Europe is running out of patience with Elon
…The EU wants answers… fast
Or should I say ‘hello from the other side… 🎶’
It’s been an eventful week, what with leaving Twitter and joining Threads. I blame the Sauvignon Blanc. 🍷
Before we get to that… I think I just rick rolled Mark Zuckerberg 🤣
Last Friday night, I decided to stop posting on Twitter. To exit X.
I’d been thinking about it for a while. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. However, after two large glasses of wine, it seemed like a good idea.🍷 My pinned tweet is a perfect end note to 15 years on the platform. And when I spoke at Social Media Week in London earlier this week, my decision to quit X was the thing I got asked most about.
So yeah… You will now find me on Threads. I’m just settling in over there. It appears maybe I wasn’t the only one to make this move… 👇
And the boss man (Adam Mosseri) gave me an (un)official welcome. And followed that up with a DM shortly after this post:
But they might get sick of me soon. I’ve already started shitposting. 😁
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🔥 Geekout Hot 5
Social Media Flooded With Misinformation About Israel-Hamas War [READ MORE]
Europe Gave Musk, Zuck, Chew 24 Hours to Respond About Israel/Gaza War Misinformation [READ MORE]
EU launches formal Investigation Into X Over Israel/Gaza War Misinformation [READ MORE]
X Rolled Out New Ad Format That Can’t Be Blocked Or Reported [OH ELON]
Montana Struggled To Convince Judge To Back Historic TikTok Ban [MISJUDGED]
✨ New & Noteworthy
Meta / Instagram / Threads / Facebook
Threads added an edit button (free, unlike X) and a fun auto-transcribing audio posts feature… We also got a sneak peek at trending topics and GIFs coming soon to Threads… A random person somehow ended up as an admin on Facebook’s own Facebook page!… Meta added new brand safety controls for Reels (look and learn, Elon).
Instagram boss Adam Mosseri explained why you can’t add a link into a grid post… Instagram says an iPad app is STILL not top priority… Instagram targets Gen-Z with four new features (including ‘Birthday shoutouts’)… And Instagram is working on three new stickers for stories (including a ‘Secret’ sticker')
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Geekout has an industry-beating open rate of 51% and a 20% 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.
Twitter / X
X now lets verified users limit replies to X Premium verified users only (0.5% of total X users, smh)… Elon thinks hiding engagement buttons could be a good idea because it will look nicer 🙄…X launched an expanded bios feature… X CEO Linda Yaccarino dropped out of a major conference interview (I wonder why 🤔)… And X changed its public interest policy to redefine ‘newsworthness’ of posts (but it’s lacking in detail).
TikTok added support for direct posting from third-party apps, including Adobe apps, CapCup, and Twitch… TikTok overhauled its payments programme for creators of filters and effects… TikTok is planning big bonuses to boost Black Friday sales in TikTok Shops… The US government is trying to ban TikTok — again after previous effort failed.
YouTube / Snap / Others
🚨 Everyone's talking about...
The tragic situation in the Middle East has given Elon Musk’s X its first big test at handling a serious, high-stakes, breaking news story where there are heavy incentives for disinformation to be spread.
But is that really a surprise? We learned this week that X has removed a tool Twitter used to use to help spot organised disinfo campaigns (more cost-cutting!).
And Community Notes have been taking far too long to appear. Crowdsourced fact-checking in a situation like this might gel with Musk’s ideology, but it’s not the most efficient approach.
Heck, Musk himself even ended up having to delete a recommendation to follow a couple of ‘citizen journalists’ covering the war. It turned out they had a history of sharing misinformation and, in one case, even antisemitism.
Shamefully, we even heard that Hamas is deliberately targeting X and Telegram because of their loose moderation.
The EU is concerned about the situation at X (admittedly also at Meta, which says it is taking action) but Musk brushed them off in a petty war of words that just made him look childish and unserious (not for the first time).
That approach went badly - a couple of days later it emerged the EU had begun a formal investigation. The FT explained:
Whether it’s the disinformation around the Israel-Hamas war, or just a drip-drip-drip of bad product decisions over the past year, Threads seems to be benefitting from the rapid decline of X.
As Casey Newton posted on the platform, the app has leapt up the app store charts this week.
Although it still frustratingly excludes the EU, Threads is picking up steam, with more lively conversation taking place there now than there has been since it launched.
But while we now have an edit button and a cool voice notes feature with auto-transcription, plus a trending topics list on the way, the Threads team still seems keen that Threads doesn’t lean too heavily into replacing Twitter/X as a home for journalists.
The fact is, journalists are posting news anyway. I’m seeing more breaking news on there now, with healthy engagement around it. Meta might not be anywhere close to launching a ‘ThreadsDeck’ or other features journalists want, but news pros are making the best of it.
If Meta carries through with its promises of integrating with ActivityPub, Threads will become far more useful as a news tool, and third-party developers will no doubt jump in with the tools journalists crave.
(We’ve not heard much Threads federation in a few months, so let’s hope Zuck hasn’t decided to take a different road!)
But maybe journalists should be careful what they wish for. The world might be a bit healthier if the media stops taking what happens on one social platform as a barometer for public opinion as a whole.
LinkedIn option to permanently ban people who send the automated birthday messages.
— Soren Iverson (@soren_iverson)
Oct 6, 2023
The new David Beckham documentary on Netflix gave birth to a whole new wave of Beckham memes (and half a million new followers for David!).
