the messy death of Twitter 1.0

…time to say goodbye?

Hello, geeks

Get comfy. The Elon Musk Twitter Clown Show is still in operation. 🤡

And we have a lot to talk about.

It’s another Twitter-heavy edition of Geekout this week. Regular programing will return once Elon and his goons get bored or Twitter recovers… or dies?

To bring you up to speed… This is Twitter right now in one tweet.

Also… #RIPTwitter is trending as I write this. If i’m honest, I don’t think this is the end, but we are in uncharted territory once more.

The biggest risk Twitter faces in the coming weeks is being knocked offline… and not having anyone to bring it back to life

So yeah…Good luck, Elon. 🤞

But if Twitter does die… And Netflix makes a ‘Fyre Festival’ style documentary about it. We’re gonna need a song to play when the end credits roll. Maybe this?

Aaaanyway… I'll update you on ALL the latest Twitter developments, plus all the other BIG stories in social media land this week, in a moment.

But first…

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Right… Let’s dive in. These are the hottest headlines in social this week:


  1. Twitter Staff Reject ‘Hardcore’ Work Ultimatum And Quit [HARD NO]

  2. Twitter Offices Shut As Elon Fears Sabotage + Twitter Might Break [LOCKDOWN]

  3. Elon Musk’s Big Plans for Twitter 2.0 Leaked [NEW BLUE]

  4. TikTok & YouTube Race to Launch New Shopping Features [SHOPS & SHORTS]

  5. Meta Staff Fired for Using Internal Tool to Hijack User Accounts [FACECROOK]

Aside from Twitter… What else is new and noteworthy this week? I got you. Here’s everything else think you’ll want to know about:

Facebook is removing several pieces of sensitive information from your profile next month… Facebook rolled out its own emoji ‘Status’ feature to more users…And two more curious new features showed up this week: a Restaurant Search tab and Introduction Prompts for Groups… Meta killed it Portal devices and future smartwatch plans… And Meta’s Quest Pro VR headset got a brutal 4/10 review score (ouch!).

Instagram product managers have been busy… New features spotted in development or in the wild this week include: Ability to hide likes on your Reels, Ability to pin Reels to your Reels tab, Ability to add Topic Tags to posts, New option to add a PIN number for encrypted DMs, and a new setting to set a different profile grid aspect ratio.


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WhatsApp launched a new in-app business search directory and speedy in-app purchasing features for shopping… And you can finally create polls in Group chats (handy!)...

Linkedin launched a bunch of new ad formats and tools for marketers… This new LinkedIn algorithm report is full of useful tips for wannabe LinkedInfluencers… And Snapchat has a clever new World Cup themed AR trick.

YouTube is using the World Cup to kickstart its new YouTube Shorts shopping features…You can now add up to 60 seconds of music to YouTube Shorts videos… TikTok has started testing a new API for researchers (new Content Moderation API coming soon)... TikTok has also added new audience insights tools for creators… And spotted in the wild… New TikTok Shopping features PLUS TikTok may soon have three feeds!

OnlyFans launched new shopping for creators… Posting on BeReal is revealing more info about you than you may realise… And finally… MrBeast is partnering with a US university to train skilled workers for the creator economy (last student to take their hand off the teacher’s car gets a degree?).


  • 🌟 EXCLUSIVE: The Geekout Group On FB Now Has 30k Members![REQUEST INVITE]

  • 🔥 LINKEDIN: 21 Tips To Beat The Linkedin Algorithm in 2023 [REVEAL TIPS]

  • 💀 TWITTER: 100 Funniest Tweets Ever Published, According To BuzzFeed [SHOW ME]

  • 🎨 INSTAGRAM: How To Make Instagram Reels Covers That Pop [FREE TEMPLATES]

  • 📖 MASTADON: The Absolute Beginners Guide to Mastodon [TEACH ME]

Useful stuff, huh?

Moving along… It’s about time we dived into the shitstorm that is Elon Musk’s Twitter.

