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, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Threads, Metamask, Web3.

🗞️ News 1: Android Gets Logo Makeover, Branding Enhancements & New AI Features   

Source: Google | Android

Last week, Google announced multiple new enhancements to Android’s branding. The branding enhancement includes logo makeover. The logo looks a little more modern, 3Dish. And also Google says that the colors of the logo matches overall color palette of Google. The announcement also talked about new features that are coming to Android. Couple of features that stood out to me are assistant at a glance widget. So it’s a widget that is AI enabled and gives you relevant information as you look at your phone. And Google Wallet son Android phone also gets a new feature called photo import where you can simply take a photo of a pass like a library card or something and along with the QR the device will store a digital version of that pass so that you can quickly pull it out when you need to.

🗞️ News 2: WhatsApp Mac App gets an Upgrade with Group Video & Audio Calling   

Source: WhatsApp

WhatsApp has announced important upgrades to its Mac app. The Mac app for WhatsApp now gets group video calling and audio calling facility. This was rolled out to Windows WhatsApp app users a while ago, but now this comes to Mac users as well. So this could be an important news for some of the nonprofits and ministries that are listening to me. If you are using WhatsApp for communication like counseling or prayer group or small group, then this could be important because some of your users may be using Mac app. Now you can have both Mac and Windows users use the video and audio calling facility. You can have up to 8 people on video calls and 32 people on audio calls. People can join a call even after it is started. They can see the call history and also all calls are end to end encrypted. So pass this on to your WhatsApp team in your ministry.

🗞️ News 3: Snapchat Launches ‘Dreams’, a New Generative-AI Powered Avatar Feature  

Source: Snapchat

Snapchat has announced that they are releasing a new feature called Dreams, which is another AI based feature on the platform that lets you take your selfies and feed them into generative AI to get an output in a new stylized, fantasy version. For example, you can take your selfies and convert your self into a French King or, Hunter or, I did that a while ago and it looks fantastic. And these are the type of things that young people would be interested in. And Snapchat has been leading the AI innovative space in the social media industry. Their lens AI feature is already popular. Now they’re releasing this dreams feature and they even plan to monetize it in the days to come. I’m sure this will catch on with younger audience. Something for you to keep in mind if you are in youth ministry.

🗞️ News 4: Threads App Starts Testing ‘Keyword Search’ Feature for Posts Content       

Source: Instagram

Both the CEO of Instagram, and CEO of Meta announced that Threads app is getting ‘keyword search’ feature. Now search feature is already available within the Threads app for accounts. So if you search for a keyword, it will show you accounts which has those keywords mentioned in the bio. But now this big announcement comes with relation to Post content. So it gets ‘keyword search for post content’ and Threads, as you know, is a text based app. So now getting keyword search is a big deal. Now you can search for a keyword on Threads and it will start showing you posts related to that keyword. You as a church or ministry can increase your reach on the Threads app using this feature if you optimize your content. So it’s definitely a discoverability feature that could be helpful for the platform and helpful for you as a non profit, church or ministry.

🗞️ News 5: [Web3] MetaMask Adds Bank WithDrawal and PayPal Cash-Out Options 

Source: Metamask

Metamask, the leading wallet in the web3 space announced that they are adding bank withdrawals and PayPal cash out options for users to convert their cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies. Within Metamask, you are already able to buy cryptocurrencies, the app now has a tab called Sell within which this feature is built in. The announcement says the Sell feature is currently available in US, UK and parts of Europe with plans to expand to more regions. The announcement also says we are initially supporting ETH on Ethernet main net with plans to expand to native gas tokens on layer 2 networks soon and fiat currency, USD, Euro, and GBP.

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