Your Reddit posts are going to feed Google’s A.I.

…a new social business model is emerging

Hello, geeks!

Welcome to your weekly social media news download. Shall we get into it?

Before we do…  I found a hideous photo of me aged 17. You’ll never look at me the same again. Brace yourself 🫣 😆

Someone asked me this week what my dream job was when I was growing up. Well, I always wanted to be a pilot. But I was useless at maths, among other things, and was unsuccessful with my applications to the likes of British Airways.

Spot mini Matt Navarra in 1983 (age 4)

Over the past 20 years, I have taken a lot of wrong turns in my career. And struggled in a lot of jobs I thought were my calling, but quickly realised were actually not.

Also, my ADHD also caused a lot of friction working in a neurotypical corporate world. 

This was my very random career path that led to my job today:

  • Marketing manager

  • Business analyst

  • Primary school teacher!! ← Bit of curveball 🤔

  • Press officer

  • Digital communications manager

  • Head of social media

  • Director of social media

  • Social media consultant

If it wasn’t for a director at the Cabinet Office (UK Government) taking a chance on a confused, geeky press officer in 2009, I almost certainly would not be where I am today!

What does your career path look like? Share yours here.

P.S. This LinkedIn post may also give you some motivation today if you’re feeling lost in your career.

🔥 DON’T MISS THIS… A good friend of mine Brendan Gahan has just launched an epic new course for social media and influencer marketing professionals.

Brendan’s been a leader in social media (and influencer marketing) forever! He’s the real deal, having worked with Pepsi, MTN Dew, Corona, and others.

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Social Media Managers… Get Promoted Faster

Brendan Gahan, Former Chief Social Officer at Mekanism, just launched a social media course in collaboration with Jason Bagley (Former ECD of Wieden+Kennedy).

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The hottest headlines this week:

  1. Google Cuts $60m a Year Deal With Reddit For AI Training Data [PARTNERING]

  2. Instagram Is A Marketplace For Child Influencers Managed by Moms, Stalked by Men [DISTURBING]

  3. Majority of Traffic From X To Advertiser’s Websites During Super Bowl May Have Been Fake [UNSURPRISING]

  4. Meta Staff Found instagram Subscription Tool Enabled Child Exploitation But Pressed Ahead Anyway [ALARMING]

  5. EU Launches Investigation Into TikTok Over Online Content And Child Safeguarding [PROBING]


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Reddit, Google, and a new social business model

News broke this week about a deal Reddit had signed with an unnamed company to use its vast archive of human knowledge as a source of A.I. training data.

Yesterday we found out the company in question is Google, and it’s a $60 million per year partnership that will see the companies work together in a number of ways.

404 Media reports that as Reddit gears up to float on the stock market, deals like this are a set to become key part of the company’s business model.

The long-awaited S-1 filing reveals much of what Reddit users knew and feared: That many of the changes the company has made over the last year in the leadup to an IPO are focused on exerting control over the site, sanitizing parts of the platform, and monetizing user data.

The filing says Reddit has already entered into contracts that will pay it at least $203 million over the next 2-3 years for “data licensing” that consists of “allowing third parties to access, search, and analyze data on our platform.”

In some ways, this is nothing new. Social platforms have long used freely contributed user data to make money.

In the past, this was for ad targeting. In the A.I. age, it’s just as much about feeding all your knowledgeable posts, silly memes, and off-hand thoughts into large language models with an eye on making A.I. smarter.

Elsewhere, Meta is feeding your content from its platforms into its own A.I. models, and your X posts and old Twitter posts are feeding’s efforts like the Grok chatbot.

Don’t be surprised if in the future Grok can regurgitate all the most cherished childhood memories you thought it was fun to share on Twitter 15 years ago, while Google Gemini shares your specialist knowledge from Reddit.

Once this data is in a large language model, it’s hard to predict what will happen. But what is predictable is that Reddit’s moderators will probably rise up and revolt again at some point.

Indeed, Reddit’s pre-IPO S-1 document specifically calls this out as a risk to the company’s business.

Even in the A.I. age, users still have some power.



Everything else worth knowing about from the past seven days…

Facebook / Meta


WhatsApp / Threads

Twitter (‘X’)



Signal / Snapchat / Canva / More…




I know some people who would take this as a challenge…



One the best meme formats of recent times is the ‘weird little space in a house’.

