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 Apple, TikTok, Google, Instagram, PayPal, Web3.

🗞️ News 1: Apple WWDC 2022: Highlights & Trends for Nonprofits & Churches

Source:Wired | Apple

Apple concluded its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 2022) last week. It is one of the top annual tech conferences that the whole industry looks forward to, because it impacts future trends, audience behavior and so many other things in the digital world. I have two links in the description section, which will help you get a high level overview of everything that was announced. I’ve got one summary article, and another article from Apple that has all the details, if you want to dig into each of those separately. Do take a look at the description section. There were announcements about new devices, OS, and lots of other things, but there are three things that really caught my attention. One is the password management feature called Passkey, which I think is going to revolutionize the way we manage passwords. Definitely check that out. The other thing is Free Form, which is a Miro-board-like whiteboard, unlimited-whiteboard thing that they’re launching for Apple iPads, which is also going to be revolutionary. The third is, all the features they’re bringing to Messaging (iMessage) that is going to impact ministries and churches as well. Do have a look.

🗞️ News 2: Google for Education tools, Classroom & Meet get a major upgrade

Source:Google

Google made big announcements about the improvements and new features they are bringing to Google for Education tools, like Google Classroom, Google Meet for Education, and Google Workspace for Education, Chromebooks, etc. Very are interesting and useful features. For example, they are integrating tools like Kahoot! Into the classroom environment, so that you can have quizzes and games and integration with online, offline, hybrid models of teaching. Many ministries, nonprofits that are listening tome, churches, you all have Bible colleges, and you use Google Classroom for various needs. So this is something you might want to make a note of, and pass it on to your technology team, so that they can integrate these new features into your current workflow. For example, they say that you can have Roster import feature, you can have Practice Sets that lets you assess the understanding level of the students. Lots of interesting features. Definitely pass this detail on to your technology team.

🗞️ News 3: TikTok launches Memoji-like Avatars to be used as overlays in videos

Source:TikTok

TikTok has released a new feature called TikTok Avatars. These are digital avatars like Apple’s Memojis. If you use Apple phone, you know, there’s something called Memojis where you have these digital animated characters. You can choose them when you’re going to send a message to somebody. And when you talk, it moves like you, and it’s mouth moves instead of your face moving. You can (record and)send that character to somebody. If you open your eyes wide, it opens its eyes, you can stick your tongue out, etc. My kid absolutely loves it. She keeps playing with it all the time. Now that is coming to TikTok, which could be interesting because TikTok is a social media platform where we create content on a lighter, entertainment note. So if you are a Ministry that’s using TikTok, or a nonprofit, then this is another content piece that you can try using. Because it doesn’t have your face, there can be certain use cases where you can create this, and overlay it on your TikTok video and push it out when you are discussing some kind of a topic. Do take a look.

🗞️ News 4: Instagram expands Reels to 90 secs; releases Pinning & Reels Stickers

Source:Instagram | Adam Mosseri

Instagram made some interesting announcements last week. First is about the ability that they’re giving you to Pin posts or Reels to your profile page. Let’s say you’re a Ministry, now you can choose certain Reels or certain posts, 3 of them, and you can Pin it to your profile. So, it doesn’t matter what you’re posting now. If you posted something really good earlier, and you want to showcase that to people when they come and check out your ministry, or your nonprofit, then you can post the top 3 posts there. So people can look at it. I think it’s a useful feature. Definitely check it out. Head of Instagram also took to his Reels and he listed out other interesting features that they are launching, especially for Reels, and that includes expansion of Reels to 90 seconds. They are starting to increase it. As you know, TikTok has gone all the way, kept increasing one by one, and they’ve gone all the way to 10 minutes. Now, Reels is following suit. Which is great, because we are all into teaching, and educational content, which needs more time. So, more the merrier.

🗞️ News 5: Web3: PayPal allows transfer to external wallets; Meta syncs VR & Phone

Source:PayPal | Oculus VR

In this week’s Web3 news roundup, I have news from PayPal which now allows you to transfer your crypto from PayPal to other wallets; external wallets like Meta Mask, and Coinbase, etc. And you can also transfer it to a hardware device. Earlier that was not possible, which was a complaint from the community, when it comes to PayPal. But now PayPal says they have made that available. So any cryptocurrency-Ethereum, or Bitcoin, can be transferred to other wallets. The other news is from Meta. Meta has now announced that you will be able to sync your VR fitness data, in your Oculus VR headset, with your phone. Earlier this information is available only in the Move app, which is the Meta VR app on your phone. Now that syncs to Apple Health and to Oculus mobile app. That way they are starting to integrate VR with the regular mobile data, moving this information out, making it widely available for the audience to use it however they like. An interesting move.

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