The part where David goes full Jeremy Paxman on wife Victoria’s claim to be working class was pure gold meme fodder…
The finest journalist this site has ever seen: David Beckham
— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino)
Oct 5, 2023
Victoria Beckham being driven to school by her dad:
— Louis Staples (@LouisStaples)
Oct 5, 2023
Meanwhile, can you believe it’s been a whole SEVEN YEARS since Mark Zuckerberg smoked some meats?
🪧 Brand social
👏 to Heineken, who jumped on the Beckham doc buzz with this great post:
💬 You can quote me on that
When I’m quoted in the news, you’ll find it here:
I spoke to Bloomberg about how X and Meta seem to have abandoned the goal of providing reliable, real-time information.
I share my thoughts with the Investors Chronicle about how social media companies are shifting towards ad-free subscription services.
🤮 Social ick
Later asked a good question this week: what are the biggest social media manager ‘icks’? Things that really annoy us.
Links in Instagram captions, QR codes on social graphics… the list goes on.
…share your own icks here on Threads (if you can)
Meta’s A.I. data coach bot has some pretty limited idea of what makes for a good relationship if you’re an open-minded sort:
Social media features heading for the graveyard:
So long Facebook Notes, we barely used ya…
🛠️ Free tools
Annoyed that Elon took all the useful info out of link cards on X? There’s a Chrome extension to fix that…
👌 Pro tip
Want to get some bonus clout on LinkedIn? Look no further 👇
“For a decade, marketers have found success on social media by roasting customers, and even flirting with them. But with Gen Z, and platforms like TikTok on the rise, the jokes may be wearing thin.”
🤨 You SURE about that…?
This article, claiming there’s a bunch of teens who love LinkedIn’s positive vibe, left a lot of people scratching their heads.
Even if kids love positivity, do they really want to be hanging around with a load of millennials and gen-Xers posting their brags about client wins and promotions?
🤖 Social A.I.
All the ways A.I. is transforming social media:
Adobe’s latest A.I. tool is going to be really useful…
💡 New feature spotlight
Threads new edit button and voice posts features had a surprise launch yesterday, and they make the platform feel that little bit more useful overall:
📊 Social stats
“Teenagers in the United States say they watch more video on YouTube than Netflix, according to a new survey from investment bank Piper Sandler.”
Is live-streamed shopping taking off in the West, as many have predicted? Er, note quite yet…
More Meta News
New features and tests:
Facebook and Instagram are getting new advertiser-focused Reels features, including collection ads, multi-destination Reels carousel ads, and new A.I.-powered creative optimisation tools. [Meta Business News]
Instagram will now keep you informed about your Threads account growth. [@theahmedghanem]
Instagram now shows Threads usernames instead of account numbers on profiles. [@ahmedghanem]
Instagram’s share box has been spotted featuring a grid of larger friend icons. [@theahmedghanem]
Instagram has announced new features aimed at younger users, including birthday shout-outs, selfie videos for Notes, and new group interaction options. [Social Media Today]
Instagram has added a setting to control who can interact with yoru avatar. [@theahmedghanem]
Instagram now lets you change your avatar’s background style and colour. [@jonahmanzano]
Instagram is testing a volume button for Reels. [@eskoosme]
Instagram is testing new Secret, App, and Music Pick stickers. [Social Media Today]
Instagram is still working on a Hall Pass feature. [@alex193a]
Instagram now shows a teaser of your latest Threads post on your profile. [@ahmedghanem]
Messenger has added a ‘Channels’ tab. [@jonahmanzano]
The rest: Creator Studio/adtech/Quest and more:
More X News
New features and tests:
More details have surfaced on X’s upcoming multi-tier subscription offering. [@owjinima]
X is testing variable upload quality options for video creators. [Social Media Today]
X is testing new live-stream and Spaces buttons in the post composer. [Social Media Today]
X is adding a custom "sparkly pink" icon for X Premium subscribers. [@chris]
More TikTok News
New features and tests:
💥 More social media news and updates
A proposed New York law would require a parent or guardian's consent to access algorithm-based feeds on platforms. [Engadget]
The Indian government has warned X, YouTube, Telegram to remove any child sexual abuse material. [Reuters $$$]
Some Snapchat users aren’t happy with the new-look Bitmoji avatars. [Mashable]
Bluesky’s first third-party app, Graysky, launches later this month. [TechCrunch]
Insights to give you an edge at work:
New features and tests:
Google has improved access to social media links in business listings. [Social Media Today]
YouTube has added new audio description options and the ability for creators to display their preferred pronouns. [Social Media Today]
YouTube now lets you add a Related Video to a Short as part of the upload flow on desktop. [@YouTubeLiaison]
YouTube’s controversial glow effect has spread to the fullscreen view. [Android Police]
Snapchat has announced a new interactive video series called ‘Phantom House’. [Social Media Today]
Twitch has added anti-harassment features to stop banned users from watching streams. [TechCrunch]
WordPress.com blogs can now be followed on Mastodon and other federated platforms. [TechCrunch]
Bluesky has added email verification and now flags misleading links. [TechCrunch]
Capcut has added a ‘brand kit’ feature on the Mac. [@theahemedghanem]
📖 Weekend reading
Why is 20-year-old LinkedIn now ‘cool? We’ve not changed, says editor-in-chief
😳 And finally...
Ah, remember the good times before social got so complicated...?
ICQ, Friendster, MSN Messenger, Friends Reunited…
And asking random internet strangers “A/S/L?” in every chat room… 😀
📅 Back next week...
Alrighty folks… Your social media manager debriefing is done ✅
I’m heading off to shit post some more on Threads (pass me the wine 🍷).
Maybe I will see you there later? Follow me on Threads here.
This newsletter is edited by Martin SFP Bryant