Meta’s top secret Twitter-killer app is coming soon

… And celebs are already jumping on board

Hello, geeks

Welcome to this week’s Geekout!

Before we get started…Great news for social media managers. One of your most-wanted features is finally here.

Meta’s secret Twitter-killer app…

Meta is secretly working on a new text-based social app to rival Twitter. And this week, one of my sources on the inside shared new details about it with me.

The new Meta app will be linked to Instagram and it appears to have the internal codename ‘Barcelona’. And the app is already starting to take shape.

Credit: @alex193a

My source tells me Meta and talent agencies working with them are currently approaching celebrities, high profile sports stars, and big-name influencers to offer early access to the platform. I’m told they started on-boarding some top stars this week. The app is slated to launch this summer.

Given Meta’s abysmal track record with developing new apps for gen-z over the past few years, my expectations are low for this latest attempt by Zuck to strike social media gold. However, Twitter is in crisis, and clearly Meta spots an opportunity to land a fatal blow on the platform Zuck once described as a mess and like they’d ‘driven a clown car into a gold mine’. 

Interestingly, following my tweet, Zuckerberg teased Instagram boss Adam Mosseri about the ‘secret app’ in his Instagram Broadcast channel... But it appears Adam’s lips are sealed. For now.

Quick things…

Worth a look… I love this tool. Highly recommend you check it out. ⚡️👇

Social Media Managers. This A.I.-powered tool optimizes your content strategy in a flash.


  • ⚡️ Powerful content search tool

  • ⚡️ AI analyses your content to identify visual cues like people, activities, and objects

  • ⚡️ Algorithm calculates your top content to maximise engagement opportunities

Seriously worth a look… Check it out! [ad]

Let’s get into it. Here are the top stories in social media land this week:


  1. Montana Becomes First U.S. State to Ban TikTok [BANNING]

  2. Twitter Accuses Microsoft of Violating its Data Use Policy [VIOLATING]

  3. Former ByteDance Exec Claims TikTok Used Bots to Inflate Engagement [INFLATING]

  4. Twitter’s New CEO Prepares To Fix Elon’s Crisis-Laden Platform [FIXING]

  5. U.S. Supreme Court Avoids Section 230 Ruling [AVOIDING]

What else is new and noteworthy this week? Here’s your skim-friendly rundown of everything else worthy of your attention this week: 😯👇

Meta / Facebook / Instagram / WhatsApp

Meta rolled out its Meta Verified paid subscription in the UK …Meta also revealed new in-car VR tech being developed with BMW … Messenger is testing new ‘supervision’ features for guardians and teens … Instagram announced a bunch of new features, including new Reels editing tools, GIFs in comments, and a Broadcast channel guest feature

🚨 Top Tool… Vista Social now allows you to auto-publish Instagram Stories!

Social media managers, rejoice! Vista Social is one of the first SMM tools to add scheduling and auto-publishing for Instagram Stories.

Why it’s unique:

  • 🕒 schedule stories using optimal time insights

  • 🎶 add trending audio to stories (psst… no other tool has this!)

  • 📈 receive engagement reports

  • 📅 plan stories via a feed planner, post previews, or calendar view

…And Vista Social is trusted by over 1.9 million social profiles, including Sony Music, Wix, Zillow, and Oracle.


Twitter started screaming at everyone … Elon Musk says he’ll tweet what he wants, even if it loses him money (oh joy) … But someone still has to babysit his Tesla tweets … Twitter Blue Subscribers can now upload 2-hour long 1080p videos (Twitter users barely watch 30-sec videos!) … Twitter is also adding more new video features soon … Twitter profiles now have a new tweet ‘Highlights’ tab … And you can now send Voice Messages in DMs.

TikTok / YouTube

TikTok is testing a new Apple Music ‘add song’ to playlist button on videos … TikTok launched an Effects Creator Rewards monetisation fund … TikTok also launched a ‘NewMusic’ search feature … YouTube is bringing 30-second unskippable ads to YouTube TV … YouTube added a scrubber search feature for Shorts videos.

