Social media medical emergency

Why I ended up in an ambulance!

Hello, geeks

I’m writing this week’s Geekout following a week from hell.

Things got a little crazy and I ended up in an ambulance. No joke. This isn’t clickbait!

Thankfully, I feel a lot better than I did a few days ago. However, it has meant I'm not operating at peak performance. This week’s Geekout may not buzz as much as it usually does or it might be missing a few bits and pieces. Sorry folks. I hate letting you down. 😟

But back to business…

The icon for Meta’s new Twitter-style app has been discovered. The colour choice looks a lot like Canva and Twitter’s app icons. More on that a little later.

Insider’s published a list of top creator economy experts to follow in 2023. And they included me! A nice surprise during a crappy week for me personally.

BTW… I think I found my new car number plate. This is 👌

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[In the style of Jim Carey] Alrighty then!

Let's get into it, starting with the hottest headlines in social this week:


  1. Twitter Now Worth One Third of What Elon Musk Paid For It [BYE BYE BILLIONS]

  2. Reddit’s New API Pricing May Kill Third Party Client Apps [SHEDDIT]

  3. Meta Reveal Quest 3 Days Before Apple MR Headset Launch [VR WARFARE]

  4. Instagram’s Twitter-Rival App Logo Discovered And It Looks Familiar [BLUE BIRD]

  5. Bluesky has hit 100,000 members while still in invite-only beta [BLUE SKIES]

A lighter week of social media platform news this week. With a sprinkling of new features spotted in the wild… Here’s what’s worth knowing about:

Meta / Messenger / WhatsApp

Meta announced new video scrubbing options for Reels (skip 10-15 secs etc) … Facebook is working on a Playlists feature for Reels … Instagram is testing new user controls for recommended posts and new notifications for creators … WhatsApp is rolling out ‘Companion mode’ to more iPhone users … And WhatsApp may soon let you share your screen in a call.


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Twitter’s head of trust and safety has quit after only 7 months in the job (I wonder why 🤔) … Elon Musk has suggested Twitter could be given a new name in the future … Twitter reportedly cut key software just before DeSantis’ glitchy Twitter Space … EU regulator says Twitter has agreed to stress test ahead of enforcement of new rules … Elon Musk has revealed more details about plans for video monetisation for creators … And Twitter may soon let you hide your Likes.

TikTok / YouTube / Snapchat / BeReal

TikTok creators’ financial info and social security numbers reportedly got stored on servers in China … ByteDance has expanded TikTok CEO’s job responsibilities to include Lemon8

TikTok is testing a new ‘One-liner’ commenting feature … Snapchat is working on a ‘Replay again’ feature for Snapchat+ subscribers … BeReal is launching a messaging feature called RealChat

And finally… Take a look inside MrBeast’s “top secret” $14m filming studio.


  • ⚡️ PRO-TIPS I: The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ad Formats [VIEW GUIDE]

  • ⭐️ PRO-TIPS II: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Formats [CHECK IT OUT]

  • 🤖 CHATGPT: How to Use ChatGPT for SM + 43 Prompts To Get You Started [TAKE A LOOK]

It’s time to dig a little deeper into the news headlines everyone’s talking about this week…

Twitter’s valuation nosedive (ouch!), Reddit’s insanely expensive API pricing, and Bluesky’s new member milestone…

Keep scrollin’ for Geekout’s analysis. 👇

– Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...

As the founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk should know a thing or two about flying too close to the Sun.

The man who helped kickstart a new space race and made electric cars desirable certainly seems to have met his match with social media.

Twitter is now worth just one third of what Elon Musk paid for it less than a year ago. Is it the biggest fail in social media history? It must be up there.

Musk’s vision for the company is still unfolding, so there’s a chance he could still turn it around. But the company has been non-stop drama since he arrived, which must make the efforts of the greatly shrunken ranks of staff all the more challenging.

Within the last 24 hours, Twitter’s latest head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin resigned. There’s no word on why, but it came hours after right-wing site The Daily Wire complained that Twitter had censured it for misgendering people.

Had Elon Musk’s Twitter discovered that it had to “go woke” to avoid “going broke”? It seems not. Elon Musk said the move was a mistake and misgendering (while “rude” and not something he said he personally does) is allowed on the site.

Meanwhile, with the company’s new ad industry native CEO in place, Twitter is opening up to programmatic ads as it looks to boost ad revenue. This doesn’t bode well for Twitter’s shift towards subscriptions.

One success Elon Musk might have had at Twitter is emboldening other platforms to get tougher on third-party developers.

The creator of popular third-party client Apollo announced Reddit was asking for an eye-watering $20 million per year to keep using its API.

As 9to5Mac explains:

After reassuring Christian that the new API pricing would be “reasonable and based in reality” and that Reddit “would not operate like Twitter,” it sounds like the company is doing a 180 or has very different ideas about what “reasonable” and “based in reality” mean.

