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 Clubhouse, WhatsApp, TikTok, Pinterest, Hootsuite.

🗞️ News 1: Clubhouse Reinvents Itself as an Audio-Chat-Based Social Messaging App   

Source: Clubhouse

Clubhouse has relaunched and reinvented itself as a social messaging app centered around audio messages. The app, which rose to popularity during the pandemic and the lockdown season, went through a period of low engagement, but now they are coming back with a re-launched UI and functionality. The announcement says chats, which is basically audio chat is the new functionality that will drive the entire platform. They say the redesign is a combination of group text with Instagram stories. But the core functionality of Clubhouse remains with live audio rooms, etc. But they have added additional functionalities like push-to-talk, so you can easily send audio messages to your friends, friends-of-friends, and also have private conversations.

🗞️ News 2: TikTok Rolls Out ‘Shop’ Feature with Products, Logistics, Payment, Ads   

Source: TikTok

TikTok has announced the full launch of TikTok Shop feature in the United States. Any registered organization or business in US will now be able to use the ‘Shop’ functionality inside TikTok. The interesting thing about this feature is TikTok is leading the way with It’s an end to end feature for people who want to showcase their products. If you’re a nonprofit or ministry that has products, then you can start with live shopping experience where you can talk about your product and then showcase the product like an e-commerce store within TikTok and then release ads, have an affiliate program, even fulfillment. Fulfilled by TikTok is a service offered by TikTok where you talk about the product, somebody looks at it, and entire fulfillment cycle is offered as a service by TikTok. And then checkout and payments are also included. I think this is becoming a model for other players like Meta who want to do the same thing with WhatsApp.

🗞️ News 3: WhatsApp Launches ‘Channels’ With Real-Time Updates & Follow Options  

Source: WhatsApp

Whatsapp has rolled out Whatsapp Channels globally to more than150 countries around the world after testing it with a couple of regions. This is a significant feature because this is almost like a news feed. So this is a one way communication from an organization like yours like non profit church or ministry You communicate with your audience one way with updates and posts and announcements and so on. So people can follow your channel, and once they follow, they will get updates from you. This will be inside the tab, which has the WhatsApp Status. And just below the Status, they will start seeing all the updates from different brands that they follow. WhatsApp will also suggest what brands to follow, organizations to follow. Now the ability to create channel is still being rolled out, if you don’t see an option for you to create a channel for your organization, just hold on. That’s coming very soon. They’ll probably roll it out to more people in the days to come, but the functionality itself is now rolled out globally.

🗞️ News 4: Pinterest Launches New Ad Formats, Creative Studio & Product Updates       

Source: Pinterest

Pinterest made a big announcement with the launch of multiple new advertising related products, platform changes, product updates. Some of the highlights include launch of new ad formats like quiz ads, showcase ads. They also launched a Business Manager like Meta business manager or Google’s, ads manager. They launched a platform that will help you manage all your access, your employees, your campaigns. This is more for agencies and advertisers. They also launched a new product called creative studio. That helps you with ad creation process. If you are a non profit or church using Pinterest for your ministry, then this might be something you want to make a note of. Please pass this news on to your social media team.

🗞️ News 5: [Trends] Hootsuite & Sprout Social Release 2023 Social Media Reports 

Source: Hootsuite | Sprout Social

Last week, we saw the release of two interesting social media reports in the industry by two leading players. One is Hootsuite, the other is Sprout Social. Hootsuite report was social media career report for 2023. When I speak in events, one of the questions I often get asked is, “How do I build my team?” “What does social media skill acquisition look like?” “How do I hire people? “Answers to many of those questions, like “what is the average pay?” “What is the kind of skill sets that they have?” is answered in this particular report. Check it out. The Sprout Social Report is an index where we look at some of the shifts in the social media landscape, including the impact of AI, and how teams use social media, and what are the trends that are changing, etc. We will link to both the reports in the show notes, you can download them and have a look.

Connected Church News: Digital, Social Media & Web3 – Week 3, Sep 2023
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