Could you quit social media for this amount of money…?

…the REAL social dilemma

Hello, geeks…!

How much money would you want to agree to quitting social media for 1 year?

I asked this question on Threads. The responses were very surprising.

Threads post by Matt Navarra: How much money would you want to agree to quitting all social media? And delete all social media apps from your devices.

But before YOU answer that…

Can you guess the average amount U.S. teens said they’d want to deactivate their TikTok accounts for 4 weeks? Answer here 💰

As for me… To quit all social media for 1 year? I’d probably want close to £1 million. It’s my livelihood… And an addiction! :)

Did you see the latest viral thread trend doing the rounds? “Use your Threads bio as an AI art prompt’. My Threads bio reads “Social media consultant. Founder of Geekout Newsletter. Twitter refugee”. Here’s how mine turned out (👇)… I feel seen 😆 

A man with glasses is holding a tablet computer. He is scrming while surrounded by books, magazines, and birds

A few quick bits of Geekout News…

  • Newsletter Redesign: Geekout Newsletter’s design refresh is 80% done. More details soon.

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🔥 Geekout Hot 5

  1. EU Gives Meta + TikTok One Week Disinformation Deadline [EU MEANS BUSINESS]

  2. X Tests Charging New Users $1 a Year To Beat The Bots [GOODBYE X, HELLO THREADS]

  3. YouTube Leans Back into News With New Authoritative News Hub [BREAKING NEWS]

  4. Google Asks U.S. Congress To Not Ban Teens From Social Media [BIN THE BAN]

  5. Elon Musk Confirms X To Get New Ad-Free Premium Subscription [MEH…OK ELON]

New & Noteworthy

Meta / Facebook / Instagram

Meta is reportedly struggling to make big bucks from Reels ads… Meta will now let you stop Instagram from tracking you across the web… Meta is bringing broadcast channels to Messenger and Facebook.

Instagram is testing a new polling feature in comments… Instagram now lets you create a sticker from your own photos to use on Reels or Stories… Instagram FINALLY lets you export photos and videos to other services.

Threads / WhatsApp

Threads’ latest growth hack is blasting its posts into your Facebook feed… Threads seems to be working on its own DM inbox… Threads is working on a paid partnerships feature (good news for creators)…

WhatsApp will soon let you stay logged into two accounts from one phone… And WhatsApp is testing self-destructing audio messages

Twitter (‘X’)

Elon announced two premium X tiers (one with ads, one without)… X is trying to attract political advertisers again (risky!)… Elon Musk removed the NYT’s gold check (NYT hurt Elon’s feelings again?)… Insiders say Community Notes is making X’s disinformation problem worse… X’s new no-disclosure ads might be illegal.

Meanwhile, X appears to be throttling links to Patreon, WhatsApp, and Messenger… X added a Facebook Groups style member vetting feature for Communities… and Substack has found a clever way of giving Elon Musk a 🖕.


  • Geekout has 28,000+ subscribers.

  • Geekout has an industry-beating open rate of 51% and a 15% click rate!

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

TikTok / YouTube

TikTok will soon add auto-generated captions by default for all videos… Disney launched a content hub in TikTok, with videos, quizzes and more… TikTok is testing an A.I. meme generator feature (SMMs will like this one)… TikTok’s video editor CapCut takes aim at Canva with the launch of CapCut for Business. 

YouTube creators can now add timestamps to products they tag in their videos… And Youtube announced a long, long list of new playback and creator focussed features (some good updates here).

Snapchat / Twitch / Discord / Truth Social

Snapchat finally lets you embed lenses, spotlight videos, Stories and more on the web… Snapchat also launched three new tools to help creator / brand collabs.

Twitch is late to the party - it’s just launched Stories for streamers (but with a twist)… Discord announced a big platform update with lots of new features and a new moderation policy…

And finally… The Biden campaign joined Trump’s Truth Social “for the lolz” 🙃

🚨 Everyone's talking about...

Elon’s X death spiral

Let’s talk about a death spiral and an elegant rise. First up, the death spiral.

Elon Musk keeps making decisions around X that are totally baffling. New users in the Philippines and New Zealand now have to pay $1 per year, in an effort to beat bots.