Keep scrolling. Analysis of the latest developments coming up next… 👇

– Matt

P.S. We're talking #RIPTWITTER on Twitter Spaces today at 4pm UK / 11am ET / 8am PT: LISTEN LIVE / PLAY BACK (if Twitter keeps working)

Don’t miss Emplifi’s guide to boosting your social media career in 2023


  • 6 standout skills to master as your social media career advances

  • A map to many career paths of a social media manager

PLUS an exclusive article written by me:

  • 5 habits and behaviors of the best social media managers

🚨 Everyone's talking about...

Elon Musk really is delivering a masterclass in how to destroy a social media company. Keen to move on from the chaos of the past fortnight, he issued an ultimatum: accept a new 'hardcore' way of working on 'Twitter 2.0' or quit. Workers were given a link to click in an email to confirm they were hardcore enough. Don't click, and they would be considered to have resigned.

Setting aside how badly that kind of ultimatum complies with employment laws in most parts of the world, it was quickly clear many Twitter staff were NOT keen. As the deadline for staff to accept the deal approached yesterday, Musk seemed desperate, appearing to be (slightly) more amenable to home working than he was previously and reportedly meeting directly with key staff to try to convince them to stay.

But as the deadline passed it was clear most staff did not want to be part of Musk's hardcore vision. The #LoveWhereYouWorked hashtag quickly became an emotional place filled with photos of Twitter workers' closed laptops.

But with only hundreds of employees reportedly remaining, it seems many teams tasked with keeping the platform running have zero staff, meaning it's only a matter of time before Twitter suffers a serious outage - especially with the World Cup beginning this weekend. Musk claims the site hit record usage yesterday which–if true–would make an outage seem even more likely.

Even before Thursday's job losses, Musk had already started pulling bits of code out of Twitter with the aim of speeding up the app. These included plans to remove the text that shows which app or service was used to post a tweet (removing it is a bad idea). Meanwhile, SMS 2FA stopped working briefly (it should be working now) and user have been experiencing weird glitches all week.

Oh, and how can I forget? Thousands of contractors fired were without warning last weekend, sparking worries about moderation (even something as seemingly simple as removing checkmarks from users) and tech stability. It would be a good time to download your data, if the archive system still worked.

Twitter has now announced all offices are closed until Monday, with rumours Musk's team is worried staff will sabotage the company if they're allowed to work as normal.

It's increasingly clear Elon really doesn't know what he's doing. This week he falsely claimed Twitter was the biggest traffic generator on the web, which is the kind of thing you'd think he would have researched before buying the platform. And when he showed he had a very sketchy understanding of the tech behind Twitter and staff called him out, he started firing them. Even staff criticising or mocking him on Slack weren't spared (top tip: your boss can read all your private messages on Slack).

With tanking morale at the company, bashing staff he'd just fired (multiple times) wasn't the look of a competent leader who understands his workforce. Twitter's long-established culture of being able to flag up concerns freely was over, but it's not clear Musk knew it ever existed.

In short, the chaos continues. And it's having a real impact: More major advertisers are quitting (it's become really noticeable), even a news site quit tweeting, influencers are wondering where they'd go if Twitter dies, and there have been more warnings to Musk from politicians. Techdirt has even stopped embedding tweets amid data protection concerns under Twitter's new ownership.

Downloads of other social apps are on the rise. But at least Twitter got one new big-name advertiser... er, Elon Musk's own SpaceX.

Musk says a full reorganisation of Twitter is in the works, taking up almost all his time. He says he plans to hand over the reins to a new CEO (which won't be Jack Dorsey or former T-Mobile boss John Legere) and reduce the time he spends on the company as Tesla shareholders worry he's taking his eye off their ball.

But with everything that's happened this week, it's clear Musk has still got a lot more sleeping at the office to do if he wants to stop users defecting to... the Matt Hancock app?!

Hold up! With all the disarray within Twitter the company, it's easy to forget the product itself. As Geekout hit your inbox last week it was just becoming clear that Twitter Blue had been taken off sale as scams and fakes from 'verified' users ran rampant.

This week it emerged Elon Musk ignored internal advice about problems with his plans for Twitter Blue paid verification, so he only has himself to blame. Tytrhat said, leaked figures show the new Blue got off to an okay start for the brief time it was available on iOS only in a handful of countries.

Musk said this week that Blue will return with improvements on 29 November, buying time to "make sure it's rock solid". As an extra level of security, new accounts will be barred from upgrading to Blue for 90 days.

