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 Android, Reddit, Gmail, Meta, YouTube.

🗞️ News 1: Android 14 Released with Productivity Tools for Teams & Individuals   

Source: Google

Last week at their October event, Google announced the release of Android OS 14. And this latest OS comes along with other announcements related to hardware like Pixel 8 phone, the watch and the headphone and all of it. But I wanted to focus on Android OS, because if you as a church or nonprofit have been contemplating, or if you’re already using Android as your organizational phone, which you use for your staff or your volunteers, then this might be useful for you. The new announcement includes productivity tools and security tools that could be useful for your IT team, like a six digit pin lock, credential manager controls. This also has features that helps your staff and volunteers balance between their work profiles and their personal profiles, which I think could be helpful in increasing productivity and also adoption of technology within your ministry. We will link to all the details in the show notes. Check it out and pass it on to your IT team.

🗞️ News 2: Meta Rolls Out New Generative AI Tools for Ad Text & Image Creation   

Source: Meta

After testing it for a few months, last week, Meta announced that they are starting to roll out the generative AI powered ad creative tools inside Meta’s ad manager. Which means for your Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp ads, you can now start leveraging the power of artificial intelligence. The tools include background generation, which means if you have a photo, you want to change the background, or create variations of the background. You can do that. Number two is image expansion. If you have an image and you want to expand it without losing the quality of the image for, say example, Reels, which is yourlong vertical size. Or horizontally if you want to expand an image irrespective of how you shot that image, you can do that with the help of AI. You can alsouse AI for text variations. This is one of the biggest questions I get asked inalmost all events, how to write effective ad copy. So now AI can help you do that.

🗞️ News 3: YouTube Expands Lower YPP Eligibility Country list; Launches AI Bloom   

Source: YouTube

Couple of important announcements from YouTube. First is about the expansion of the list of countries where the new YPP, YouTube Partner Program threshold is applicable. As you all know, they reduced the requirement for YouTube Partner Program from 1000 to 500 subscribers. And now this new limit is applicable to more countries. This list includes countries in the Middle East and Europe and various regions around the world. If you are in one of those countries, do check it out. We will link to the entire list in the show notes. The second announcement is about the first official YouTube Gen AI effect coming to YouTube Shorts creation. There is a new effect in your YouTube Shorts creation process called AI Bloom, which converts any selected area into a flowery kind of an effect. And YouTube says this is the first of Gen AI powered effects that they’re going to bring to YouTube Shorts. It’ll be interesting to see what else they come up with.

🗞️ News 4: Reddit Launches New, Faster, Improved Search Tools for Mobile Devices       

Source: Reddit

Reddit announced multiple improvements to their Android and iOS app, especially when it comes to search. Now the app has a separate media search tab. Earlier, if you wanted to search for a media, you will have to go through multiple conversations, then click on the link. It was not the easiest of processes. But now you can simply search for a video, an image or a GIF by going to the media search tab. This also works for subreddits, which is great. They’ve also improved the user experience overall for search by making the look and feel cleaner. They’ve added accessibility features by adding labels and roles and values to all the elements. And the announcement says they’ve made everything faster and easier. So check it out. Let us know if it’s really faster and easier

🗞️ News 5: Gmail Releases New Requirements for Bulk Email Senders, Starting 2024 

Source: Google

Google made an important announcement that starting 2024, all Gmail bulk mail senders have to adhere to new set of requirements. Bulk email senders are ones that send more than 5000 emails per day. I know some of you nonprofits that are listening to me douse Gmail a lot and maybe some of you are bulk email senders. You send emails to your volunteers, to your supporters, to your donors, etc. If you do that, then these are requirements that are applicable to you. First is you’ll have to authenticate your identity so that the receiver knows who you are, which authenticates you with a couple of extra steps. Number two, enable easy unsubscription. If somebody wants to unsubscribe, you can’t hide the unsubscribed link. It has to be prominent. Number three, Google is enforcing a spam rate threshold so that you don’t become a spam sender but you always send relevant emails. All of these are good in my opinion, so it’s good to adhere to them.

Connected Church News: Digital, Social Media & Web3 – Week 2, Oct 2023
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