Twitch / LinkedIn / Mr Beast / Tinder

Twitch launched a new alerts feature to personalise streams … Linkedin added new AI-powered topic prompts to help creators build presence on platform … Mr Beast responded to (another) backlash to his gift-giving content

And finally…Tinder is fed up with people juicing their Insta profiles. It’s going to stop daters adding social media handles in their profile bios. 💔


  •  FOR VIPS ONLY: Geekout PRO is the New Home For Social Media Manager VIPs [JOIN 550+ MEMBERS] 

  • 🆓 FREE GUIDE: The 2023 Guide to Social Media Reputation Management [GET THE GUIDE]

  • ⚡️ CREATOR TIPS: How to Expand Your Reach With LinkedIn Creator Mode [VIEW TOP TIPS]

  • 🔥 CAREER BOOST: Book a 30-Min Social Media Coaching Call With Matt Navarra [BOOK ASAP]

Let’s jump into deeper analysis of this week’s hottest headlines, including: TikTok’s first U.S ban, the challenge ahead for Twitter’s new CEO, and how the music industry and TikTok are on a collision course. Keep scrolling to find out more👇

– Matt

🚨 Everyone's talking about...

It’s finally happened: a US state has banned TikTok.

Well, there are caveats: the ban doesn’t begin until next year, and Montanans will still be able to use the app, they just won’t be able to download it as app stores will be banned from offering it.

That is assuming app stores can accurately block the app from download on a state level… and the users have never heard of VPNs or leaving the state.

So it’s a weaksauce ban, and nothing like, say, Chinese bans that block usage of an app. Montana has also banned Telegram, WeChat, and Temu, but only from government devices.

TikTok issued a defiant statement reassuring users in the state that they can still use the app. But a group of creators is already suing Montana, and the law could fall foul of the First Amendment, which forbids the government from restricting free speech.

So this law might not last until it’s due to go into force, but it at least shows the complexities around banning TikTok in any meaningful way, as talk of a nationwide ban continues.

Meanwhile, Instagram and Facebook are using fears of a TikTok ban to poach influencers, TikTok’s plan to have Oracle review its code is in limbo, and TikTok still a long way from EU rules compliance, it seems.

Shortly after last week’s Geekout went out, Elon Musk officially announced Twitter’s new CEO, and–as expected–it’s Linda Yaccarino.

Yaccarino said "I've long been inspired by [Musk's] vision to create a brighter future. I'm excited to help bring this vision to Twitter and transform this business together!"

But while the seasoned ad exec has at least calmed some advertisers’ worries (one major advertising group no longer sees Twitter as ‘high risk’), she has a LOT of messes to clear up.

Just in the past week, we’ve seen news of climate deniers running rampant, and Twitter blocking content at the behest of the Turkish government ahead of the presidential election (Twitter later shared the order in a nod to transparency).

Oh, and Twitter ignored Australian government questions about safety issues, made an apparently false claim of a security audit of encrypted DMs, and it emerged just how forcefully Musk felt about not paying rent

Meanwhile, Twitter's top users are posting less since Musk acquisition, Pew research shows, and as apps like Bluesky attract big Twitter users, Meta is approaching celebrities and influencers as it prepares to launch its own Twitter rival.

That’s a lot of negligence under Musk that most experienced CEOs would want to address immediately.

But Yaccarino’s real problem is Musk is still her boss, and still leading product at Twitter.

Musk said in an interview this week: “I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequence of doing that is losing money, so be it”.

That is absolutely NOT what a CEO who wants to win advertisers back–or just doesn’t want to have to fight really dumb fires every day–wants to hear from the owner of the company.

It’s hard to see how this arrangement ends happily for anyone involved.

Aside from all the drama around bans, TikTok is quietly making some very interesting moves in the world of music.

The Information had a good (paywalled) scoop this week about how TikTok is looking to double down on its increasing role as a hitmaker:

TikTok has been pursuing dozens of artists to exclusively distribute their work through its one-year-old service, SoundOn, in custom deals that are more typical of major record labels, according to two people with direct knowledge of its efforts.

Some artists, such as rapper K Camp, whose single popularized the Renegade dance challenge, have already inked such deals with SoundOn, which mostly operates as a self-service platform to place musicians’ works on streaming sites.

– Erin Woo and Kalley Huang, The Information

SoundOn is one of a number of competing services that makes it easy for artists to get onto streaming services. But with tight links to TikTok, it’s an obvious choice for any artist who thinks they can make an impact on the social platform.

That SoundOn/TikTok link is clearer than ever this week with the launch of NewMusic, a music discovery feature inside TikTok.

