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Hello! Welcome to this week’s edition of The Connected Church News, where we bring you the Top 5 Digital and Social Media News each week for Leaders of Nonprofits, Churches, Ministries and Faith-driven Entrepreneurs.

We know you are busy. And we know that most of you don’t have the time to search the big world wide web for the current news that is relevant to you.

That is why each week we bring you the Top 5 Digital and Social Media News that you need to know for this week and present it to you in a short video format.

This week we look at news items related to Facebook, Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, and Apple.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – Facebook brings Links, Graphics and On-screen Comments to Live Producer.

News 1, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 1, July 2020

(News 1 – Source)

Our first big news of this week is from Facebook. Facebook seems to be testing new features inside its Live Producer tool. Live Producer is a live streaming tool built inside Facebook. It’s a very useful tool that helps you go LIVE into your pages and your nonprofit or your ministry groups, and other Facebook assets. Since it’s a tool coming directly from Facebook it’s got a lot of features in it. Now they seem to be adding even more features, similar to some third party live streaming tools.

One is: Graphics packaging. Now they seem to allow you to add graphics like overlays and images to your live-streaming stream.

The second is: On-screen comments. This is a big one. While you’re going live, you can bring in a live-comment. You can queue up comments from the viewers to show it on your screen.

The third is also a big one: You can feature a link on your screen when you go live. Let’s say you’re talking about a particular fundraiser, or you’re talking about some ministry event or something like that, you can bring that ‘Link’ while you are live, because live gets most of the views, as we all know, and you can allow people to click on the link and go to a website, or any other page that you like. Looking forward to testing these features myself. So, I highly recommend you check it out.

🗞️ News #2 – Amazon Prime Video officially releases ‘Watch Party’ in the U.S.

News 2, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 1, July 2020

(News 2 – Source)

Our next news is from Amazon and it’s an interesting one. Amazon Prime Video announced earlier this week that they are releasing a new ‘Watch Party’ feature in the U. S. This is in Beta. What you can do is: you can open a video and there’ll be a button called ‘Watch Party’, you can click on that and you can watch that with others.

They’re bringing in the social element of watching together, commenting and sending emojis to each other, while you’re watching a particular program. What I want you to notice is not so much about the Amazon news itself, but the fact that this ‘Watch Party’ is starting to become a trend. Think about this from a ministry perspective, there are so many applications to it. In small groups, you can watch a movie or you can watch a particular teaching video.

The host can control how the video plays, so you can stop and talk about it. Tomorrow if there’s going to be a video-call facility like a chat, then you can get everybody who watched that show to talk about it. Do check it out. I think it’s going to become a trend and something that will be useful for ministries and nonprofits.

🗞️ News #3 – Apple WWDC: iOS14, iPhone as a Car Key, WatchOS7, MacOS & Safari’s Privacy.

News 3, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 1, July 2020

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Our next news is from Apple. Last week, Apple had a big week with WWDC – Worldwide Developer Conference kicking off. They had announcements about almost all Apple products, including Apple iPhone OS, iPad OS, Mac, Safari, Watch, and Airpods. But there are two news items that caught my attention.

I wanted to highlight it to you. One is the privacy aspect. Apple doubled down on privacy, saying that Safari will block ads, there’ll be extra privacy features. You can read about that in the article I’m linking to. But looks like they are very serious about privacy.

The other thing is the car key feature. You can very soon use your iPhone as a car key. Yes, you heard me, right. You can open your car… your car that you drive, with your iPhone! And you can share access to your car with an iMessage! If you want to give access to your car to somebody else, just send them a message. They actually demoed it on a BMW car. Very interesting and very crazy. Check it out.

🗞️ News #4 – LinkedIn releases new features to help you get help and give back to the community

News 4, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 1, July 2020

(News 4 – Source)

Our next news is from LinkedIn. Last week, LinkedIn released new features to help people give and get support from their LinkedIn community. One of the options is a frame. A photo frame, which will say “Open to Work” which will get added to your profile picture on LinkedIn. When you add that feature, people will be able to see that you are open to new positions and they’ll be able to offer you jobs.

The other thing is you offering your help to others. There is a new option called “Offer to Help” within LinkedIn posts, where you can click on that option when you’re making a LinkedIn post and you can select what kind of offer you are giving. For example, you can volunteer, or you can help people with career counseling, or something like that in a professional way. You can post that and that post will stand out with the #offeringhelp. Do check out. These features seems interesting in this COVID-19 season.

🗞️ News #5 – Google allows Free Retail Listings in Google Search to help organisations during COVID-19

News 5, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 1, July 2020

(News 5 – Source)

Our final news of this week is from Google. Last week, Google announced that the product listing within the main ‘Search’ page will be free, starting this summer. As of now if you do a product search, you will find these product listings, but right now they’re all sponsored products, which are basically paid for being listed. But now to help merchants in this COVID time, Google is saying they are going to make this listing Free.

They already made Google shopping’s listing free, and already the free listings have started appearing in the U S. But now they are also bringing it to the search listings in the US. So this is a good trend to watch out for. You, as a nonprofit or a ministry, if you have products, then you definitely want to check this out.

That’s all we have for you this week. Thank you for spending your time with us.

Have a wonderful week!

Do leave your comments, questions, feedback, and reviews. You can also email me: podcast@natchilazarus.com

We will bring you a fresh set of the latest Social Media news for you next week.

Until then, Stay Connected, Stay Blessed.

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