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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 Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and TikTok.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – Twitter tests ‘Stories’ form of content: Introducing Fleets

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

(News 1 – Source)

Our first big news of this week is from Twitter. Twitter starts testing ‘Disappearing Tweets’. Twitter calls this Fleets. But the best way to understand this is: this is nothing but the ‘Stories’ format that we’re all used to in Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. This is a post that disappears in 24 hours. Twitter says that 280 character limit applies to this as well. But you can add images, videos and GIFs.

Even though you’ll not be able to Retweet or Like, you can still Reply using DMs, but not a public reply. It is very interesting how Twitter is structuring this. And earlier LinkedIn also introduced Stories. So now everyone, well almost everyone, has Stories format in their platform. And that goes on to show how important it is.

You as a ministry or nonprofit, if you’re not yet planning to use Stories to reach your audience, it’s time for you to start thinking about them. And the layout for Twitter looks very similar to what we are used to in Instagram – with circles on top. People can click on the circles to check out the Stories. So look out for this when it gets rolled out in your area. As of now, it’s being tested only in Brazil.

🗞️ News #2 – WhatsApp releases Dark Mode and gives additional content filters

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

(News 2 – Source)

Our next news is from WhatsApp. Last week, WhatsApp rolled out two features which could be useful. So if you haven’t updated your WhatsApp app, then it might be time for you to do that. The first feature is Dark Mode. Dark Mode is one of the most requested features in WhatsApp, which allows you to have better readability in low lights. That is the first one. The second is what is more interesting for me, which is filters.

WhatsApp now allows you to filter your content based on author and content type. So if you want to quickly find a particular type of content from a person, now you can quickly filter and find that or get to that content quickly. If you’re using WhatsApp Business, you can also filter by labels. So update your app and check out these features.

🗞️ News #3 – Cross-posting from Facebook Stories to Instagram Stories is being tested

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

(News 3 – Source)

Our next news is about Instagram. Facebook seems to be testing a feature in which Facebook Stories can be posted on Instagram. If you know, so far, Instagram Stories are the ones that can be easily cross posted on Facebook. There is a Facebook icon at the bottom of the Stories panel, and then you click on that and that gets posted to Facebook. Right? Now you can do the reverse. If you create Stories on Facebook, you may soon be able to cross post that on Instagram.

I wanted to bring this to your notice because features like this give us an indication of how fast Facebook is working to bring interoperability between these platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, all owned by Facebook. So you as a ministry or nonprofit, start keeping these things in mind when you do your content strategy. You can be much more efficient if you know how to cross post between these channels in the days to come.

🗞️ News #4 – TikTok tests option to add external links to videos

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

(News 4 – Source)

Our next news is about TikTok. TikTok seems to be testing a new feature in which it allows you to add external links to video clips. Now there will be a prompt saying ‘Add Link’ and you will be able to, as of now, add only links from Wikipedia, Yelp and TripAdvisor, not to your own website. But it is an indication of trends to come.

And also from a marketing perspective, the ability to add a link back to your website is going to be huge when it gets released. But as of now, it’s limited. It’s being tested with these three websites just to give extra context to the videos that are being added. And earlier, if you remember, TikTok has been testing a feature in which you can add link to your bio. Almost like Instagram’s ‘Link in Bio’ kind of thing. So TikTok is starting to evolve in trying to get traffic back to the creator’s website.

🗞️ News #5 – New Messenger (iOS) is faster, simpler and smaller, says engineering team

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

(News 5 – Source)

Our final news of this week is from Facebook Messenger. The engineering team behind Messenger announced last week that they have completely rebuilt the Messenger app for iOS platform, from ground up. They say that the app is now faster and smaller, and simpler. They have reduced the number of codes, they’ve added new features and so on. If you haven’t updated it, do update it and check it out.

I wanted to bring this to your notice because this goes on to show how large organizations like Facebook are investing heavily on private messaging platforms. Private messaging is the future. And it’s going to be a very big part of social media and the digital world. So if you as a ministry or nonprofit are not thinking about your private messaging strategy or how to reach people using private media, it’s time for you to start thinking about that.

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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