Welcome to the Connected Church News!

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

This week, we have news about Claude AI, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Pinterest.

🗞️ News 1: Anthropic AI Announces Release of an iOS App for Claude & New Team Plan       

Anthropic, the company behind Claude AI, made a couple of important announcements last week. One is about the release of a team plan. You can now access Claude as a team by paying per seat, so that you have centralized billing, you can change staff, etc. and the plan starts at $30 a month per user. The team plan features include increased usage, access to the entire Claude 3 family, which is Haiku, Opus and Sonnet, also 200k Context Window. The announcement about this team plan includes an interesting detail that says we will be releasing additional collaboration features, including citations from reliable sources like Perplexity AI to verify AI generated claims The next news is the launch of the iOS app for Claude AI. It will sync with the web data and it also has Vision capabilities, which means you can upload your photos straight from your phone, analyze the photos, get contextual understanding of the photos etc.

🗞️ News 2: WhatsApp’s Communities Feature Gets New Tools including Group ‘Events’     

WhatsApp has announced important updates to its Communities feature. I know many ministries, nonprofits listening to me use WhatsApp Communities actively. Communities can be a great way to bring together your entire ministry under one umbrella. Now you can add ‘Events’ inside your WhatsApp Groups that are within the Communities. Let’s say you’re organizing a men’s gathering or a prayer group or something like that. You can easily add Events. The most important thing is whoever is interested in attending these events will get a notification on WhatsApp, which could be valuable when it comes to driving participation through WhatsApp for your ministry. The next announcement is about the replies in the announcement groups. As you all know, every Community comes with an Announcement Group where you send one message and it gets broadcasted out to everyone inside the community. Now people will be able to reply to those announcements, but the replies will be grouped together

🗞️ News 3: Snapchat Releases New Gen-AI Tools & DM Edit Feature in the App    

Snapchat has released a set of new features, including one that has been highly requested, which is the ability to edit chats. You can now edit your Snapchat message that you send to someone within five minutes of sending it before they reply, and this will soon be rolled out to paid Snapchat+ subscribers. Now let’s get to the AI powered features. The first one is AI reminders. You can ask Snapchat AI to remind you or set a countdown for an event or a meeting or a get together that’s coming up and the app will be able to help you with that. Bitmojis are something that’s very popular within the platform. Now you can get the help of AI to design the outfit for your Bitmojis. The final feature is about 90s AI powered lens, which takes you back in time to the 90s. And Snapchat says more than 40 million snaps have been done by the users using these 90s AI lens.

🗞️ News 4: LinkedIn Launches New In-stream ‘Thinking-Oriented’ Social Games         

LinkedIn has launched three new games inside the platform. Yes, you heard me say the words ‘Games’ and ‘LinkedIn’ in the same sentence! If you are like me wondering what is LinkedIn doing with gaming, then you have to read this well-articulated announcement that is written by the Vice President of LinkedIn. Where he says there are 3 things that really brings people together knowledge, news and gaming! So their idea is to use gaming as a social break in-between work. where employees can come and they can play a game, they take a break from work, but at the same time interact with each other building camaraderie, having a little bit of professional engagement on the platform. The announcement says “you will be able to play each game once a day, see other connections who have played that day, and engage in some friendly rivalry with leaderboards”. LinkedIn also says “we want to give people a way to exercise their brains while taking a quick break from work”.

🗞️ News 5: Pinterest says Gen-Z are Behind Increased Engagement in ‘Collage-Pins’  

While discussing the quarterly performance for the first quarter of 2024, Pinterest made a statement or an observation which I wanted to bring to your notice. If you are a ministry or a non profit using Pinterest as one of your social channels, then this might be important for you. The CEO announced that users are roughly 3X more likely to save collage pins. That is Pinterest pins that are created by AI and made in the form of a collage They are three times more likely to save those, versus other pins on Pinterest. This is an important clue on the type of content that works well on Pinterest now. The announcement also said, we are continuing to see collages gain traction with Gen Z, who are nearly 70% of the collage creators. And I know that most of you as nonprofits and ministries are always looking for new ways to reach Gen Z. So here is a new type of content that seems to be working well for Gen Z. Pass this information on to your media team.

News Source Links

🗞️ News 1: Anthropic AI Announces Release of an iOS App for Claude & New Team Plan       

Source: Anthropic

🗞️ News 2: WhatsApp’s Communities Feature Gets New Tools including Group ‘Events’     

Source: WhatsApp

🗞️ News 3: Snapchat Releases New Gen-AI Tools & DM Edit Feature in the App    

Source: Snapchat

🗞️ News 4: LinkedIn Launches New In-stream ‘Thinking-Oriented’ Social Games         

Source: LinkedIn

🗞️ News 5: Pinterest says Gen-Z are Behind Increased Engagement in ‘Collage-Pins’  

Source: Pinterest

Connected Church News: Digital, Social Media & Web3 – Week 2, May 2024
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