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 YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

๐Ÿ“ฐ Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ News #1 – WhatsApp gets animated stickers, QR codes and new group video calls features

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

(News 1 – Source)

Our first big news of this week is about WhatsApp. Last week, WhatsApp released multiple new features, including dark mode for their desktop app, animated stickers, and special features for group calling, etc. But the announcement that I wanted to really bring to your notice is about the QR code. This QR code feature is often overlooked by most users, especially in ministry and in nonprofits. Because it’s a very simple feature where you scan a QR code and you can connect with someone on WhatsApp. It sounds really simple, but the applications are very deep.

For example, I’ll give you one application that will really be useful for you. Let’s say you are having a Zoom call with your ministry partners, or your church congregation, or your leaders, and you want to connect with them on WhatsApp after the Zoom call. Earlier you had to send them a message or ask them to click on something. But now, all you have to do is put up this QR code at the end of the Zoom call, and ask people to scan it and they can connect with you on WhatsApp.

They can store your number on their device. Why is that important? Because if they don’t store your number on their device, if they literally don’t SAVE it, you cannot send them a broadcast message. For broadcast list to work… and broadcast list is one of the most powerful tools on WhatsApp, you’ve heard me say that before… for broadcast list to work, they need to have your number saved on their device. And this is a very quick way of doing it; QR is a quick way of doing it. I’m happy that WhatsApp is rolling it out to a broader audience after testing it.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ News #2 – Twitter tests new collaborative features inside Fleets

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

(News 2 – Source)

Our next news is about Twitter. Earlier we had announced that Twitter released the Fleets form of content – Twitter’s own ‘Stories’ version in certain countries around the world. Now they seem to be innovating and testing new features within Fleets. Now they are testing a collaboration feature where you can create a story along with another person. You can just team up with another partner and you create a story, followed by they creating a story, it’s almost like an interview but in stories format, which is very unique right now.

You can do collaboration in Instagram with the live stream, but you can’t do like story collaboration, with both the accounts coming together. This is something Twitter seems to be testing. It’ll be interesting to see how that works out.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ News #3 – Instagram is testing โ€˜Reelsโ€™ in India trying to fill the gap created by TikTok-ban

News 3, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 2, July 2020

(News 3 – Source)

Our next news is about Instagram, and TikTok in some way. A few days ago, TikTok was banned in India. This means millions of users who were on TikTok, are now not on the platform. There is a wide space that has been created by TikTok’s absence. And there have been speculations on what other social media companies will do about it. Especially from Facebook, people have been expecting some kind of action. And now Business Insider has released an article that says Instagram is actually testing the Reels app.

Reels app is a TikTok competitor app that Facebook developed, and now they’ve started testing it quietly. Earlier Instagram and Facebook had tied up with music labels (in India) to bring in music. So it would be very interesting to see how this situation evolves in the next few weeks.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ News #4 – YouTube releases details on how videos get discovered

News 4, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 2, July 2020

(News 4 – Source)

Our next news is from YouTube. Last week, YouTube released a video through its ‘Creator Insider’ channel that talks about some of the ways in which YouTube algorithm works. I know many nonprofits and ministries that are listening to me work very hard on YouTube, and sometimes YouTube’s algorithm can be a little tough to crack. So it’s important for you to understand how it works. This video is really helpful.

This is a channel started by YouTube to explain, from their insider point of view, how things work on YouTube. So do check out this video that was released last week. I believe it will be useful for you to understand things like CTR – Click Through Rate, Viewer Duration, etc. I will link to it in the show notes, do check it out.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ News #5 – Facebook releases 2020 Marketing Guide for Christmas Holidays season

News 5, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 2, July 2020

(News 5 – Source)

Our final news item of this week is from Facebook. And it’s an interesting one. Last week, Facebook released a tool called ‘Christmas 2020 Research and Planning Hub’. Some of you are saying “What?! It’s only July, and we are talking about Christmas already?” Yes, Facebook is already thinking about that, and they have released this hub with lots of tools that will help you plan for your Christmas campaign. I think it’s a good idea. Because this has been a crazy year, in the first half we’ve seen some things which we never expected to see, and now things have changed. So it’s good for us to start thinking early about the Christmas season.

One of the tools I recommend you definitely check out is the ‘Interactive Data Insight Dashboard’ that Facebook provides as part of this hub. Based on the last 3 years of data, it has lots of discovery, research, and behavioral information that could be useful when you’re planning your campaigns for Christmas 2020.

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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