks of the week:

  1. Don Lemon’s Awkward And Heated Interview With Elon Musk Released [CRINGING]

  2. Threads Opens Fediverse Beta Test For Users in US, Japan, Canada [FEDIVERSING]

  3. Reddit Shares Soar 70% In First Day of Public Trading [IPO-ING]

  4. Meta Offers To Halve Facebook, Instagram ‘Pay For Privacy’ Fees In Europe [BARGAINING]

  5. U.S Supreme Court Unconvinced On Limiting Government Contact With Social Media Platforms [JAWBONING]

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A Lemon of an interview shows Elon’s insecurity

Okay… who do you believe here? The word of veteran TV journalist Don Lemon or leaks from full-time shitposter Elon Musk’s social media company?

Following an interview that offered a few heated moments and ended Lemon’s commercial relationship with X, news leaked that Lemon had (apparently) demanded an $8 million salary, a $5 million upfront payment, a Tesla Cybertruck, an equity stake in X, and the right to approve any changes in X news content policies.

Lemon’s agent denied the claims, but really it doesn’t matter if they’re true or not. If you’re on Lemon’s side you’ll think they’re nonsense. If you’re on Musk’s side, you’ll think they’re obviously true because you think mainstream media figures like Lemon are not to be trusted.

The fact is, the interview was boring. That’s because Elon Musk is just a boring person to listen to (here’s a summary of key points if you can’t make it through the whole thing).

What made the interview interesting is what it says about X as it stands today. For all Musk says he cares about free speech and welcoming all sides of a debate, he can’t stand any scrutiny at all of himself.

A truly free-speech-embracing X would accept scrutiny of Musk (one of the world’s most influential people) as just another topic of conversation, but he’s just too sensitive for that.

Meanwhile, the collapse of the Lemon deal is another loss for X “CEO” Linda Yaccarino, who reportedly worked hard to get it over the line and has ended up with egg on her face yet again thanks to the petulance of her boss.

Wondering why she still hasn’t resigned? I reckon she must just really like the taste of all that egg all over her face.


Where are we up to with the TikTok ban?

Let’s have a quick catch-up about where things are with the possible US TikTok ban.

Senators haven’t rushed to vote on the bill passed last week by Congress, in fact they’re being intentionally slow on the matter. Some think it could be months before there’s any real action on the issue.

But as the US Department of Justice is pushing senators to pass the bill, at least some of the lawmakers want a more careful approach.

This would include putting a better case to the American public for why a ban was necessary, including declassifying some of the intelligence about Chinese influence that is apparently driving the legislation. A public hearing could also take place.

As all this goes on, a Canadian businessman has joined the list of people interested in buying TikTok if they get the chance (the chance of China approving a sale is very low, remember).

It’s worth remembering that amidst all this noise, banning or forcing a sale of TikTok probably wouldn’t make Americans’ data any safer. There’s a highly political angle of anti-China sentiment behind the whole thing.

While Senators were reportedly told that TikTok is able to spy on the microphone on users' devices, track keystrokes, and “determine what the users are doing on other apps”, it’s worth asking if lawmakers are happy for American apps to do the same things.

While any action against TikTok could be some time away in the States, last week’s action has had echoes around the world. For example, the UK government is facing pressure to follow the US in toughening its stance on the app.

Meanwhile, TikTok has displayed a message to US users, urging them to call their senators and ask them to vote against a bill that could ban the app. From the sound of it, it might have to keep using that message for some time yet.



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

Meta / Facebook


WhatsApp / Threads

Twitter (‘X’)



LinkedIn / Snapchat / CapCut / More…



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

I spoke to Fast Company about LinkedIn’s future as a source of news, in a world where most other social media platforms are cutting their ties with news publishers:




Tap through below to watch the interview Elon Musk would happily do all day, every day…




Eww: “Some women say the carnivore diet has saved their lives — but doctors warn could be harmful. “


  • The organiser behind that Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow says his “life is ruined” after the ‘experience’ became a viral disaster



Lego should have learned from the Willy Wonka experience: relying on generative AI can be a big mistake:

“Lego posted a series of clearly AI-generated images to the Ninjago section of its website, drawing criticism from fans and one of the Lego sub-brand's creators.”