Then there’s TikTok’s new Artist Impact Program, which will “help lesser-known artists add their music to TikTok’s Commercial Music Library, to then be considered for use in ad campaigns,“ as Social Media today explains.

And a test of Apple Music integration shows TikTok is not afraid to integrate with traditional streaming platforms too.

All of this makes clear that some traditional record labels should be worried. Their role in the music industry has already largely gone from essential fame gateway to largely being a service provider for artists who want more of a machine behind them than they can achieve alone.

The likes of Spotify have been careful not to tread too much on the toes of traditional labels, lest the labels cut off access to the catalogue they need to keep users on board.

With its platform being less reliant on having the entire back catalogue of every big artist ever, TikTok can be far less cautious.

😆 LOL tweets

When the social media manager drops brand voice for a minute and gets real:

This was me last Saturday night as the Eurovision Song Contest took over…

⭐️ A special mention…

I have to give a special shout out to the Innocent team for some top quality Eurovision livetweeting…

📈 Trending memes

Of course Eurovision provided the week’s prime meme fodder for a big chunk of the world.

And as we were putting together last week’s edition of Geekout, the speculation over who would be the new Twitter CEO was a good source of memeage too:

📈 Going viral

One of the worst swear words is being ‘reclaimed’. But it’s still probably not a word to work into your brand social media strategy just yet.

💵 Brand social

Get ready for the era of fake, A.I. generated ads, like this one which has no link with either Tesla or Ryan Reynolds.

Ryan Reynolds’ company responded pretty much as you’d expect!

👀 Read of the week

This is well worth reading to find out how McDonald’s clowned its way to 360,000 new followers:

😮 WTF?!

Give it a year and I wouldn’t be surprised if lots big influencers have an A.I. clone…

🤔 Question

Should social media face-altering filters be regulated?

Norway introduced a law in 2021 that requires social media platforms to indicate whether a photograph has been retouched

France is going one stage further, and by demanding the same requirement, but for both photos and videos. 👇

😮 Did you know…?

CapCut isn’t ByteDance’s only useful media tool out there…

🔎 Did you notice…?

Can you spot the difference? It’s subtle but there are some meaningful benefits…

🔨 New tool

This new A.I. tool is really handy. It lets you create social media carousels really quickly, and works well with LinkedIn carousels/PDF posts; Instagram feed carousels, and Instagram Stories.

🤦‍♂️ FAIL

Rishi’s team clearly haven’t followed the recent social media manager discourse around abusing alt-text.

A Prime Minister’s account should be accessible, not misusing accessibility features.

🎥 Worth watching

Kate Winslet used her BAFTA awards speech to get involved in the debate over social media regulation:

Also, don’t miss the clip that perhaps should have made Linda Yaccarino regret signing up as Twitter CEO:

🪲 Bugging out

Thankfully, Meta have fixed this howler: some users found they automatically sent a friend request to any profile they looked at 😬

💡 New feature spotlight

Instagram is taking a leaf out of Snapchat’s book:

And WhatsApp wants to help you keep your most private chats private.

💬 You can quote me on that

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

I spoke to The Drum about the threats and opportunities for Linda Yaccarino as Twitter CEO:

🔦 New insights

A new Pew report out this week should be worrying for Elon Musk:

Some other insights from the research:

📊 Stats of the week

How are major publishers faring on Instagram?


📈 Charts of the week

A big yikes for Mark Zuckerberg as Meta continues to insist it has a future in the metaverse:


Meta News

  • Meta faces a record EU privacy fine over data transfers to the US. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Meta has expanded Meta Verified to the UK. [BBC News]

  • Meta’s refunds for its ad overspend glitch are arriving too slowly for some businesses. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Rivals say Meta open-sourcing its A.I. tech is risky. [New York Times $$$]

  • Meta has explained its evolving A.I. ad targeting process. [Social Media Today]

  • Facebook said it unsent accidental friend requests sent because of a recent bug. [Android Authority]

  • Meta claims the metaverse could be huge for job training and education. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Meta has offered new insights into content removals and government requests. [Social Media Today]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • Meta has added new guides and resources to its Professional Dashboard, to help creators maximize their performance on Facebook. [Social Media Today]

New features and tests:


  • Facebook now offers new lead generation tools. [Social Media Today]

