Facebook usage NOT linked to physiological harm

… But it might still send you crazy

Hello, geeks…

Welcome to your weekly debrief of everything new in social.

Kicking things off this week… Facebook’s insane new rule. WTF!

Twitter (X) has finally decided to pay me. 🎉 I’ve been sharing content on the platform for 15 years. I’ve posted 149,000 tweets. And in the last six months, my tweets generated 61 million impressions.

But… How much ad revenue did they share with me? Answers here. 😶

Better than £0. But?

BTW…Twitter’s algorithm has been updated (again). You can get it to boost your tweets with this ONE simple trick. 


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Ok folks. Let’s get going. Here are the hottest headlines in social this week: 👇

BREAKING NEWS: Elon Musk claims the Zuck fight will take place in Italy - supposedly he’s even squared it with the Italian prime minister. Let’s wait until Zuck confirms before we get too excited though, eh?


  1. Facebook Usage Not Linked to Psychological Harm [NEW RESEARCH]

  2. TikTok to Make FYP Algorithm Optional in Europe [REGULATOR WIN]

  3. X CEO Hypes Progress + Working with Elon in Awkward Interview [CRINGE]

  4. YouTube is Disabling Links in Shorts To Tackle Spam [HOT CRYPTO DEAL!]

  5. TikTok Shops Launched ‘Fulfilled by TikTok’ in the UK [ECOMMERCE FTW]

Meta / Facebook / Threads

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri confirmed Thread’s search and a web app is nearly ready (can’t come soon enough)… Zuck also announced a bunch of handy new Threads features rolling out now… Good news for social media managers. Facebook’s Reels API update added much-needed new features for third-party apps.

Instagram / WhatsApp

Instagram could soon let you create and post A.I.-generated images, right from the app… Instagram started rolling out share and comment counts… Instagram has a new auto-trim feature for Reels

WhatsApp is rolling out voice chats for groups (not the same as a group call) and screen-sharing for video calls… WhatsApp is testing scheduling for group audio calls and multi-account support (no need for multiple devices to run more than one account).

Twitter (‘X’)

Insecure Elon has tweaked X’s algorithm to downrank mentions of rival platforms (eyeroll)… Elon admitted he couldn’t send creators their revenue share payments on time… but he eventually paid out… And even lowered the threshold to get paid (no word on how the company can afford all these payouts)…

X launched ‘sensitivity settings’ for advertisers worried about brand safety… X has been seizing (stealing back) more premium Twitter handles like @music and @sports… And X’s CEO confirmed a video call feature is coming soon.

TikTok / LinkedIn / YouTube

TikTok now lets podcasters link their videos to full podcast episodes… TikTok is letting users apply for ‘anti-bully protection’… And TikTok is gearing up to sell pre-owned luxury fashion.

TikTok also added A.I.-generated content labels - but with a warning… And it’s now easier to flag your video as A.I.-generated… And (for some) 10-minute video recording option is back.

LinkedIn made it easier to highlight your key skills on your profile… And finally… YouTube will soon make it easier to link Shorts to longer videos (great for creator promo).


  • 📈 TRENDS: The Top Paid Social Trends + Predictions for 2023 [ACCESS REPORT]

  • 🧪 EXPERIMENT: Does AI Write Better Tweets Than Humans? [REVEAL RESULTS]

  • 🔥 CHEATSHEAT: The 2023 Social Media Image Sizes Cheatsheet [DOWNLOAD]

  • 🎨 DOWNLOAD: X Launch New Brand Assets Resources for Marketers [VIEW ASSETS]

  • ❤️ SWIPE RIGHT: Tinder Research Reveals Ultimate Dating App Profile [SHOW ME]

Useful links, I hope…

Right, let’s dig into the stories that generated the most headlines this week. Geekout analysis is coming up next 👇

– Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...

The past few years have seen a steady stream of research emerging that point to social media causing real harm to users’ mental wellbeing. So, Meta will have welcomed a study published this week that found Facebook in particular is not linked to psychological harm.

The Oxford Internet Institute looked at how wellbeing changed in 72 countries as Facebook use grew.

But hold up: the study relied on data provided by Meta and took a broad, national-level look at each country.

I bet you can think of someone you know (maybe it’s you!) whose personality or self-esteem has been changed for the worse in some way by social media use. It very much is a thing that happens, and it happens on Facebook among other platforms.

Big statistics can obscure things we know to be true because we’ve experienced it ourselves in individual cases. All those other studies that showed harm aren’t wiped out by this one piece of evidence to the contrary.

So while this study will be a useful shield for Mark Zuckerberg next time he has to defend his company in front of politicians, it doesn’t tell the whole story - not by a long shot.

With the ‘X’ rebrand starting to bed in, CEO Linda Yaccarino was no doubt hoping to present an upbeat vision of where the platform formerly known as Twitter was going when she sat down for an interview with CNBC yesterday.

