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 Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, YouTube, Google.
🗞️ News 1: Instagram Launches Reminder Ads & Ads in Search Results
Instagram has rolled out two new ad formats that could be quite useful for ministries in various settings, especially event based ministries like church services or special events. First is called reminder ads. Reminder ads will let people choose to be reminded about an event that is coming up. So basically people will look at your ad. They will click on the call to action. After that, they will be reminded on Instagram, three times. One day before the event, and then 15 minutes before the event and at the time of the event. So could be useful for ongoing events like church services or special events that are coming up maybe like Easter and Good Friday. The second is ads in search results. When people search for a specific keyword, just like Google Search, now you can have your ad appear inside Instagram. People search for something with an intention of finding the detail and your ad showing up contextually can make a big difference.
🗞️ News 2: LinkedIn Pilots Podcast Academy & Google Builds Podcast into YT Studio
Couple of news items about podcasting. Podcasting as a type of content has been growing rapidly, currently at about 450 million plus listeners, and now it’s expected to touch 500 million listeners. LinkedIn has announced that they have released a new podcast academy aimed at helping people learn about podcasting. And become more professional the way they approach podcasts. We will link to that in the show notes. The next news is about Google adding a ‘create new podcast’ feature within YouTube studio. So right within YouTube Studio, which many of you’re listening to me are well familiar with, you will now be able to add a new podcast on YouTube platform, which will appear in youtube.com/podcast. So you can also take an existing YouTube playlist and convert it into a podcast. How exciting is that! There is a detailed video from YouTube on how to go about it, and we will link to it in the show notes. Check it out.
🗞️ News 3: WhatsApp Upgrades Windows Desktop App & Releases ‘Groups In Common’
WhatsApp has announced that they are releasing a new upgraded Windows desktop app with the ability to make end-to-end video and audio calls. Now you can make those calls on your desktop app. So they’ve also improved the UI according to the announcement. They’re also improving the UI of a Mac app, and so the whole desktop app system for both Windows and Mac are being upgraded. Could be useful for ministries because I know there are lots of counseling and prayer and those type of applications for ministries that could benefit from having desktop applications. WhatsApp also announced that they are adding new admin controls to WhatsApp groups, and also bringing a new feature called Groups in Common where you just search for somebody’s name and it’ll list out all the groups that you and they have in common.
🗞️ News 4: YouTube Now Allows Apple iOS Users to Select Thumbnails for Shorts
If you are on iOS and you create YouTube Shorts, then this is a good news for you. YouTube has announced that all iOS creators will be able to select the thumbnail for their Shorts right from within the phone. This has been available in Android for a while, but iOS did not get it. So last week this announcement came through and the way you do it is after you record or import a video with the Shorts camera. Then navigate to the final upload screen, says YouTube announcement. And they say, tap the pencil icon that is overlaid over the thumbnail of your video. Scrub along your video’s timeline to pick a thumbnail and hit done. Upload your Shorts. That’s it. So could be a useful feature for you if you create Shorts for your ministry. Check it out
🗞️ News 5: [AI News] Google Bard, ChatGPT-4 and Microsoft 365 Copilot Released
Source: Google | OpenAI | Microsoft
The artificial intelligence AI industry has been busy for the last few days with multiple big announcements and launches. It started off with Open AI announcing the launch of ChatGPT4, which is currently the most powerful generative AI system with multiple new features. I will link to it. You definitely want to have a look. This is a game changer for multiple industries, actually, not just AI. It impacts everything that we do. And the second big announcement is from Google. That opened up access for Bard, which is their version of chatbot, AI chatbot. And they opened up public access to it. Microsoft also announced that they are adding AI capabilities into Microsoft 365, which is the office suite. So within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem which is Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so on, you’ll be able to use the power of AI to accomplish various tasks.
Author of The Connected Church. Social Media and Digital Marketing Consultant for Nonprofits, Faith-based Organisations, Churches, and Ministries.