In the meantime, Twitter continued to plug the gaps to make things more secure, doing things like blocking name changes on verified accounts until Twitter staff (what staff?!) have approved them. That's sensible, although it has left some users stuck with embarrassing joke names.

A leaked look at Musk's priority product developments emerged. In addition to the revised Blue, a 'Blue for Business' is coming. As Musk hinted earlier in the week, businesses will seemingly be able to mark their staff as working for them. For example, New York Times staff would seemingly show up in a tab on the NYT's profile, and those staff would also get a 'New York Times' badge on their own profile.

Other product changes to look out for include encrypted DMs, an updated tipjar, and a new version of Twitter Notes for longer-form writing. All Musk needs now is staff to build them.

One thing that isn't changing is Musk's plan to strip OG Blue-ticks of their badges. He now says that will be done in "a few months" so there's no need to rush out and buy a new Blue subscription if you were already verified.

It's the crime we all assumed was happening, but now Meta has taken action to stamp it out:

Meta Platforms Inc. has fired or disciplined more than two dozen employees and contractors over the last year whom it accused of improperly taking over user accounts, in some cases allegedly for bribes, according to people familiar with the matter and documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Some of those fired were contractors who worked as security guards stationed at Meta facilities and were given access to the Facebook parent’s internal mechanism for employees to help users having trouble with their accounts, according to the documents and people familiar with the matter...

As part of the alleged abuse of the system, Meta says that in some cases workers accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from outside hackers to access user accounts, the people and documents say.

– Kirsten Grind & Robert McMillan, Wall Street Journal

The scam involves outsiders who want to access specific accounts paying insiders cash to use a long-standing internal system called 'Oops' (short for 'online operations') to cause a password reset and allow unauthorised access.

In a company with tens of thousands of employees (plus many more contractors) and billions of users, it's difficult to stop security holes like this emerging. Spotting them and fixing them can be tricky, too. There will doubtless be more in the future, but at least for now, Meta workers might be a little less willing to trash user trust for a few bucks.

👉 On-point tweets

Twitter's ongoing collapse has been perfect meme fodder again this week...

🌎 Website of the week

Want to keep track of the chaos at Elon's Twitter? This site gives you an easy-to-browse timeline of the whole trashfire...

🔨 Tool of the week

Speedtest is probably the site you check when your WiFi is running slowly, but their app has a handy new feature (at least on iOS) that shows you when Twitter, Messenger, and other online services are having problems. Very handy!

🎧 Worth a listen

The lovely folk at Media Voices invited me onto their podcast to talk everything Twitter, Meta, and more. It's a fun listen...

📈 Going viral

Between Twitter facing strain, beer being banned at matches, and shipping container hotels, the Qatar World Cup looks set to go viral for all the wrong reasons:

And with Ticketmaster royally screwing up the Taylor Swift presale, it was impossible to shake off all the memes...

❓ Question of the week

2022 in social media has been wilder than anyone could have predicted, so how do you think 2023 will play out? Let me know 👇

🤔 Did you know?

Come on, get a password manager already...

🏆 #winning

YouTube has a new king. Read how MrBeast finally overtook PewDiePie as the most-subscribed-to YouTuber.

🤦 Fail of the week

The UK Treasury launched its own Discord server this week as a new way of sharing news. It didn't go well:

👀 Read of the week

The inside story of the making of the Like button... which was almost called the "Awesome' button 😳:

How Facebook designed the like button—and made social media into a popularity contest

🗣 What did you say?

"Unlike the old days of replying to someone’s tweet, brands now poke back at their consumers on social media."

💬 You can quote me on that

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

I spoke to Insider about how Musk blew his big chance to win back advertisers:


😮 WTF?!

This Facebook feature has got trouble written all over it...

🐣 Brands on Twitter

Tap through to find out which brands have very good reason to be angry with Elon Musk 👇

📊 Stat of the week

NASA's social media operation is bigger than you think:


📈 Charts of the week

A new Pew report this week was packed with insights about US teens' attitudes to social media. Read more here.

👉 MORE on-point tweets

Meta News

RIP Portal: Meta has killed its once-popular smart display and calling device line entirely, and has ended development of smartwatches.