  • This unskippable Toyota ad on YouTube has been doing the rounds this week, even though it’s six years old - timelessly impressive!



As TikTok struggles, Instagram is booming. Katie Notopoulos wrote a really good piece about it this week:



“At this juncture, calling Musk a right-wing shitposter is no longer provocative. It's simply accurate"

– CNN calls it like it is about Elon Musk



😮 WTF?!

“Outlandish images are garnering hundreds of millions of engagements on the social media platform, leaving some users wary of scams.”



“A page called Mom Daily is using AI-generated images of mothers and babies to bypass Facebook’s rules on nudity, with some really terrifying results.”



X is always keen to show off impressive-sounding numbers about its performance. But look a little closer…

Threads post by Kurt Wagner:"Elon Musk's X says it has 250m daily users. For context: Twitter had ~238m daily users in June of 2022. So X has grown by 12m users (5%) since the last time Twitter reported earnings 21 months ago. More context: Facebook (yes, Facebook) has added 140m+ new users in the past 18 months, or growth of 7%"




Here’s Buffer with some good advice for making the most of Instagram Collab posts:



Social media features heading for the graveyard:

Twitch watch parties are sooooo 2020:




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

YouTube now gives creators the option to label when their content contains material generated by A.I.



241 million

– MrBeast’s YouTube subscriber count as of last month, as he topped the ranking of the most-subscribed YouTube creators


  • Between 30% and 50% of videos TikTok users see are recommended based on their prior engagement, according to a new study



How Meta’s lobbying bill compares to the rest of big tech, as spending keep rising…



  • Turkey has moved against Meta over Threads-Instagram data sharing. [Reuters $$$]

  • Meta has backed Epic Games in its US battle against Apple’s App Store rules. [The Verge]

  • Meta’s Oversight Board has published its Transparency Report for the second half of 2023. [@oversightboard]

New features and tests:


  • Facebook is testing a ‘Following’ feed for Reels. [@oncescuradu]

  • Facebook has been spotted prioritising Reels in the “Stories” tray by partially hiding the Stories. [@oncescuradu]

  • You can now manage your Facebook Page Broadcast Channel from the Meta Business Suite app. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Facebook now lets you review closed captions on reels directly in the app. [@jonahmanzano]


  • Instagram now lets you add Facebook as an ad placement when you boost a post. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Instagram has added the ability to share photos, videos, polls, etc. shared from broadcast channels to Stories. [@lindseygamble_]


  • Threads now lets you ‘Tag Topic’ from the contextual menu when you select text. [@chris]

  • Threads now has the option to further reduce seeing content that has been flagged by fact-checkers. [@matthewfaccinani]

  • Threads has changed ‘Hide’ to ‘Not interested’ on posts. [@oncescuradu]

  • Threads is rolling out a change to the date format on posts. [@oncescuradu]


  • Messenger now labels any chat you leave without sending the message you wrote as Draft. [@theahmedghanem]


  • WhatsApp is testing extra security features, like passcodes. [Android Authority]

  • WhatsApp is rolling out its new sticker maker to more beta testers, with new features. [@theahmedghanem]

  • WhatsApp on Android could soon get the ‘transcribe voice messages’ feature currently only available on iOS. [Android Authority]

  • It looks like WhatsApp is bringing back its swipeable navigation bar. [Android Police]

  • WhatsApp is testing a ‘Show Meta AI’ option in settings. [@oncescuradu]

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

  • Meta Verified is now available at a cheaper price on the web. [@jonahmanzano]

  • Meta Quest 3's more affordable sibling may have leaked in a new render. [Android Authority]



