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 TikTok, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Metaverse, Web3.

🗞️ News 1: Facebook launches ‘Community Chats’, merging Groups & Messenger 

Source: Facebook

The CEO of Facebook made an announcement about a new feature called community chat that brings together Facebook messenger and Facebook groups. I know many churches, nonprofits and ministries listening to me use both Facebook Messenger and Facebook Groups intensely so this is something you might want to pay attention to. We will link to it in the show notes. Do have a look. It seems like Facebook is taking an interesting direction towards increasing the engagement on the platform, which has been declining. And what we’re doing is going back to Mark Zuckerberg statements a couple of years ago where he said Facebook Groups is going to be the center of the whole platform and the company. Now he’s brought in messenger, which is a private DM, direct messaging space into Groups. So, from messenger you can start a group and you can add people from your messenger and have a conversation, or from the groups you can start chat room on messenger. So, both ways seem to be very interesting. Lots of admin tools as well. Do check it out.

🗞️ News 2: Google upgrades Ads Manage assets & releases vertical video-ad tools

Source: Google | Google Blog

Google made a couple of significant announcements related to the Ads Manager. One is about the way you streamline and manage your ad assets inside the platform. The way you bring together assets and extension is being managed a little bit differently. It’s well streamlined, it looks good, and it makes things easier for you to manage all your assets. There is a separate menu called Ads and Assets that lets you streamline your workflow. The second important announcement is about YouTube Ads. If you wanted to create YouTube vertical video ads from your regular horizontal YouTube videos, now you can do it automatically inside YouTube Ads platform, they have an intelligent tool AI tool that recognizes the elements in your regular YouTube video and focuses on the right elements and creates a vertical video. The sample looks very interesting, and it looks really good, so it could save a lot of time for your team creating vertical video ads, so do check it out.

🗞️ News 3: TikTok releases ‘TikTok Now’ with daily prompts similar to BeReal app

Source: TikTok

TikTok releases a new feature called TikTok now, which gives you daily prompts asking you to share what you’re doing on that moment in different parts of your day. And this particular creation will include both the front and the rear camera, so that way people can see your face and they can also see where you are, what you’re doing, type of thing. So, an interesting way to create content on TikTok, but this is not new. This is similar to an app called BeReal. It’s an app that’s been quickly growing in popularity, and it’s a very simple concept that’s behind the app. Now this concept is now being copied by TikTok. It was already copied by Instagram and other platforms as well, so it is definitely a content type that works very well. So, check out if there’s something that works for you on TikTok and on other platforms to increase engagement with your followers.

🗞️ News 4: Snapchat announces new tools & opens up ‘Snapchat for Web’ to all users

Source: Snapchat

Snapchat has announced that they are releasing new tools and features to increase engagement, including question sticker for stories similar to Instagram. They also announced the Chat shortcuts feature. They’ve added new widget tools for Apple iOS 16. That version of Apple iOS has been getting great reviews from Apple users, so they are adding widgets for that. But the bigger news I wanted to bring to your notice is Snapchat for Web. The web version is now opened up for all users, not just Snapchat Premium users. Earlier it was available only to Snapchat Plus users, but now it’s opened up for all users, which means more of your audience are going to be using Snapchat because it’s on desktop. And more importantly, as a nonprofit or ministry, you and your team can use Snapchat on your desktop as well. So definitely a news worth passing on to your social media team.

🗞️ News 5: [Web3] Chipotle’s new dish in Metaverse & impact of The Ethereum Merge

Source: CNBC | World Economic Forum | Decrypt

In our Web3 news this week we look at Chipotle, the Mexican fast-food chain which has launched a new dish exclusively on the Metaverse first. So, this interesting announcement is followed by their earlier successful launch of a Burrito Builder on Roblox which was very successful and now they have launched this dish, but this time they are launching it exclusively on the Metaverse first. So, people on Roblox can actually participate in this interactive cooking experience. They can chop the ingredients, put them together, they can do all the cooking there and once they finish it, they’ll get a code which they can redeem for the real dish in the stores. Very interesting way of using the Metaverse to launch a brand or a product. The other news we have is about the Ethereum merge. We talked about that in the last week news, and we have a couple of interesting articles that talks about what that means to the NFT holders, for example, and for the future of Ethereum and so on. Do take a look.

Connected Church News: Digital & Social Media – Week 3, September 2022
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