TikTok takes on Amazon Prime Day

...while YouTube woos music labels over AI

Hello, geeks!

First of all, who would you trust to have full access to your Instagram account?

That feature could obviously be useful for creators and brands, but personally I think I’d rather hand over the keys to my car!

Second of all, Matt’s busy having non-stop fun (hopefully) at Glastonbury Festival, so this week’s edition of Geekout is brought to you by me, Martin SFP Bryant.

I’ve worked with Matt on every edition of the newsletter since it launched, so you’re in good hands - and Matt will be back next week, when hopefully he’ll have tales to share of watching great bands in the sunshine…

…and not being hospitalised with trench foot. Honestly, anything can happen at Glasto!


It’s been a busy week in social media…

…the US Supreme Court shared a controversial (but actually quite sane) ruling on government talking to social platforms about content, YouTube tried to get record labels onside for AI, and TikTok pushed further into retail by announcing its own take on Amazon’s Prime Day event.

But we have all more on that, and loads more besides, for you below…



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Geekout’s top news picks of the week:

  1. YouTube tries to woo record labels with upfront payments for AI music features [NEGOTIATING]

  2. Threads expands fediverse support to 100+ countries and lets you see federated replies [FEDERATING]

  3. TikTok takes on Amazon Prime Day with ‘Deals For You Days’ [SELLING]

  4. More examples emerge of Meta failing on child safety [FAILING]



TikTok’s Prime Day Challenger

It’s no secret that TikTok is serious about shopping, but now it’s clearly ramping up its efforts even further.

Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales event takes place on 16 and 17 July this year, and TikTok is getting in early with a ‘Deals For You Days’ event starting on 9 July.

As TechCrunch reports, there are some well-known brands involved, and the whole thing is tuned to TikTok Shop’s product features, like live shopping.

TikTok says the sales event will offer deals on fashion and beauty products, backyard entertainment essentials, decor, summer reading bestsellers and more. Like Amazon’s Prime Day sales, TikTok Shop will offer exclusive deals on select products.

The sales event will offer exclusive sales on products from L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York, NYX Professional Makeup, Our Place, Too Faced and Zwilling USA.

During the sales event, brands and merchants will participate in content challenges for short videos and LIVE shopping events, where they can interact with their followers and share their favorite products and bestsellers. The LIVE events will offer discounts on popular products in real time.

And prior to that, TikTok Shop is currently running a 50%-off summer sale. TikTok has also launched a support programme for retailers using the app.

With news this week that Amazon plans to take on Temu and Shein with a ‘cheap tat direct from China’ storefront, the retail giant has more competition on its hands than it has had in a long time. TikTok Shop might have a long way to go to be a true Amazon rival, but it can easily take a chunk out of Amazon’s sales within certain demographics.

This all comes down to something I think a lot these days as we put this newsletter together every week… what is social media? TikTok and Instagram have dragged ‘social’ in an increasingly top-down direction, where participation lags far behind consumption.

And as social platforms increasingly become retailers with light ‘social’ interactivity features, and companies like Meta forge ahead with pioneering AI technology, the question of what can truly be considered ‘social media’ and what is just ‘modern media’ is increasingly blurred.

Defining social media is increasingly a case of ‘you know it when you see it’. The definitions of it that made sense in the late 2000s have long ceased to paint a full picture of something that isn’t quite as straightforwardly social as it once was.



Everything else you need to know from the past seven days…

Meta broadcast channels

Meta / Facebook


WhatsApp’s new Lottie-based sticker format

WhatsApp / Threads

  • Threads is working on self-destructing posts that disappear after 24 hours

  • …it’s also working on a new Media tab for profiles

  • WhatsApp's is rolling out a new sticker format with smoother animations and more vivid colours

  • WhatsApp is testing the ability to make calls to people who aren’t in your contacts list

  • WhatsApp is testing a shortcut button to make it faster and easier to reply to instant video messages

  • Buffer is one of the first third-party apps to offer Threads support with the new API

Twitter (‘X’)

  • X will soon (finally!) provide insight into when your audience is active in the app

  • CEO Linda Yaccarino has shaken up the top ranks at X as the pressure builds on her

  • X still has a verified bot problem, and the bots have been impersonating tech journalists

  • X plans to make live-streaming a Premium-only feature

  • Elon Musk (sadly unsurprisingly?) said he’d soon reinstate an account banned for sharing CSAM - not for the first time

YouTube has launched new experimental features for Premium subscribers


TikTok is going deeper on place info.


  • TikTok has added Yelp-like features, with location pages for food, hotels, and shopping

  • TikTok Studio is now available on iOS, not just Android

  • TikTok has added the ability to comment and share as a story simultaneously

  • TikTok Notes now offers filters on Android

  • A US lawsuit against TikTok will focus on its alleged impact on child privacy

  • TikTok has appointed cybersecurity firms to assess its US data security

  • Digital rights groups have written a letter arguing against a TikTok ban in the US

Snapchat’s new safety features

Snapchat / LinkedIn / More…

  • Snapchat has introduced new safety features to limit bad actors from contacting users

  • LinkedIn has added a Games tab on iOS as it pushes its word-based puzzles

  • Reddit is talking tougher on tackling AI scrapers

  • Bluesky lets you curate accounts and feeds to follow with its new ‘Starter Pack’ feature



File this under ‘funny’, but also under ‘that would certainly help make sense of how serious someone was being when they said something dumb’:



Even if you just glanced at the internet over the past seven days, it would have been hard to get away from the ‘Hawk Tuah’ meme, which has racked up millions of views and become a cultural phenomenon.