The idea is simple: create friction and add a cost to running bots with the aim of making it harder to flood the platform with automated content.

Okay, but if you run a bot farm, you’ll probably have clients who will be paying you to push a certain political viewpoint, cause political chaos, or maybe boost a certain cryptocurrency. $1 per year per bot is chickenfeed if you’re passing on the costs to a client who will make money anyway.

Some say the real reason for the charge is Musk wants users’ card details on file so it’s easier to turn X into the financial powerhouse he’s imagined since he was involved in PayPal over 20 years ago.

That might be the case, but bots don’t need financial services, and regular users might decide paying even $1 for access is too much friction and opt for another platform instead. More on that below.

Meanwhile, X’s decline in users continues, with Similarweb reporting X’s global website traffic having been down 14% year-over-year in September.

That will only get worse if Elon Musk removes X from the EU (he’s reportedly thinking about it as a way of avoiding dealing with the bloc’s rules), and continues blocking Bing (presumably because of its A.I. features).

Further reducing the quality of news on the platform by removing the gold checkmark from New York Times (for some reason) is only likely to drive more users away, as it becomes harder to tell legit news orgs from sketchy disinformation peddlers.

Slack removing its status account from X to focus on being on platforms its users pay attention to feels like something we’ll see a lot more of in the coming weeks.

Now, onto that elegant rise I mentioned… 👇

Threads is finding its mojo

While X is in decline, its emerging rivals, particularly Bluesky and Threads, feel far more alive.

Threads in particular seems to be attracting more activity, more news, and more engagement than it was a few weeks ago. Regular posts saying “Does anyone still use this thing?” have been replaced by a lively community.

But it’s a lively community that still excludes the EU. Adam Mosseri this week listed launching in the EU as one of the things the app’s team is actively working on, so hopefully a big chunk of Europe will have access soon.

And with lots of journalists now actively using Threads every day, expect fewer ‘Threads is dying’ news stories!

Meanwhile, the Threads team continues to ship features that bring the platform close to including all the ‘table stakes’ features a user could expect.

This week we saw an influencer-friendly paid partnerships tag, while it looks like trending topics, pinned posts, and Giphy integration for posting GIFs are all close to launch.

But it’s worth remembering: one thing that makes Threads enjoyable right now is its lack of bloat and ads.

We know ads are coming once there are enough users (some of the code already seems to be in place), but we can probably expect Meta to start bloating the app with things like a Reels tab, too. Zuck gonna Zuck.

Just think how much STUFF Facebook and Instagram are packed with. It often feels like too much. Hopefully Threads will follow a more minimal and streamlined approach, more like WhatsApp. Sometimes less is more.


Even The Onion is getting in on the ‘joke app features’ trend.


Rob Flaherty, we salute you…

Threads post" Biden campaign joins Donald Trump\s Truth Social platform. "A thing about campaigns is sometimes you just do things for the lolz" - Rob Flaherty, deputy Biden campaign manager

⭐️ Star of the week

It turns out movie legend Martin Scorsese is good at TikTok. Here he is guesting (with some four-legged help) on his daughter’s account:

🪧 Brands

Some useful info here 👇

Instagram remains the most influential social platform for brands, beating TikTok

Dior remains the top brand in media impact value across fashion, luxury and beauty categories in the first half of 2023

💬 You can quote me on that

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

I joined Dean Blundell on DBS to talk all things X and Threads…


💻 New hardware

Elgato’s new $279.99 Prompter is an all-in-one teleprompter you didn't realise you needed.It's ideal for video calls, creating YouTube videos, streaming on Twitch, and live webinars

Elgato gifted me the device... I've been using for a week and love it already.




  • Double yikes: Instagram ‘sincerely apologises’ for inserting the word ‘terrorist’ into Palestinian bio translations.

😮 WTF?!

Fake airline reps are helping disgruntled passengers rebook flights in the latest bizarre scan on X.

Remember when Twitter was useful for customer service…?


Features heading for the graveyard:

  • Discord is shuttering Gas, an app it acquired in January, mainly for its engineering talent.