  • Influencer agencies are preparing for worst-case scenarios if TikTok gets banned. [Digiday $$$]

  • TikTok’s podcasts push doesn’t seem to be much of a boon for podcasters. [The Verge]

  • A TikTok ban could embolden authoritarian censorship, experts have warned. [NBC News]

  • TikTok is facing a national security review in Canada. [Tech Times]

  • Analysts have warned Ireland that welcoming TikTok to Dublin’s low-tax tech paradise could backfire. [Politico]

  • China has accused the US of suppressing free speech as the TikTok bill moves forward. [Semafor]

  • A researcher from TikTok owner ByteDance was wrongly added to a group chat for American artificial intelligence safety experts last week. [Reuters $$$]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

New features and tests:

  • TikTok now showing a quick comment/reaction box on certain videos. [@oncescuradu]

  • TikTok is testing a new sidebar menu. [@theahmedghanem]

  • TikTok has added the ability to invite viewers to subscribe, attached as a link to your video. [@jonahmanzano]

  • TikTok now has a new stickers UI. [@oncescuradu]

  • TikTok has updated its monetisation page with new options to show you which programmes you're eligible for. [@theahmedghanem]

  • TikTok now lets you choose the countries and regions where you want your videos to be shown. [@theahmedghanem]



  • Telegram has raised $330 million in fresh capital through bond sales. [TechCrunch]

  • The FTC is investigating Reddit’s licensing of user data to A.I. companies. [Axios]

  • Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has defended his $193 million compensation package. [Business Insider]

  • Truth Social could follow Reddit in going public. [Axios]

  • Forget a TikTok ban, US lawmakers should pass broader legislation to protect users on all platforms, some privacy advocates say. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Parler is back in the Apple App Store, but it’s unclear who owns the app now. [9to5Mac]

  • A ‘cyber-flasher’is the first to be jailed in UK for new offence after sending an explicit WhatsApp picture. [BBC News]

  • Meta, Snap and TikTok have agreed to new international election integrity guidelines. [Social Media Today]

  • YouTube has announced a 'Women of YouTube' mentorship programme for Shorts creators. [Social Media Today]

  • Nokia says Reddit is infringing some of its patents. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Meta, YouTube, and Reddit have been ordered to face claims they enabled white-supremacist in Buffalo massacre. [Fast Company]

  • Roblox has launched a $35 million fund for creators—and introduced its answer to TikTok. [Fast Company]

  • The US Supreme Court said public officials can sometimes be sued for restricting access to their private social media feed. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Politicians in the US and UK have called for tougher safeguards against online sexual exploitation, following allegations of abuse on OnlyFans. [Reuters]

  • Reddit and YouTube must face lawsuits claiming they enabled Buffalo grocery mass shooter, a judge has ruled. [NBC News]

  • ‘Sneaky’ social media ads are luring young into gambling, campaigners say. [The Guardian]

  • Gypsy Rose Blanchard has deleted her public social media accounts. [Rolling Stone]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

New features and tests:

  • Snapchat now lets you promote your snaps directly from the app. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Snapchat has added audio pages for music you've used, showing the creator's name, options to share it, and the ability to add it to your favourites. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Snapchat now displays trending lenses. [@theahmedghanem]

  • LinkedIn is rolling out a new UI for Jobs, with a main For you”feed and multiple niched feeds. [@oncescrudau]

  • Linktree is now lets users highlight links better with a ‘featured layout’ function. [TechCrunch]





Ready to be poked all over again?



…And that’s a wrap for this week’s Geekout.

ICYMI… I recently collaborated with the lovely folks at Dash Hudson. We hosted a super-useful social media content trends webinar.

Over 1,000 people requested an invite. We stuffed it full of useful stats, facts, insights and tips.

If you missed it, no problem! Watch the replay here. 🔥

Alrighty folks, time to get outta here. I’m heading off to poke a few friends on Facebook.

Goodbye geeks!

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


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