If you saw it but have no idea what it’s all about, here’s an explainer (spoiler: it’s NSFW) 👇

The woman at the centre of the meme has reportedly sold more than $65,000 worth of merch.

While the meme spawned plenty of posts, most of them weren’t very funny, with a few exceptions:

…and commiserations to the social media managers who couldn’t jump on this particular meme moment because the brand safety red flags were off the charts 😀



When Matt’s quoted in the news, you’ll find it here:

Matt spoke to Business Insider about Elon’s concerning AI-powered plan for news on X…



“A new study reveals how Gen Zers behave in their natural habitat: the internet”:




Have you recently been offered a social media manager job out of the blue at Meta or WhatsApp? Matt was too.

But sorry, that’s just a scam designed to steal your login details…

DON’T click this if you get one of these emails….!👇



“It’s almost as if they kind of think they’re creating God or something and… that’s not what we’re doing”

– Mark Zuckerberg lays into Meta’s closed-source AI rivals. Don’t expect Meta to launch its own god as a product any time soon 😆



Fringe candidates like Robert F Kennedy Jr have an opportunity to get their message across in ways that just wouldn’t have been possible (or at least as popular) in past US presidential elections:


  • 6 viral conspiracy theories about the Trump-Biden debate that are totally fake



TikTok has some fresh trends insights for you, as an addition to its What’s Next 2024 report:




Hey TikTok, if you create an AI avatar that can say anything, at least make sure you put SOME controls in place to stop it saying literally ANYTHING 🙄




Magician Justin Flom broke the record for the most-viewed YouTube Short, at 1.6 billion views and counting…



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



Over 50% more

— Online influence is rife with inequality, it seems: according to a new report, white influencers on average make over 50% more than some of their BAME counterparts.

  • Google detected 10,000 instances of Chinese influence activity across its platforms (including YouTube) in Q1 of 2024, which suggests a bigger problem across other platforms



TikTok Shop is winning over Gen Z adults, but its strides with millennials show its greatest opportunity:



  • Instagram might ‘explore’ letting you rearrange your grid and choose which part of a Reel is displayed when sharing to Stories. [@lindseygamble_]

New features and tests:


  • Facebook now lets you subscribe when sending Stars. [@jonahmanzano]

  • Facebook is now suggesting hashtags as search items. [@oncesuradu]


  • Instagram now lets you duplicate a Reel and save it as a draft. [@jaskaransainiz]

  • Instagram is testing a ‘Recent Stories’ section in the For You feed. [@oncescuradu]

  • Instagram is testing a 2 x 2 grid display for suggested Reels. [@oncescuradu]


  • WhatsApp is testing an improved composer for Status messages. [@oncescuradu]

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

  • Meta is extending video recording to three minutes on Ray-Ban smart glasses, up from one minute. [9to5Google]

  • Meta Quest is copying Apple’s Vision Pro, with more flexible 2D content placement. [Road to VR]

  • Meta has expanded Horizon Worlds to be available in more territories. [Social Media Today]



Insights to give you an edge at work:

  • X has highlighted advertising opportunities around the 2024 Olympics. [Social Media Today]



  • TikTok’s Instagram-like Whee app is slow to take off. [TechCrunch]

  • TikTok advertisers are preparing contingency plans as a US ban looms. [Financial Times $$$]

  • TikTok pushed longer video at VidCon this week. [The Information $$$]

  • Oracle has warned that a TikTok ban would hurt its business. [CNBC]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

New features and tests:

  • TikTok has added a feed accessibility tool under Settings and Privacy. [@jonahmanzano]

  • TikTok has launched a Sandbox mode for developers. [TikTok Developers]



  • YouTube is partnering with US State Department to “promote peace”. [YouTube blog]

  • YouTube has cut Dr Disrespect's monetisation over allegations of 'sexting' a minor. [Kotaku]

  • MrBeast is launching his own toy line next month. [TubeFilter]

Insights to give you an edge at work:

New features and tests:

  • YouTube has added a ‘Quick Share’ option on Android. [@oncescuradu]

  • YouTube for Android TV is getting a 'stable volume' feature. [9to5Google]

  • LinkedIn has added a call to action to view short-form vertical videos in full-screen. [@lindseygamble_]

  • Snapchat now lets you avoid losing visited links. [@jonahmanzano]

  • Pinterest has introduced a new way to share boards on social media. [Pinterest Newsroom]

  • CapCut is testing ‘velocity effects’. in its iOS beta. [@theahmedghanem]

  • Third-party YouTube app for Apple Vision Pro, Juno, now has 360-degree video support. [9to5Mac]





Relax into the weekend with this American car dealership’s really well done parodies of The Office:



And that’s it… you’re done. Fully updated for the week just gone. 🙌

I’m off to enjoy Glastonbury Festival the way I always do… in front of the TV with BBC iPlayer, picking the best bits and avoiding the crowds and the mud.

Matt’s missing a trick with the whole ‘camping in a massive field’ thing!

Speaking of Matt, he’ll be back to guide you through the next seven days in social at the normal time next week. 👋

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