🎓 Smart links

Clicks to keep you on top of your game:

🔍 Tried and tested

TechCrunch was impressed by the new version of Meta and Ray-Ban’s smart sunglasses.

👌 Pro tips

Next time you make an Instagram Story in Create mode, look out for this new colour picker, spotted by @cmcalgary on Threads. It gives you thousands of new background colours to choose from.

You can do this already if you know how, but it’s a lot more fiddly.

Not everyone has this yet, but hopefully it’ll roll out widely soon.


  • You can FINALLY transfer all of your Instagram photos and videos to Google Photos and other services

🤖 Social A.I.

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

This is cool. As spotted by Jonah Manzano, TikTok is testing a tool that turns your photos into crazy memes automatically.

A toy toaster with a smiling face. Caption: When you can't resist buying toaster merch

💡 New feature spotlight

Creators will like this one.

Instagram is working on a ‘Notify’ sticker that will let followers easily switch on notifications for your content.


📊 Social stats

Threads post by Matt Navarra, including seven different metrics by which X traffic is declining year-on-year.

📈 Charted

Threads post by @mattnavarra: Most U.S teens (51%) spend at least 4 hours per day on social media. In fact, on average, teens spend an average of 4.8 hrs on social media per day. Teenage girls were more chronically online than their male counterparts, racking up 5.3 hrs per day vs. 4.4 hrs. YouTube was popular with Gen-Z boys, averaging 24% longer per day on the platform vs girls. Girls reported spending more time on TikTok and Instagram.

More Meta News

  • Meta says a bug was suppressing pro-Palestinian posts. [New York Times $$$]

  • Threads could unblock Covid-related searches within weeks or months, Adam Mosseri says. [TechCrunch]

  • Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus has been suspended indefinitely. [Wall Street Journal $$$]

  • Meta’s A.I. celebrity bots aren’t a hit with all fans. [The Decoder]

  • Meta says it is prioritising livestreaming checks, due to the Israel-Hamas war. [TechCrunch]

  • Meta’s product chief sees A.I. chatbots as a big lure for advertisers. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • Meta’s A.I. chief says worries about the tech killing us all are premature. [Financial Times $$$]

  • A lawsuit against Meta over user privacy has been revived by an appeals court. [Reuters $$$]

  • Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses have impressed at least one reviewer. [TechCrunch]

  • …but limited A.I., privacy concerns, and short battery life annoyed others. [Mashable]

New features and tests:


  • Meta is temporarily changing Facebook comment settings amid the Israel-Hamas war, along with a profile locking feature for users in the region. [Engadget]

  • Meta is bringing its Telegram-like broadcast channels to Facebook and Messenger. [TechCrunch]


  • Instagram has added the ability to create a sticker from your own photo to use on Reels and Stories. [@jonahmanzano]

  • Instagram is testing polls in comments. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Instagram is working on the ability to add a song used as a Reel's audio to your Spotify playlist. [@alex193a]


  • Threads has been offering a ‘Privacy check’ notification to some users. [@MattNavarra]

  • Threads now lets you tag the handles of Instagram users who haven’t set up a Threads account yet. [Social Media Today]

  • Threads has handy shortcuts to follow al the users mentioned in a post on mobile, and paste media attachments on desktop. [@mosseri]


  • WhatsApp is slowly rolling out passkey support for all users. [Android Police]

More X News

  • X appears to be cracking down on nudity more than misinformation. [Rolling Stone $$$]

  • X is monetising an account that 'mocked' a child's suicide. [DailyDot]

  • A 2016 election Twitter troll was sentenced to seven months in prison in NYC. [The Verge]

  • X has been accused of illegally firing an employee who criticised Elon Musk’s return-to-work plan. [The Verge]

New features and tests:

  • X now requires Community Notes to cite sources. [Engadget]

  • Brands can now add up to 4,000 negative keywords, and 4,000 accounts to avoid within their brand safety ad settings. [Social Media Today]

  • X is working on a new "Enhanced Discovery" perk for X Premium users. [Android Authority]

  • That pink custom X app icon spotted a couple of weeks ago? It’s a Paris Hilton tie-in. [TechCrunch]