  • Facebook now shows Page health in the main feed. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Facebook Reels has a new location-tagging option. [@jonah_manzano]

  • Facebook has added achievement badges for Reels, just like on Instagram. [@MattNavarra]

  • Facebook now lets you tag friends in Reels. [@oncescuradu]

  • Facebook has added a sticker creator in the comments box. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Facebook is testing a new way for content creators to make Reels with photos. [@oncescuradu]

  • Facebook has added a Templates section for Reels. [@oncescuradu]


  • Third-party apps can now schedule and publish Instagram Stories. [Meta News for Developers]

  • Instagram is adding editing features for Reels, including Split, Speed, and Replace. [Meta Newsroom]

  • Instagram Broadcast Channels can now have collaborators. [@Meta]

  • Instagram now allows artists to pick three videos that people have created using their audio. These videos are pinned in the audio section. [@ItsSachinShah]

  • Instagram now lets you choose an audience for Reels, including Close Friends. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram has launched GIF support in comments. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram has added a new “+” button specifically for adding text. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram is working on the ability to play voice messages outside of chat. [@alex193a]

  • Instagram now lets you automatically clear your search history every three, seven, 14, or 30 days. [@howfxr]

  • Instagram is working on a ‘Weekly Stride’ feature to encourage regular live videos. [@alex193a]

  • Instagram now lets professional accounts block up to 500 advertiser accounts and five ad categories. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram is rolling out the ability to rename audio to more users. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Instagram is working on variable speed playback for voice messages. [@alex193a]


  • Messenger’s Instagram-like Notes feature has been spotted in the wild. [@jonah_manzano]


  • WhatsApp has launched Chat Lock, letting you hide certain chats behind a password or biometric security. [WhatsApp blog]

  • WhatsApp’s forthcoming Channels feature look a lot like Telegram. [Android Police]

  • WhatsApp is working on a double-tap action for message reactions. [WABetaInfo]

  • WhatsApp is working on 6 additional animated emojis. [WABetaInfo]

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

  • Meta has built a code-generating A.I. model similar to GitHub's Copilot. [TechCrunch]

  • Horizon Worlds is expanding its beta test for creating members-only spaces. [Meta Quest Blog]

  • Meta Quest’s next update will let you use AI to customise your home space in Horizon Home. [Android Central]

  • Meta has announced a new promotional ads test and new lead ads features. [Facebook Business]

  • Meta is working with BMW on in-car VR experiences for passengers. [Meta Newsroom] 

Twitter News

  • Twitter limited Bellingcat’s visibility on the platform after Elon Musk called it a 'Psyop', an accusation there is no evidence for. [Insider]

  • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales criticised Twitter’s move to block tweets during the Turkish election. [BBC News]

  • Sex workers are an unlikely beneficiaries of Twitter Blue. [The Verge]

  • Twitter has been sued for allegedly helping to silence Saudi Arabian critics under the company’s previous management. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Elon Musk has lost his bid to be able to once again tweet about Tesla without restraint. [Reuters $$$]

  • Elon Musk allegedly wanted his own bathroom at Twitter to avoid waking his bodyguards. [Insider $$$]

New features and tests:

  • Twitter has launched voice messages in DMs. [@jonah_manzano]

  • Twitter now supports two-hour long 1080p video uploads. [TechCrunch]

  • Twitter has added new video playback speed controls, and it seems other advanced video features are coming soon. [Social Media Today]

  • Twitter has reduced the signup flow for creators setting up Subscriptions from 27 steps to just four. [@Subscriptions]

  • Twitter is working on an new interface for Lists. [@ehikian]

  • Twitter has added extra ! exclamation marks to its interface on the web. [Mashable]

TikTok News

  • Romania’s minister of digitalisation has recommended the removal of TikTok from government-owned devices. [@MattNavarra]

  • TikTok has expanded its partnership with the New York Yankees and the YES Network to offer more to baseball fans. [TikTok newsroom]

  • A former ByteDance exec has accused the company of “lawlessness”. [New York Times $$$]

New features and tests:

  • TikTok now offers a search widget on iOS. [Mashable]

  • TikTok has added a feature called “Team” under Live Center, allowing you to add team members and connect them to Discord. [@jonah_manzano]

  • TikTok has been spotted encouraging videos monger than a minute in a splash screen. [@prabohaonline]

