Welcome to Connected Church News!
Top 5 latest Digital & Social Media News in 5 minutes, to help your ministry stay on top of industry trends.
This week, we have news about Instagram, WhatsApp, Amazon, Meta, Bitcoin, Web3.
🗞️ News 1: Instagram releases hands-free Reels creation on Samsung Phones
Instagram made an interesting announcement about hands free recording option for reels that is coming to the new Samsung Flip phones. Samsung is releasing its next generation of foldable flip phones. So basically it’s a phone that has a display that folds. This is not that phone. It’s an old phone. Just using it for explaining what this feature is to you. So basically if you get this flip phone, you can place it on top of a table and you can stand right here and you can record reels or stories using Instagram hands free. So you don’t need a tripod, it doesn’t have to be shaky, you don’t have to try to figure out where to put the phone. So you can use this feature on new Samsung Flip phones and record reels and stories hands free. And Instagram also says that they are bringing more improvements to Android and Instagram Android integration.
🗞️ News 2: Amazon triggers a trend with a new Palm-Scanning payment system
Amazon has made an announcement that could trigger a whole new trend in the way we do people identification in a public setting, especially in a store or an event or in a church or gathering. So what Amazon has announced is the expansion of their proprietary technology that allows payment using Palm based identification. So this is called Amazon One. It has been in testing in the Whole Foods Supermarket, which is owned by Amazon in certain places. Now they’re expanding it so you’ll be able to walk into the store, buy groceries, and wave your palm to make a payment. Now, could this be a trend that triggers ways in which we can use this in churches or in various event sand other settings where we have to identify people so they don’t have to carry? And does it have privacy concerns? How do we handle it? What about governance? Something to watch out for?
🗞️ News 3: WhatsApp releases new privacy tools, protection and activity controls
WhatsApp has released a set of privacy tools and online activity control features which could be useful. There are three updates. One is controlling your online presence by selecting who can see when you are online. So this will give you a bit more privacy and you can check WhatsApp privately without announcing to the entire world that you are on WhatsApp. That’s one. Number two is screenshot blocking for view once messages, which is basically the disappearing message. You would have seen an option to send a message that disappears after viewing once. Now, that cannot be screenshotted, so they’re restricting that, which is good. And the third is the ability to leave groups silently. Now, this could be useful in a church ministry faith-based setting where somebody can leave the group without telling everyone. Now, if you leave a group, it says Natchi has left the group and everybody can see it, and going forward only the admins will be able to see that information.
🗞️ News 4: Meta releases Duet Display and Companion apps for its Portal devices
Meta made announcements about its portal devices. These announcements actually increase the utility of Meta Portal device. Meta Portal device is a tablet kind of a device that you can have on your office, in your living space. And now Meta has released two apps to increase its utility. The announcement says, “First is the Duet Display app, which turns your Meta Portal Plus (Gen 2) and Meta Portal Go into a second display for your computer. “So basically what Meta is trying do is when you travel or go out, you don’t have to carry a separate display, just carry a computer and your Meta Portal device. So they want the device to go with you. So that’s the first app. The second is a Meta Portal Companion app for Mac to make easy screen sharing and access to video calling options. Interesting how Meta is moving this device and making it much more usable and personal.
🗞️ News 5: [Web3] Machankura new SMS service allows transfer of Bitcoin via text
In our Web3 news today, I have an interesting and innovative news item that I want to bring to your notice, where a South African developer has created an SMS based service that lets you transfer bitcoin without the internet using SMS or text messaging services. The service name is Machankura. I hope I’m pronouncing it right, which is a slang South African word for money. And the developer quote saying, “A person literally without any internet access can go from having no bitcoin to having bitcoin and then going to spending bitcoin.” Now, this is a radical innovation that I would like you to make a note of. I will link to the details in the article, pass this on to your Web3 team in your church or your ministry and look at the various countries it’s available. In fact, I would highly recommend you check it out and see how you can use it for ministry
Author of The Connected Church. Social Media and Digital Marketing Consultant for Nonprofits, Faith-based Organisations, Churches, and Ministries.