More TikTok News

  • TikTok is fighting back over a €345 million teen privacy fine in the EU. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • TikTok says it has acted to curb disinformation amid Israel-Hamas war. [The Guardian]

  • TikTok wants to help sports advertisers get better results. [The Information $$$]

  • TikTok has a new tool to tackle counterfeit luxury handbags sold on its Shop. [Insider]

New features and tests:

  • TikTok has added new Halloween-themed voices. [@MattNavarra]

  • TikTok now lets you mention other videos from the audio page that you used in your video. [@theahmedghanem]

  • TikTok has launched a new ad option that lets brands use content on billboards, on in-store displays etc. [Social Media Today]

  • TikTok has launched a new ‘Parents of TikTok’ hub. [Social Media Today]

  • TikTok has introduced a new feature for mobile gaming called ‘Drops’. [@jonahmanzano]

  • TikTok is gearing up for halloween with new themed voices and effects. [Social Media Today]

  • TikTok is developing a new creator scoring system for the TikTok Creator Marketplace. [@lindseygamble_]

💥 More social media news and updates

  • Hamas hijacked the social accounts of people they kidnapped from Israel to post livestreams and issue death threats. [New York Times $$$]

  • A social media addiction lawsuit has been allowed to proceed in California on the grounds of negligence. [Bloomberg $$$]

  • As social platforms ditch news, it’s a problem for publishers. [New York Times $$$]

  • Meta, X and TikTok face more pressure from Europe than the U.S. on Israel-Hamas war disinformation. [CNBC]

  • Explicit computer-generated images of kids are popping up online, and no one knows how to stop them. [Rolling Stone]

  • YouTube is the latest large platform to face EU scrutiny regarding the war in Israel. [The Verge]

  • LinkedIn is cutting 688 more jobs, bringing the total to 1,400 roles cut this year. [TechCrunch]

  • Google has asked US Congress to not ban teens from social media. [The Verge]

  • Influencers are finding increasing value in LinkedIn. [Financial Times $$$]

  • Snap shares rose on the back of optimistic growth projections for 2024. [Social Media Today]

  • Snap has partnered with edtech company Inspirit to bring its AR tech to 50 US schools. [TechCrunch]

  • Reddit is removing its blockchain-based Community Points by 8 November. [The Verge]

  • Telegram is still leaking users’ IP addresses to their contacts. [TechCrunch]

  • Patreon has acquired livestreaming events company Moment. [Variety]

  • Joe Biden’s prioritising of influencers of press interviews isn’t popular with everyone. [Washington Post $$$]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • 10 questions to ask influencers before your next campaign. [Later]

New features and tests:

  • YouTube will now highlight ‘authoritative’ news sources when you watch some videos. [The Verge]

  • YouTube now offers new playback controls and creator-focused features. [TechCrunch]

  • YouTube will let creators add timestamps to products they tag in their videos. [The Verge]

  • YouTube will let creators self-select how they identify regarding their race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and disabilities to help advertisers identify collaboration opportunities. [AdAge $$$]

  • LinkedIn has expanded profile verification to more users. [Social Media Today]

  • LinkedIn has updated its A.I.-powered ‘Collaborative Articles’ feature with greater visibility for contributors. [Social Media Today]

  • Snapchat has added paid partnership tags, a creator discovery API, and midroll ads for Stories. [Social Media Today]

  • Snapchat now prompts you to gift Snapchat+ to your friends who have their birthdays soon. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Discord has launched an in-app shop, expanded access to premium app subscriptions, new safety features, and more. [The Verge]

  • Artifact now lets users share recommended places. [TechCrunch]

📖 Weekend reading

😳 And finally...

Meta’s new Ray-Ban smartglasses are perfect for… dads with young daughters?

📅 Back next week...

…And that’s literally EVERYTHING i spotted in the world of social this week.

Consider yourself fully debriefed. ✅

Right… I’m heading off to see who I can get to pay me £1 million to quit social for a year.

If Geekout Newsletter doesn’t appear in your inbox next week, you’ll know why. 🤑

Goodbye geeks!

– Matt


This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant

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