This week on X, it was all about this funny little alcove.

Suggestions included:

Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg got the meme treatment after an awkward clip of him at UFC 298 was shared online:



Reesa Teesa’s story of marrying and divorcing a man she called a ‘pathological liar’ has had TikTok users on the edge of their seats this week…


There’s no doubt that Ryanair is a social media marketing powerhouse, and Michael Corcoran was the brain behind the strategy.

In this interview, he shares how they built the world's top corporate TikTok account, why he thinks social media a pyramid scheme for most brands, and lots more.

Well worth your time…




“In this year’s presidential election, more people are turning to Instagram for news, even as the platform tries de-emphasising ‘political content.’”

…how is it coping?




“I don't mean like a chip that you jack into your brain. Maybe in the future someone will do that, but I wouldn't want to use Version 1 of that."

– Mark Zuckerberg speaks for us all (and maybe takes a gentle dig at Elon Musk’s Neuralink), while talking about a “neural interface” Meta is working on


😮 WTF?!

“Chinese livestream agencies promise influencers fame and money, but end up trapping them in multi-year contracts”

…and they can be expensive to get out of:




Remember when Elon Musk said he’d fix Twitter’s bot problem?

Yeah, about that…




Have you heard of the ‘wide base’ strategy?

This guide explains how posting identical short videos across multiple accounts could result in more overall views:



You might already use a sentiment analysis tool, but it’s always worth keeping an eye on anything that might do the job better for you.

Here’s what the market looks like right now…



Social media features heading for the graveyard:

LinkedIn is removing the Ads tab on Company Pages on 29 February.

After then, you’ll need to visit LinkedIns Ad Library to view active or past ads.



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

Instagram is testing new A.I. stickers to create alternate image backgrounds:




– The top 25% of U.S. adults on TikTok by posting volume produce 98% of all publicly accessible videos. Most users never post anything.



Here’s Pew’s profile of the average US TikTok user:



  • Meta is launching a fact-checking helpline on WhatsApp with the Misinformation Combat Alliance, to combat A.I.-generated misinformation in India. [Meta Newsroom]

  • Mark Zuckerberg is heading to South Korea. He’s expected to meet Samsung’s chairman to discuss A.I. chip supply and other A.I. issues. [Reuters $$$]

  • Meta has provided (a little) more clarity about its definition of ‘political’ content on Instagram and Threads. [Washington Post $$$]

  • Indonesia is the latest country to require Meta to pay news publishers. [Reuters $$$]

  • …but Meta believes content posts voluntarily isn’t liable for payments. [Reuters $$$]

  • Mark Zuckerberg says he doesn’t believe much in delegation. [Business Insider]

  • Mark Zuckerberg says Sheryl Sandberg raised him “like a parent”. [Business Insider]

  • Meta is one of 20 companies that have signed a pledge committing to take action to alleviate risks around A.I. and election integrity. [NBC News]

  • Meta wants Apple to let Quest become an AirPlay receiver so you can view videos from your iPhone in your headset. [Upload VR]

  • A Meta patent reveals its ideas for lighter and smarter headsets. [The Daily Upside]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • 9 things you need to know about the Threads algorithm. [Buffer]

New features and tests:


  • Facebook is making it easier to find posts friends highlighted for you. [@theahamedghanem]

  • Facebook now lets you connect a Reel to an existing long-form video. [Lindsey Gamble]

  • Facebook as added a new ‘Default audience settings’ shortcut in the app settings to make managing it easier. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Facebook allows you to choose who can interact with your avatar, by setting to public or subscribers. [@jonahmanzano]

  • Facebook is testing new mention and hashtag shortcut buttons when creating a new post. [@oncescuradu]


  • Instagram now lets you generate QR codes for audio pages. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Instagram has added a link to users’ Threads profile on their profile page. [@jonahmanzano]

  • You can now access Meta Verified on Instagram directly from the app menu. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Instagram has added a new Games option to Instagram Live. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram now lets you link a Reels video to a Highlight. [@MattNavarra]

  • TikTok-style voice effects on Instagram Reels are getting improved editing options [@alex193a]

  • Instagram will now warn you about potential scams when clicking certain links in bios. [@lindseygamble_]

