Welcome to Connected Church News!

Top 5 latest Digital, Social Media & Web3 News in 5 minutes, to help your ministry stay on top of industry trends. 

This week, we have news about Meta, Snapchat, Sphere, Google, Spotify.

🗞️ News 1: Meta adds AI Experiences & Features Across Multiple Apps & Products   

Source: Meta

Meta made some big announcements last week at their Connect event about AI coming to the entire family of apps, including WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, their smartglasses, which is Ray Ban smartglasses, and also the new VR headset MetaQuest 3. They’re all getting artificial intelligence. Basically you can use Meta AI in beta mode to get information, interact with the AI assistant. So lots of interesting new capabilities added to these devices and apps. Meta also rolled out the AI stickers feature across apps that lets you edit these images and also co create with your friends. They also launched 28different AI products and a new feature called AI Studio that lets you create and build your own AI (apps).

🗞️ News 2: Sphere, Las Vegas, sets New Media Standards for Live Events & Shows   

Source: CNN

A new event venue called Sphere opened up in Las Vegas last week, raising the standards for live events and shows. I wanted to bring this to your attention because I know many of you churches and non profits are in the live event space. Every church service is like a live event. So it’s important for you to understand when a big media shift happens in the way live shows are conducted. This venue is the world’s largest spherical structure, 366 feet tall and516 feet wide. It has the world’s highest and the largest resolution LED screen with more than 250 million video pixels. So it is quite an amazing LED screen that just wraps around the entire event venue. You can basically project anything you want. I will link to the website which has some incredible pictures. Check out these details. Maybe some of you are inspired to create a structure like this for your church or ministry.

🗞️ News 3: Google Launches New ‘Chromebook Plus’ with Built-in AI Capabilities  

Source: Google

Google announced last week that they are launching a new range of Chromebooks, their laptops, called Chromebook Plus. After almost 10 years of launching the first Chromebook, now they have upgraded it with better processing power and double the memory and storage. But what really stands out in this announcement are two things. One is artificial intelligence built into these Chromebooks. So these Chromebooks come inbuilt with Google’s AI that helps you do stuff faster and makes you more productive. I really like what I’m seeing with some of the features coming with AI. Because in my opinion AI should be working in the background like an assistant that quietly helps you get stuff done faster and quicker. And that’s exactly what Google is trying to do here. The second significant thing is the built in software. Chromebooks come with powerful software by Google and other players like Adobe, Luma Fusion.

🗞️ News 4: Spotify Launches ‘Jam’, Social Feature to Invite Friends & Share Music       

Source: Spotify

Spotify has launched an interesting feature called Jam, which allows people to have a collaborative, social, music or podcast listening experience. This has wide range of applications for ministry set up or a church set up, but let me give you a couple of examples. You can bring a group of people together in person, like a small group or a prayer group, and you can line up worship songs from various playlists that people have on their premium Spotify account. You actually don’t even have to be inside the room. You can be anywhere in the world and join the worship session. Suppose you are streaming your prayer time live on zoom or something, people can contribute to the songs wherever they are. This is one of the applications. There are lots of interesting applications. There are also details that Spotify gives on how to set it up, step by step and how to use it. We will link to all the details in the show notes.

🗞️ News 5: Snap Partners with Microsoft Ads bringing Sponsored Links into ‘My AI’ 

Source: Snap

Snapchat has announced that they are going to monetize the My AI chatbot by introducing sponsored link in partnership with Microsoft Advertising. When you chat with your My AI chatbot, and ask it questions and it responds based on the conversation, they will start showing you sponsored links, which will help people promote their products and services. My AI is one of the most used AI chatbots. According to the company, they have 150 million users who have so far generated more than 10 billion conversations. As a nonprofit, church or ministry, if you are looking to minister to a demographic that uses Snapchat and uses My AI within Snapchat, then this might be a good advertising opportunity for you. We’ll have to wait and watch how it takes off because a chat is usually a very personal, interactive experience. Having ads inside that has to be done very well. So we’ll just wait and see how this goes.

Connected Church News: Digital, Social Media & Web3 – Week 1, Oct 2023
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