  • …and the 10-minute video option is back for some Android users. [@oncescuradu]

  • TikTok appears to be keen to build out its location database with place reviews. [Social Media Today]

  • TikTok has updated the video analytics page by adding detailed insights by hour and day. [@ahmedghanem]

  • TikTok now shows business accounts a breakdown of top words used in a video’s comments. [@YasserM86]

  • TikTok has added a ‘Teams’ feature to manage who can help moderate your live videos. [@ahmedghanem]

  • TikTok now lets you control whether your videos are shown in Nearby feed. [@ahmedghanem]

  • TikTok has been spotted adding an “Explore” tab on desktop. [@oncescuradu]

  • TikTok has introduced a mental health awareness hub to provide users access to resources. [TechCrunch]

💥 More social media news and updates

  • Google plans to use new A.I. models for ads and to help YouTube creators. [CNBC]

  • YouTube TV has exceeded 6.3 million subscribers. [9to5Google]

  • YouTube recommendations are leading kids to gun videos. [Engadget]

  • YouTube contributed $35 billion to the US economy in 2022, according to a report commission by YouTube. [TubeFilter]

  • YouTube videos are not included in Google’s plans to delete inactive accounts. [Rolling Stone]

  • A Snapchat star estimates she’s on track to earn about $5 million a month with an ‘A.I. girlfriend’ app. [Washington Post $$$]

  • Snapchat has been spotted switchign the ‘Subscribe’ button to say ‘+Add’. [@jonah_manzano]

  • Discord has suffered a data breach after a support agent got hacked. [Bleeping Computer]

  • The hunt for classified documents of platforms like Discord has become a fun pastme for some. [Wall Street Journal $$$]

  • Reddit looks set to embrace ecommerce, judging by recent job ads. [Digiday]

  • U.S. Homeland Security is using an A.I. tool to analyse the social media of U.S. citizens and refugees. [Motherboard]

  • The UK’s Online Safety Bill has another proposed change - to tackle sexist abuse. [BBC News]

  • Mr.Beast has hit back at criticism after he bought an entire North Carolina neighbourhood. [Insider]

  • Kate Winslet used her Bafta speech to call for action on ‘harmful’ social media. [Evening Standard]

  • BBC News has launched ‘BBC Verify’ to tackle the threat of disinformation. [BBC Media Centre]

  • Brazil could ban accessing Telegram via a VPN. [TechRadar]

New features and tests:

  • YouTube is bringing unskippable 30-second ads to TV. [The Verge]

  • YouTube has added new Shorts and revenue analytics tools in YouTube Studio. [Social Media Today]

  • YouTube is expanding the Community tab to more creators. [Android Police]

  • LinkedIn has added new topic prompts to help creators build their presence on the platform. [Social Media Today]

  • LinkedIn has been spotted adding ‘Be the first to comment’ and ‘Be the first to react’ calls to action below posts. [@oncescuradu]

  • Snapchat now lets you add your Story to map and place Stories. [@ahmedghanem]

  • Twitch has launched a new Alerts feature to personalise streams. [Eurogamer]

  • Bluesky has added new moderation controls. [@BusMark_w_Nika]

  • ByteDance has launched a new A.I.-powered photo editing app called Hypic. [@MattNavarra]

  • CapCut has added a ‘code rate’ slide in its video export options. [@ahmedghanem]

💲 Advertise in Geekout

  • Geekout has 27,000+ subscribers

  • Geekout subscribers manage social media for the world’s biggest brands including Apple, Amazon, BBC, Edelman, Redbull, Twitter, McDonalds, Nike, and more

  • Geekout has an industry-beating open rate of 51% and a 30% click rate!

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

📖 Weekend reading

😳 And finally...

There are dumb conspiracy theories and then there’s this.

The problems with it:

  • That’s not Mark Zuckerberg

  • Zuckerberg and Katy Perry are the same age


📅 Back next week...

… People are weird. Huh! 👆

And that’s everything new in social this week!

Get a Bluesky / T2 invite…

BTW… I will be dropping another batch of T2 and Bluesky invites in the Geekout PRO chat channel this weekend.

Join Geekout PRO to grab yourself an invite. But join soon, or miss out!👇

Goodbye geeks ❤️

– Matt


This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant

Join the conversation

or to participate.