Reddit told Christian the new cost would be $12,000 per 50 million requests. Since Apollo does about 7 billion requests per month, that comes out to ~$1.7 million per month or $20 million per year for Apollo’s API access.

Christian notes that “Even if I only keep subscription users” those numbers would necessitate double the subscription cost of Apollo just to break even, let alone earn any income.

– Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The news has spooked other third-party developers who use the Reddit API.

Reddit told TechCrunch that it doesn’t want to kill third-party apps, but:

We’re committed to fostering a safe and responsible developer ecosystem around Reddit — developers and third-party apps can make Reddit better and do so in a sustainable and mutually-beneficial partnership, while also keeping our users and data safe

Reddit statement to TechCrunch

That last point about keeping its data safe is an important one.

While third-party apps can be a significant source of engagement (third-party Twitter apps–now all cut off–historically accounted for 17% of all engagement, a former exec has said), social media bosses have their eyes on the dangers of letting A.I. companies train their models on their data without any control or payment.

In April, Reddit announced plans to charge people who wanted to use Reddit data to train A.I, while Elon Musk has been publicly wary about letting Twitter data go to A.I. researchers too cheaply.

Third-party apps could be collateral damage in this shift, and that’s sad to see. But another impact could be worse. Scientists say they can’t rely on Twitter anymore since API prices were set much higher, and the ability for social media to help us understand the world is being hobbled.

Bluesky hype might have died off in the past couple of weeks but it’s still growing. As Slashgear explains:

The decentralized social network is undergoing work during an invite-only developmental phase, yet it's just crossed the 100,000 mark for users. Newly updated usage stats show that more than half of this count contributed over 3 million posts to date, averaging 55 posts per account since data collection started on May 1. That leaves about 43,000 users who probably signed up to take a tour.

Quentyn Kennemer, Slashgear

Not bad numbers for an app that is still in invite-only beta. The platform is making solid progress with some of its fresh ideas, like the ability to set up and share custom algorithms to give users a more personalised experience.

Decentralisation hasn’t arrived yet, so Bluesky has a long way to go, and any prediction it might eventually replace Twitter wholesale seems unlikely to prove true. It seems more likely that, as Ryan Broderick wrote for The Information this week: the next Twitter is just thousands of smaller Twitters.

😆 LOL tweets

BeReal is trying all sort of new ideas at the moment, but maybe they should try this, which would be a real hit with bosses managing work-from-home teams!

🪧 Brand Twitter

Brands taking a stance on social issues is nothing new, but it’s sadly increasingly risky for them to show support for groups like trans people, especially if those brands don’t have the courage of their convictions to stand by that support when the heat is on.

A Twitter thread from Innocent this week about how to communicate respectfully with trans people turned into a storm after a pile-on from a group of Twitter users calling for a boycott of the brand.

Innocent swiftly deleted the thread, explaining that it wanted to be “respectful and inclusive”. That’s something they succeeded in not being to trans people by deleting the thread.

📖 Algorithms uncovered

This was a week for platforms opening up a bit more about their algorithms. YouTube published a useful explainer video.

Meanwhile, Instagram shared some useful info about how it sorts posts, Reels, and Stories. Well worth a look:

📺 Worth a watch

Shadowbanning is a hot topic for some Instagram creators. And Adam Mosseri’s attempt to clear up confusion this week won’t have satisfied everyone.

💡 New feature spotlight

As A.I. makes it easier to create convincing fake images, it’s good to see Twitter has expanded Community Notes to images.

The crowdsourced factchecks will appear whenever anyone shares the same image in the future, too.

😮 WTF?!

Mark Zuckerberg is on something of a fitness kick at the moment. Is he ‘going buff’ like Jeff Bezos before him?

“The Facebook founder, in a post on his own page, said he had completed the ‘Murph challenge’ in 39 minutes 58 seconds, a time that one user said would put him in the top 1% of those who completed the event”


🔨 New tools

This iOS app is a fun new take on the web browser.

“You can add your favorite websites or choose from its suggestions, then swipe through the sites to see what’s new or shake the app for a surprise web page when boredom strikes.”


🔌 New gear

Hmm… why might Meta have unveiled the Quest 3 this week? Probably because Apple is widely expected to reveal its own debut headset on Monday.

The Quest 3 is 30% thinner than its predecessor, and promises colour mixed reality and twice the graphics performance. It certainly impressed Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in an early hands-on. Meta’s comms team was smart to get an influential Apple reporter in before next week!

Meanwhile the Quest 2 has been dropped back down to $299.99 and will stay on sale for a good while yet, as a cheaper option versus the Quest 3’s $499 starting price.

Meta also unveiled new VR controllers and 20+ new VR games.

🤖 A.I.-mazing

The ways A.I. is transforming social media:

“Snap’s new ‘Dreams’ project will enable you to place your likeness into created realms, powered by generative AI.”


😮 What did you say?!

“You can run but you can’t hide”…!