Some of the news is positive: the company is hiring again after months of headcount cuts, while advertisers should be encouraged by new brand safety sensitivity settings and a reviving of the ‘client council’ to listen to advertisers’ views.

But just like with Tesla and SpaceX, there’s a growing sense that execs at the top of X succeed in spite of Musk rather than because of him.

They’re put in difficult positions like having to defend crazy decisions such as reinstating the account of someone who posted child sexual abuse material.

How do you maintain an even keel when X continues to be a force of chaos? This week Musk offered to pay legal bills of people fired for what they say on the platform (although I have serious doubts he’ll ever pay out), X annoyed long-time users by seizing great handles for its own use, and creator payments were late (although X eventually did make payouts and even lowered the threshold for future payments).

Meanwhile, Musk was busy throwing uncertainy over the ‘will they, won’t they’ fight with Mark Zuckerberg. Musk’s latest delay tactic? He says he might need surgery before he can get in the ring. Even though Musk claims the fight will be livestreamed for charity in an “epic location” in Italy, Zuck is not holding his breath for it ever happening, and neither am I.

The idea of a ‘cage match DEBATE’ (debating… in a cage?) instead is Musk’s latest proposal. I don’t think you’d get much pay-per-view revenue from that.

An ‘Elon claims tracker’ used to track his wild pronouncements that were yet to come true. If it was still updated regularly, it would be a headache-inducing mess.

Platformer’s Casey Newton was right when he said this wee'k that it’s time to change how media covers Musk. By enthusiastically writing up every dumb thing he says, the media is just encouraging him… and no doubt making life harder for the execs trying to mop up behind him.

The FYP algorithm is TikTok’s secret sauce - the main thing that has helped it grow into the behemoth it is today. And soon, users in the EU will be able to switch it off:

According to TikTok, disabling this function will show users “popular videos from both the places where they live and around the world” instead of content based on their personal interests.

These changes relate to DSA rules that require very large online platforms to allow their users to opt out of receiving personalized content — which typically relies on tracking and profiling user activity — when viewing content recommendations.

To comply, TikTok’s search feature will also show content that’s popular in the user’s region, and videos under the “Following” and “Friends” feeds will be displayed in chronological order when a non-personalized view is selected.

– Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

While there are good reasons to worry about the amount of data social platforms collect about us, this option is going to be a dud.

If you’ve switched off personalised advertising via the option Apple added to iOS a couple of years ago, you’ll have noticed how quickly the ads became generic, dull rubbish that likely didn’t interest you much.

I can’t believe anyone will enjoy a Not-For-You page. While TikTok has been forced to offer the option, chances are it will simply show how EU laws have swung too far from ‘concerned about our data’ into giving users a terrible experience.

😆 LOL tweets

Sneaky idea… very sneaky!


  • Zuck takes a swipe at X. Ouch!

💡 New feature spotlight

Hot new features you need to know about:

This new TikTok feature is going to be huge for podcasters:

📈 Gone viral

Never underestimate the power of bored teens in the summer holidays:


🏆 Record breaker

MrBeast broke a YouTube record this week: the highest number of views in 24 hours for a non-music video. An eye-popping 46 million views 😮

👀 Must-reads

Having a million followers doesn’t necessarily make you famous.

There are now more than 39,000 accounts on TikTok now have at least 1 million followers. This has created a “fascinating subculture of influence... Many creators have a dedicated following within their niche, but they remain anonymous to the wider world”.


🔨 Free tool

With all the talk about X paying out ad revenue share, this is worth a look, even it it’s just a very rough guide:

💰 For sale

Elon’s auctioning old tat from the Twitter HQ…

🚨 New platform alert

Fizz is an up-and-coming social app that has been making waves on US college campuses. Get up to speed 👇

😮 WTF?!

Been slacking as the admin for your Facebook Group? Beware: Meta might replace you!



A.I. trained mostly on white people continues to fail everyone else:

⌚️ Coming soon

Holding out for Threads on desktop before you fully invest time on the platform. Hold on… it’s coming!

🐾 Tracking

Hmm… I give it a 50/50 chance this is the first half of a ‘how it started, how it’s going’ meme in a few weeks’ time when Elon decides to fire her at 3am one Sunday morning, or she quits in frustration.


Features heading for the social media graveyard:

Using Messenger as your SMS app? Not for much longer. The feature is being dropped on 28 September.

