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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 YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Apple.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – WhatsApp restricts and sets a limit for forwarding messages

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

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Our first big news is from WhatsApp. WhatsApp announced last week that they are imposing an additional restriction on how frequently a message is being forwarded on their platform. WhatsApp says this is an effort to reduce or curtail the spread of misinformation.

Misinformation has become a big issue or a problem on social media, and also on private media apps, especially on apps like WhatsApp where forwarding has become such a big culture. And WhatsApp says that starting last week, any message that has been forwarded five or more times will now face a new limit that will prevent any user from forwarding it to more than one chat (or one contact) at a time. So will this reduce misinformation? We’ll have to wait and watch, but definitely seems like a step forward in that direction.

🗞️ News #2 – Apple and Google partner to create technology solutions for COVID-19

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

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Our next news is from Apple. Not just from Apple, but from Apple and Google about a potential collaboration or partnership. Who would have ever thought that Apple and Google will collaborate on something! But they are collaborating and that too for a good cause. At a time like this, during COVID-19, Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus ‘with user privacy and security central to the design’.

That’s what the announcement says. Well, this has been a trend or a topic that many experts have been discussing around the world, where there is a balance between privacy and also using technology to control the spread of coronavirus. Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes APIs (application programming interface) and an operating system level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Very interesting article. Do have a look.

🗞️ News #3 – YouTube Studio gets additional updates and features to help creators

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

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Our next news is from YouTube. YouTube has been adding new features into its YouTube Studio section. If you’re a heavy user of YouTube, I know many ministries and nonprofits use YouTube a lot, so if you’re one of them, then pay attention to this, because they have added some very interesting features, including the one that shows how many people have received your ‘Bell’ notification.

Have you ever wondered how many subscribers received that bell notification? And out of that, how many clicked? And because of that, how many views you’ve got? Now all these analytics details and numbers are available inside YouTube Studio.

There are also other details related to artificial intelligence, which gives you suggestions on how to grow your channel, how to increase your views, and also about safety. So if you haven’t checked out YouTube Studio recently, then I highly recommend you go check it out.

🗞️ News #4 – Facebook and Google release resources and tools to help faith-based organizations

News 4, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 3, Apr 2020

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Our next news is about churches and ministries receiving help from Facebook and Google with useful tips, tools, and resources. Last week, Google released an article that talked about how faith-based organizations can use their resources to help their congregation. For example, Google talked about how to host services, prayer meetings and study groups online.

It talked about live streaming. It talked about various Google related, Google docs and calendars and hangout and various ways in which you can use this. Similarly, Facebook also released a series of resources that could help churches and ministries, including an entire downloadable toolkit. I’m going to link to both of these in the show notes.

Do download them and have a look. This can be really, really helpful. Some of the tips given are very good. It’s also very interesting and it really touches my heart to see how these companies are raising up to notice the importance of faith-based organizations. God bless those representatives who are inside these organizations that are enabling this and how they are all coming forward to help faith-based organizations. I love that.

🗞️ News #5 – Instagram redesigns IGTV, brings Live Stream and DMs to the web version

News 5, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 4, Apr 2020

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Our final news of this week is from Instagram. We’ve got 3 big updates from Instagram in the last few days.

#1 IGTV – IGTV gets a redesign, a design uplift with creators at the center of it all. So you open up the app, you will see creators being focused, and also the discover tab, which looks really nice. The second and third items are related to the browser version of Instagram on the desktop. If you log into instagram.com you can do two things now.

#2 Check your direct messages, which was not available a few weeks ago. They have been rolling it out for the last few weeks. But now the rollout seems to be complete worldwide, so you can check your direct messages on your browser.

#3 You can also watch Instagram live streams from your browser. So, anybody that you’re following, if they’re streaming live, now you can watch that on your browser. Pretty big updates from Instagram’s side last week.

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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