💡 New feature spotlight

This is great to see: Bluesky now lets you choose from custom algorithms other users can create and share (or you can make them yourself if you have a bit of coding experience).

📊 Stat of the week

I already mentioned this one above, but it’s worth flagging up just how important third-party apps were to Twitter engagement before Elon Musk cut them all off.

📈 Charts of the week


Meta News

  • …and Meta has threatened to pull news from its apps in California over a journalism payment bill. [Axios]

  • Meta has told office workers to return to their desks three days per week. [Wall Street Journal $$$]

  • Meta has told UK regulators it will limit how it uses ad data to boost Facebook Marketplace. [TechCrunch]

  • NHS trusts shared patient details with Meta without consent, as their websites were hosting tracking pixels. [The Guardian]

  • Meta wants the FTC to ask federal court to change its privacy settlement. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Meta Verified is now available in Canada. [Meta Newsroom]

  • Russia has fined WhatsApp for first time for not deleting banned content. [Reuters $$$]

  • The man who named the metaverse is optimistic, despite Meta's troubles. [CNet]

New features and tests:


  • Facebook is working on the ability to create a playlist from Reels. [@oncescuradu]


  • The logo for Instagram’s Twitter rival app has been uncovered. [@alex193a]

  • Instagram has announced scrubbing for Reels, letting you rewind or fast forward 10 seconds on iOS and 15 seconds on Android. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram has added a new ‘Add Yours’ section inside the Professional Dashboard. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram now shows follower counts on Reels ads. [@howfixr]

  • Instagram has turned hashtags rainbow for Pride Month. [@JackHorwood]

  • …and lots of other hashtags related to Pride Month will show up in rainbow colours too. [@alex193a]

  • Instagram is testing a new user control for recommended posts and a transparency tool for creators. [TechCrunch]

  • Instagram is working on the ability to play a Quiz game in Live videos. [@alex193a]

  • Instagram is working on a tab for business notifications. [@ahmedghanem]


  • WhatsApp is rolling out Companion Mode for iPhone users, letting you log into the same account from multiple smartphones. [9to5Mac]

  • WhatsApp is testing screen sharing for video calls. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp is working on search filters for channel discovery. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp is testing the first version of its new Updates tab. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp is testing profile pictures in group chats again. [WABetaInfo]

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

  • Meta has added new avatar outfits from Naomi Osaka. [Meta Newsroom]

Twitter News

  • Elon Musk is looking for ideas to change Twitter from employees - even if they overturn one of his previous changes. [@ZoeSchiffer]

  • Twitter is failing to remove hate speech by Blue subscribers, according to a new report. [The Daily Beast]

  • The Chair of the Dutch parliament has called on Twitter to prevent threatening messages on its platform. [Reuters $$$]

  • Twitter will face a stress test of its compliance with the EU’s Digital Services Act this month. [Wall Street Journal $$$]

  • Cost-cutting on third-party software was part of the reason for the tech problems with Ron DeSantis’ Twitter Space last week, it has been reports. [The Information $$$]

  • Twitter owes $830,498 to a PR company across six unpaid invoices, according to a lawsuit. [Reuters $$$]

  • AOC called out Elon Musk for engaging with a ‘parody’ of her on Twitter. [Deadline]

New features and tests:

  • Twitter’s recently reported eToro integration has started to roll out. [Social Media Today]

  • Twitter is working on the ability to hide your likes in your profile. [@512×512]

  • Apple’s latest Twitter hashflag is live ahead of WWDC next week. [MacRumors]

TikTok News

  • TikTok’s CEO has expanded his purview to include ByteDance’s new app Lemon8. [The Information $$$]

  • TikTok has announced in-app and IRL programming for Pride Month. [Social Media Today]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • TikTok has launched a 2023 Christmas holiday marketing playbook to help you plan festive campaigns. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:

  • TikTok has added a ‘one-liner’ commenting feature. [@MattNavarra]

  • TikTok now lets you invite your friends for a chat directly on the platform. [@jonah_manzano]

  • TikTok has been spotted prompting creators to make some video edits on CapCut. [@oncescruadu]

  • …and CapCut Pro is now available in the UK. [@MattNavarra]

💥 More social media news and updates

  • China has removed 1.4 million posts and 67,000 accounts in its latest social media purge. [Gizmodo]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • How gamers’ engagement with short-form video is changing. [Digiday $$$]

New features and tests:

  • Snapchat has launched an AR learning hub. [Social Media Today]

  • Snapchat is working on a ‘Replay Again’ feature for paying subscribers. [@alex193a]

  • BeReal is adding a messaging feature called RealChat. It’s being tested in Ireland first. [TechCrunch]

📖 Weekend reading

😳 And finally...

This Amazon delivery driver is exactly who you want to have travelling with if you ever find yourself in bear country…

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📅 Back next week...

… Congrats, you made it to the end of this week’s Geekout! 👊

I’m heading back to bed to recharge and get myself well! 🤒

Goodbye geeks!

– Matt


This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant

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