  • Instagram is working on an enhanced version of the "Limit unwanted interactions" feature. [@alex193a]


  • Threads’ icon for the fediverse could have been uncovered. [@chris]


  • WhatsApp now lets you disable reactions to messages in broadcast channels. [@theahmedghanem]

  • WhatsApp could soon let you send high-quality media by default. [Android Police]

  • WhatsApp is expanding the ability to transfer broadcast channel ownership to iOS beta testers. [@theahmedghanem]

  • WhatsApp is working on a feature to let users mark favourite contacts for quick access to calls. [Android Police]



  • X claims it doesn’t do automated moderation in the EU, creating a mystery around its short suspension of Yulia Navalnaya's account. [DailyDot]

  • ‘Twitter Files’ journo Matt Taibbi said X is now “worse than ever” as he posted messages in which Elon Musk told him “you are dead to me”. [The Daily Beast]

  • Employees prevented Elon Musk from breaking the FTC’s Twitter consent order, an investigation has found. [WashingtonPost $$$]

  • X is facing restrictions in India and Pakistan amid government orders for content removals. [Social Media Today]

  • Elon Musk has been accused of running another burner account on X, which has frequently praised him. [DailyDot]

  • The Elon Musk jet tracker account on Twitter was useful… for employees wanting to see when the boss would be in the office. [Business Insider]

  • Jack Dorsey reportedly gave his parents bodyguards after Twitter banned Trump. [Business Insider]

New features and tests:

  • X now lets Premium subscribers edit their expanded bio in the app. [@theahmedghanem]



  • TikTok has been accused of violating a ban on in-app transactions in Indonesia. [Reuters $$$]

  • TikTok has announced its third annual Short Film Competition. [Social Media Today]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • TikTok’s Creativity Program: Everything you need to know. [Buffer]

  • TikTok offers creative strategy tips in a new guide. [Social Media Today]

  • TikTok has published a new report into mobile game marketing trends. [Social Media Today]



  • The EU has expanded its crackdown on toxic content and dodgy goods to all online platforms. [AP]

  • Twitch is increasing channel subscription prices for the first time. [Engadget]

  • Mastodon has suffered a wave of spam attacks. [TechCrunch]

  • …and Discord took no action against a server that coordinated the attacks on Mastodon. [TechCrunch]

  • Tumblr boss Matt Mullenweg publicly sparred with a trans user over her account ban, revealing private account names in the process. [TechCrunch]

  • Snap isn’t liable for connecting a 12-year-old to convicted sex offenders, a judge has ruled. [Ars Technica]

  • The Online Safety Act might disappoint the public due to the way Ofcom can handle complaints, MPs have warned. [Sky News]

  • AddGlow is a startup taking on Reddit and Facebook with community-building software for brands. [TechCrunch]

  • Pinterest has paused its verification programme for review. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Pinterest has launched its first streaming show: ‘Deliciously Entertaining’ featuring Lance Bass, Trixie Mattel, Joy Cho and more. [Variety]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • LinkedIn has shared new insights into how posts from public groups are distributed across the platform. [Social Media Today]

  • Snap has shared new data on the key drivers of effective brand/creator partnerships. [Social Media Today]

  • LinkedIn has published a new guide to “deep sales”, and how to employ top tactics in order to maximise your sales opportunities. [Social Media Today]

  • LinkedIn has published a new guide to evolving data privacy approaches in marketing. [Social Media Today]

  • Pinterest has launched a new campaign to highlight the opportunities of Pin Ads. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:

  • Snapchat now has two modes for capturing: Snap and video. [@jonahmanzano]

  • Google Search is testing a ‘Forums’ tab for quick access to content on sites like Reddit. [Search Engine Roundtable]



“The president has problems with young voters that won’t be solved by posting more”



Here’s the real reason Zuck gets his cattle drunk on beer…



…Your social media Geekout debriefing is complete.

I have a limited number of 50% OFF Geekout Ad Slots available for March + April.

Just reply to to this email to get more details, or to grab this deal. 🔥

Right… I’m heading off to celebrate my cousin’s birthday. A group of us are going Go-Karting.

He’s got major road rage issues at the best of times.

This could get messy. 🏎️💥🚑.🏥 Pray for me.

Goodbye geeks!

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

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