  • Facebook's fact checkers have to stop work on Donald Trump's tweets now that he's running for President again. [CNN]

  • Meta employees hit out at Mark Zuckerberg's leadership following the recent 11,000 job losses. [Insider]

  • Meta's layoffs severely impacted its news initiatives around the world. [NiemanLab]

  • Meta's moderators wrongfully removed a post comparing the Russian army to Nazis, the Oversight Board has ruled. [Gizmodo]

  • WhatsApp's India boss and Meta's public policy director for the country have both stepped down. [Money Control]

  • Meta has explained how it will protect footballers and fans at the World Cup. [Meta Newsroom]

  • Meta's shift to short-form video is hurting BuzzFeed's revenue. [Insider $$$]

  • Meta has announced Community Forums to "gather diverse perspectives and navigate important decisions". [Meta Newsroom]

  • A "hyperrealistic" Notorious BIG concert will take place on Meta's VR platform. [Variety]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • Instagram analytics explained (plus 5 useful tools for 2023). [Hootsuite blog]

  • Meta has tips for marketers in a new 'Social Skill's video series. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:


  • Facebook is removing religious and political views, addresses, and ‘interested in’ info from profiles from 1 December. [Gizmodo]

  • Facebook Groups is adding 'Introduction Prompts' to encourage new members to post. [@MattNavarra]

  • Facebook has added a restaurants tab on iOS to help you find local eateries. [@MattNavarra]

  • Facebook’s ‘Status’ feature has rolled out to more users. [@MattNavarra]

  • Facebook is testing the ability to toggle Stars on and off on Reels. [@jonah_manzano]

  • Facebook Group admins have new auto-spam detection controls. [@MattNavarra]


  • Instagram has added a 'Related Reels' feature. [@WFBrother]

  • Instagram is testing a ‘Manage interests’ feature to improve suggested posts in feed. [@Social_Pip]

  • Instagram has been spotted running ads on the profile page. [@WFBrother]

  • Instagram is testing Rooms on iOS in Turkey. [@yousufortaccom]

  • Instagram is working on an option to switch the aspect ratio of your profile grid. [@alex193a]

  • Instagram now lets you hide the Like count on Reels. [@hammodoh1]

  • Instagram has been spotted offering a 'gift a subscription' option. [@hammodoh1]

  • Instagram is rolling out topic tags for Reels to more users. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram now lets you pin a Reel to your Reels tab. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram has added 'Send to friends' for Reels. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram has added new Reels tips. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram is testing a new comment box on Reels. [@WFBrother]

  • Instagram is still working on 'Glimpse Stories'. [@alex193a]

  • Instagram could soon let you secure encrypted DMs with a PIN number. [@alex193a]


  • Facebook's Status feature is showing up on Messenger, although it's not synced across apps. [@MattNavarra]


  • WhatsApp has added polls. [@WhatsApp]

  • WhatsApp now lets you browse businesses in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the UK. And it's testing secure payments from chat in Brazil. [Meta newsroom]

  • WhatsApp is testing multi-phone support on Android. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp is testing a proper video mode for its camera. [Android Police]

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

  • Meta's latest A.I. project can produce academic papers based on simple prompts. [Social Media Today]

  • Meta has launched XTADIUM to let you experience live sport in VR. [Social Media Today]

Twitter News

Twitter could already be in trouble with regulators, just weeks after Elon Musk took over.

  •  ...and Twitter could be in breach of EU data protection law following its recent job cuts. [TechCrunch]

  • US Democratic senators want the FTC to investigate whether Twitter has violated its privacy agreement with the agency since Musk took over. [New York Times $$$]

  • Twitter is introducing a SpaceX-style stock compensation programme for staff. [The Verge]

  • Twitter fixed a bug that exposed advertisers’ sensitive credit details internally. [AdWeek $$$]

  • The new Twitter Blue was popular with fans of a YouTube streamer, who wanted him to see their messages. [Kotaku]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • What data Twitter has about you, and what you can do about it. [NBC News]

New features and tests:

  • Twitter is working on end-to-end encryption for DMs. [MacRumors]

  • Twitter is working on its own auto-threading feature for long tweets. [TechCrunch]

  • Twitter has improved the algorithm that chooses which Community Notes to display in the US. [@CommunityNotes]

  • Twitter is added a themed icon for Android 13. [9to5Google]

TikTok News

TikTok has launched its Shops feature in beta in the US after it failed to gain traction in the UK earlier this year.