🤖 A.I.-mazing

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

No need to rent a private jet to pose on for an hour when AI can do the job…


📊 Social stats

📈 Charted


  • ByteDance’s China business is slowing, putting the spotlight on TikTok

  • Threads posts receive more likes than on Twitter for nearly 90% of brands... Despite them having fewer followers

More Meta News

  • Meta’s news blackout in Canada has sparked a boycott by some advertisers. [Mashable]

  • Meta is using a military-grade material in its first-gen AR glasses, expected to launch next year in a run of just 1,000 for internal development and public demos. [The Information $$$]

  • Meta’s Quest 2 collects enough data for A.I. to accurately guess a user’s ethnicity, income, and more. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Norway will fine Meta $98,500 a day over alleged user privacy breaches from 14 August. [The Guardian]

  • Meta disbanded its protein-folding team this spring, as it looks for more money-making ways of using A.I. [Financial Times $$$]

New features and tests:


  • Facebook has added a crop feature for editing Reels. [@oncescuradu]

  • Facebook now handily lets to mention @Followers. [@techjalal]


  • Instagram has a new ‘auto-trim’ option for editing Reels. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram has launched a link preview feature for Channels. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram has been spotted showing exact posting dates, rather than the number of days, weeks, months, or years ago. [@howfxr]

  • Instagram is working on a ‘live notes’ feature. [@alex193a]

  • Instagram is testing story mentions on the profile page. [@ec_wife]

  • Instagram could soon let others to add photos and videos to your posts (with your approval). [@alex193a]

  • Instagram is working on a Templates sticker. [@alex193a]


  • Threads now lets you control what notifications you get about product announcement, follow suggestions, and the like. [@saadhjawwadh]

  • You can now verify your threads profile on mastodon. [The Verge]

  • Threads is rolling out a button for @mentioning a photo or video from a post in your comment on it. [@jonah_manzano]

  • Threads also lets you restrict or remove followers. [@saadhjawwadh]

  • Threads has added a way to see your liked posts. [TechCrunch]

  • Threads is working on an ‘About this profile’ section. [@alex193a]


  • WhatsApp is the latest app to work on passkey support for easy logins. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp is testing a screen encouraging users to create a Community. [WABetaInfo]

More X News

  • X has been fined for resisting a warrant for access to Donald Trump’s account in January. [Semafor]

  • Australia’s national broadcaster, ABC has shut down almost all of its accounts on X due to increasing perceived toxicity on the platform. [The Guardian]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • Meta has published a new guide to help you get started with Business Suite. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:

  • X is apparently nearly ready to launch video call support. [TechCrunch]

  • X is now promoting recruitment ads, priority exposure, and premium support as benefits for Verified Organizations. [Social Media Today]

  • X is testing displaying relevant lists in search results. [Social Media Today]

  • Semantic search is coming soon to X, Elon Musk claims. [Social Media Today]

  • X is working on a setting that allows only your subscribers to send a message request. [@swak_12]

  • X could soon let you choose the way posts are sorted on profiles. [@ehikian]

More TikTok News

  • TikTok is getting slapped with a fine for breaching EU kids’ privacy. [The Guardian]

  • TikTok has launched a global musical talent contest called Gimme The Mic. [TikTok Newsroom]

  • TikTok users can now watch a full episode of Peacock’s ‘Killing It’. [TechCrunch]

  • The Mayor of London has told people to shun a “nonsense” TikTok craze on the city’s Oxford Street. [The Guardian]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • 6 of the best journalism accounts on TikTok. [PressGazette]

New features and tests:

  • TikTok is testing a new version of Creator Center in beta. [@jonah_manzano]

  • TikTok has added the ability to create an effect using a template directly within the app. [@jonah_manzano]

  • TikTok is testing locating the edit button at the bottom left, along with an option to post a story. [@jonah_manzano]

💥 More social media news and updates

  • Reddit won its war against users. [Gizmodo]

  • YouTube has changed the name of in-stream ads to 'Skippable Ads'. [AdWeek $$$]

  • Donald Trump’s lawyers are getting antsy about his social media posting as his legal woes grow. [Semafor]

  • Iraq has blocked Telegram over national security concerns. [TechRadar]

  • US state senators for Georgia are considering a law requiring parental consent for kids to create social media accounts. [NBC News]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • 15 tips to help brands make the most of a social post that goes viral. [Forbes]

New features and tests:

  • YouTube no longer suggests videos if your ‘watch history’ is turned off. [The Verge]

  • YouTube has added a new report that breaks down channel performance by video format. [Social Media Today]

  • YouTube’s ‘enhanced’ 1080p for Premium subscribers is now available on desktop web. [The Verge]

  • YouTube is testing a recommended viewing shelf in the channel display. [Social Media Today]

  • LinkedIn has changed its link highlight colour. [@oncescuradu]

  • Snapchat has added an option for Stories called 'After Dark’, [@jonah_manzano]

  • Snapchat’s dark mode is no longer only for paying subscribers. [TechCrunch]

  • T2 has added ‘share in DMs’ features. [@oncescuradu]

📖 Weekend reading

😳 And finally...

Want to feel ancient? Gen Z are already feeling old…

📅 Back next week...

…Geekout social media news debriefing… Done.

Nice one!

Right… It’s time for me to go spend my Twitter ad rev share earnings.

Might cover half of my monthly energy bill (if i'm lucky!)

Goodbye geeks

– Matt


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This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant

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