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 Meta, Reddit, Google, Messenger, YouTube, Facebook.
🗞️ News 2: Google launches an upgraded Search Ads 360 platform
🗞️ News 3: Messenger gets Split Payments & longer audio messages
🗞️ News 4: Reddit adds recording and new features to Reddit Talks
[News 1] Meta (Facebook) defines Personal Boundary for avatars in Oculus VR
Last week, Meta / Facebook released a very interesting announcement about a feature called Personal Boundary, which they are releasing inside their Oculus VR virtual reality platform. They said, “We are announcing Personal Boundary for Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues”. If you remember, we talked about the Horizon Venues and Worlds some time ago. Horizon Worlds is a virtual reality space in the metaverse where you can go meet people and you can have social interactions. It’s like a universe in itself. And Horizon Venues is more for events like sports event and other events that happen in the virtual world.
Now Facebook is saying they’re releasing this feature called Personal Boundary, where if someone gets too close to you in the VR space, another avatar comes too close to your avatar in the VR space, then you can actually set a restriction for them not to do that. What is interesting about this whole announcement is that companies like Meta are starting to put these rules and regulations. They are forming these parameters in which the social interaction happens in the VR space. It’s very interesting to see how this is evolving. On another note, lawmakers and legal experts are also talking about regularizing, or coming up with laws that govern the metaverse. There was an interesting article on CNBC.
[News 2] Google launches an upgraded Search Ads 360 platform
Google announced the launch of a new updated Search Ads 360 platform. Search Ad 360 was a platform that they released a while ago and they’ve been updating it ever since. This latest release is more of a user interface release where they have made the look and feel, the organization of the platform and also functionalities better, based on user experience and user feedback that they have received from other marketers and advertisers who use the platform.
This platform is almost like an all-inclusive Google Ads management platform where you have lots of functionalities. It’s quite useful. What I really like about the new update is the budget aspects, and the insights that have been improved based on user feedback. I will link to the show notes. Pass this on to your Search Ads team or your Google Advertising team in your ministry.
[News 3] Messenger gets Split Payments & longer audio messages
Facebook messenger team made couple of significant announcements about the new features they are adding. First is about Split Payments. They are bringing split payments to all users in the US including iOS and Android. With Split Payments, the interesting thing is it indicates a trend. The trend of combining personal messaging app with payments. Now that trend is what is more exciting than the feature itself, because it indicates a path forward in the digital space that could lead to more integration with Ecommerce and Payments and Messaging. Something to watch out for.
The second interesting announcement is about voice, audio messages that you record on Messenger, and send to people. First of all they have increased the duration from 1 minute to 30 minutes! You can send really long audio messages on messenger. And they’re also giving you more control like pause, delete, continue after pausing, making audio messages much more user.
[News 4] Reddit adds recording and new features to Reddit Talks
Last week, Reddit made a big announcement about their audio-social feature called Reddit Talks, which competes with other audio-social platforms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. They are adding new features to that. This space is really starting to pick up momentum with Facebook Audio Rooms and Twitter upping their game with Spaces, and Clubhouse doing interesting things. Now, Reddit says they are adding functionality is like Recording, they are adding functionalities related to their web users so that they can participate, comments, emojis, and all these interesting features.
[News 5] Safer Internet Day 2022: Social Channels release Safety Features
Last week, 8 February 2022, we all celebrated the Safer Internet Day. Of all ‘Days’ this is one of my favorite days, because we do need a safer internet for our kids, for us, for our audiences, for the Church, for ministries, for nonprofits and all of what we do, right? Safer Internet is good for everyone. So I really like the Safer Internet Day idea. 8th February was Safer Internet Day and almost all big social players released their contribution to Safer Internet – details about how they are making their platforms safer.
For example, Meta talked about it, Google, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, all of them had their safer internet features on their blogs. I have collected all of this and I will link to all of them in the show notes. Do have a look. You might find some things interesting. Couple of things I found interesting are: Instagram giving you the ability to check your actions and delete your activity, and YouTube giving more options to parents and safer kid’s internet, etc. Those are my interesting things.