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 WhatsApp, YouTube, Meta, Google, Snapchat, Web3.
🗞️ News 1: WhatsApp Business gets an upgrade; new Find, Message & Buy options
WhatsApp has announced that they are expanding the directory feature in the business platform to more nations, including UK, Mexico, Indonesia, etc. Now, this is a feature that categorizes companies, organizations and small businesses and lets people search for them, find them, chat with them and eventually transact with them all without leaving their WhatsApp chat window inside the app, so it could be a revolutionary feature if it picks up because imagine doing all the transactions inside the chat app, so as more people feel comfortable with messaging, they feel safer. They feel private. Now, this is something that you need to pay attention to. Even though this talks about commerce, I’m sure there’s the same process applicable to categorizing nonprofits churches, etc. So people can search for you, they can find you, and they can donate and they can transact with you all within WhatsApp app so definitely check it out. Pass it on to your direct messaging team.
🗞️ News 2: YouTube adds an editing tool for Community Posts with filters & stickers
YouTube’s community post is a feature that has not got a lot of attention from YouTube in the past few months. But now YouTube has announced that they are starting to test and experiment with new tools, especially editing tools that lets you edit your community post, including filters, text and stickers and soon, before you post it on your community section. Now, if you’ve not used the community post this is like social media posting section of YouTube, like the Facebook images and Instagram images posting section, but inside YouTube. So every channel has a tab called Community tab. Usually it’s ignored because you think YouTube is all about videos, but the community section can be really useful and can be strategically used in many ways to promote your existing videos, promote your channel, connect with your channel audience in a meaningful way, make some announcements and so on, even during Sunday church services and other events so check out this announcement.
🗞️ News 3: Meta announces new protection tools for Teens on Instagram & Facebook
If you’re a nonprofit or a church that has children’s or teenagers ministry, then this is a news item you want to pay attention to. Meta has made some important announcements last week about the online protection safety tools that they are bringing to both Instagram and to Facebook related to teenagers. The announcement says that people who are under 16 and in some countries under 18 will now have a default more private setting in their app. So the setting will have details like who can see their friends list, who can see the people pages and lists they follow, who can see the post they are tagged in, and so on. So check out all these settings. And Meta has also announced that they are taking steps to prevent the spread of self generated intimate images online, which is a problem that needs to be solved in the social media space so do check it out. Pass it on to your ministry team.
🗞️ News 4: [Resources] Helpful guides from Google, Snapchat & Pew Research Center
Last week we saw Snapchat, Google, and Pew Research Center release resources that could be very useful for you as a church or a nonprofit or ministry so we have collected those. Two of them are marketing educational guides, and one of it is a research report. We will link to all of that in the show notes. Click on it and read it and take a look and equip yourself. The report from Snapchat is about targeted advertising. Targeted advertising is a question I get asked all the time at events and speaking engagements and even our academy. We get a lot of questions about how to target people when you advertise on social media. So Snapchat has really covered it in a very concise manner, covering the list of audiences and various other things related to that. So take a look. Google has released a list of products that people searched for in 2022, covering the entire year. It gives you a lot of insights about people’s behavior. And the research report is about what teenagers are posting on social media. Very insightful.
🗞️ News 5: [Web3] Japan joins the list of nations (including the US) testing CBDC
In our web3 news, we look at how Japan is now part of a growing list of countries that have announced the test and trial of CBDC, central bank digital currencies. It was started by China, but eventually now we have lots of nations that are in this process. This is a digital currency that will be released by the governments and taking their currency and converting them into a digital format. So digital rupee, digital dollar, digital yen, etc. The interesting thing about Japan’s announcement is they are also trialing offline transactions which will happen without the internet using CBDC digital yen and they are assessing whether this is something that they will be potentially able to release by 2026, etc.
Author of The Connected Church. Social Media and Digital Marketing Consultant for Nonprofits, Faith-based Organisations, Churches, and Ministries.