  • TikTok is working to separate US users' data via a complex technical operation called Project Texas. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • TikTok's CEO has talked up content moderation as Twitter cuts back. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • TikTok's ads business is booming, even amid the advertising slump. [New York Times $$$]

  • TikTok plans to double the staff at its Silicon Valley HQ. [The Information $$$]

  • The FBI is 'extremely concerned' about China's influence on the US through TikTok. [CNBC]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • Discover TikTok creators: TikTok has published a global Discover list. [TikTok newsoom]

  • TikTok is giving away up to $250,000 in ad credits to eligible small businesses in the USA. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:

  • TikTok Now posts are showing up up on the For You page. [@oncescuradu]

  • TikTok is testing a Shopping tab in place of Friends. [@brendangahgan]

  • ...and TikTok is testing a new three-feed design: Friends, Following, and For You. [@MattNavarra]

  • TikTok has launched a new audience insights tools in its Ads Manager. [Social Media Today]

  • TikTok has been spotted offering an auto-cut feature. [@jonah_manzano]

  • TikTok is now adding search shortcuts to the bottom of videos. [@MattNavarra]

  • Opera's desktop browser has added TikTok integration features. [TechCrunch]

💥 More social media news and updates

Possibly some reassuring news for SMMs?

  • YouTube will run a series of shopping showcase livestreams in the run-up to the holiday season. [Social Media Today]

  • YouTube is running a World Cup shopping promo on Shorts. [Variety]

  • MrBeast has partnered with East Carolina University in the US to train skilled workers for the creator economy. [TubeFilter]

  • Mastodon has almost 7 million users, gaining half a million in the past week. [@drewb]

  • Mastodon has officially renamed 'toot' to 'publish'. [Gizmodo]

  • BeReal's location feature is more precise than you might realise. [BuzzFeed News]

  • BeReal's daily prompt is a disruption in the classroom. [Mashable]

  • Non-US creators are frustrated that many TikTok and Instagram monetisation features are unavailable to them. [Insider $$$]

  • The UK government isn't doing enough to protect children from online harm, campaigners have warned. [The Guardian]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • Want to understand LinkedIn ads? Check the company's new guide. [@MattNavarra]

  • LinkedIn has launched a Brand Safety Hub. [Social Media Today]

  • Here's how much money YouTube pays for 1,000 views, according to creators. [Insider]

New features and tests:

  • YouTube has a new 'startup sound'. [The Verge]

  • YouTube Shorts is getting new shopping features to help the platform stave off the challenges of the advertising slowdown. [@Financial Times $$$]

  • YouTube Shorts can now include 60 seconds of music or sounds, up from 15 seconds. [TechCrunch]

  • YouTube TV is adding a clock to its live guide. [9to5Google]

  • Snapchat has a fancy new AR lens for the World Cup. [Fast Company]

  • Discord is rolling out an improved experience on Xbox. [The Verge]

  • Discord now lets users link their Crunchyroll accounts. [TechCrunch]

  • Linktree has launched the ability for creators to paywall content. [TechCrunch]

  • Yubo has added A.I.-based real-time content moderation. [Fast Company]

  • Signal is working on chat filters. [@alex193a]

  • OnlyFans has launched its own shopping features for creators. [Financial Times $$$]

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You should advertise in Geekout! Get in touch: [email protected]

📖 Weekend reading

"BuzzFeed built a digital media empire in part by aggregating viral content from social media. A decade later, what’s next?"

😳 And finally...

The number of newborns called Elon is dropping like Twitter's headcount:

📅 Back next week...

…Nice work. You’e reached the end of Geekout.

Social media manager IQ points: +100. Nice 👊

Enjoyed reading Geekout?

I’d really appreciate a mention on your socials. ❤️

Tag me (@mattnavarra) in your post.

Include this link to Geekout.

I’ll retweet/reshare/add to my stories every one of them. 👍

Alrighty… I’m off to get excited about securing Glastonbury 2023 tickets. You going? See you there!

Goodbye geeks! #PrayForTwitter

– Matt


This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant

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