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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.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!! We are just a few days away from Christmas and I wish you and your family a fabulous, blessed, happy and merry Christmas.

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, Facebook, Amazon, and Snapchat.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – Facebook adds new content and features on Portal, including WhatsApp login.

News 1 The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus Week 1, dec 19

(News Source 1)

Facebook made a big announcement about its ‘Portal’ range of products. Portal is a hardware or a device that allows you to make video calls or video conferencing on the Facebook platform.

Now they announced that they are adding new content like music and kids programs. And also new features that are powered by Augmented Reality (AR).

This makes it very interesting because, suppose you’re watching a kid’s program as a family, you can use Augmented Reality (AR) to replace one of the characters in that content with your own face. So you become a Goldilocks character or one of those characters in the kid’s movie.

Even in music, you can become one of the music characters as the music is playing on television. Using that device, you can become one of the characters and sing. And then you can take a snapshot of it as a GIF and share it on social. So, they’re trying to make the device more social.

And the most interesting feature is this: they’re going to allow you to log in using WhatsApp. Facebook says, even if you don’t have a Facebook account, you can log in using a WhatsApp account.

Now that takes it to a whole new level because you can make WhatsApp calls and conferences using the device. Something to really watch out for.

🗞️ News #2 – Snapchat adds ‘Swipe Up to Call’ Ad option for the Middle East region.

News 2 The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus Week 1, dec 19

(News Source 2)

Last week, Snapchat announced a new feature specifically for the Middle East region called ‘Swipe Up to Call’ within their advertising goals.

If you are an advertiser in the Middle East and are trying to reach audience in that region, then this is something you need to make note of, because it’s a very useful, interesting feature where your user will see the ad and they will have an option to swipe up and directly make a phone call to you and talk to you.

You will find this option within Snapchat’s Ad Manager. You need to select the option of ‘Calls and Texts’ as the advertising goal. Do check it out if you trying to reach out to an audience in that region.

🗞️ News #3 – Instagram releases details about how they plan to handle misinformation.

News 3 The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus Week 1, dec 19

(News Source 3)

Last week, Instagram announced details about how they are dealing with misinformation on its platform. Earlier this year they started working with ‘Third Party Fact-Checkers’ who would look at the content on the platform and label them as probably being false or misinformative. Now, this program is being rolled out globally.

Accounts that are posting misinformation or false information will get a lower rating and ranking, and those content will be clearly labeled. Just below the content, you will see a label that would say something like, “See why fact-checkers say that this is false”, or something like that.

Of course, you will be able to appeal if they flag it by mistake. But this kind of labeling below the content would be seen by the audience and this could be impactful on the trust levels.

As a nonprofit or ministry, make sure that the content that you post is accurate and not misleading or false in any way.

🗞️ News #4 – Fundraising idea: Amazon creates Wishlist for donations to Nonprofit.

News 4 The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus Week 1, dec 19

(News Source 4)

Amazon announced a piece of news last week that they are partnering with a nonprofit in Singapore, to do something unique that I wanted to bring to your attention.

They are not only donating to this nonprofit, but Amazon is also setting up a ‘Wishlist’ within Amazon for this nonprofit. So people who want to donate… this nonprofit is working with youth and children in need.. if people want to give them something, they can go to this Wishlist and see what are the items that this nonprofit needs and how much quantity is needed.

This will all be in the Wishlist, Amazon‘s Wishlist. And people can select that and they can actually contribute by buying that product and shipping it to the nonprofit’s address.

I thought it’s a unique way of using Amazon, as a nonprofit. So if you haven’t thought about that, think about it if it’s something that fits into your strategy. Then talk to Amazon and see if this is something that is a collaboration that you can come up with, to get people involved with your nonprofit.

🗞️ News #5 – Social Media Trends for 2020: Annual 2019 Reports from Social Networks.

News 5 The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus Week 1, dec 19

(News Source 5)

Our final news of this week is about trends in 2020. Last week, Facebook released a 30-page booklet, an ebook that talked about the kind of trends that they see gaining momentum in 2020 – the conversations and the topics.

If you’ve been following this news, you know that I’m a big fan of trends and reports. Because as leaders of nonprofits ministries, it’s important for us to know what has worked in 2019 and make our plans accordingly for the coming new year 2020.

It is one thing to predict what’s going to happen in 2020, I like predictions, but I also like facts. And many times I combine predictions and facts to make a decision. It’s important for us to know what has actually worked.

That is why this week, I want to give you a list of top trends from all platforms. In the last couple of weeks, almost all platforms have released these trend reports. Here are the download links for the reports.

TikTop 2019 Report Download Here – TikTok has released the top 100.

Google 2019 Report Download Here – Google has released the top key search terms.

Facebook 2019 Report Download Here – Facebook now has released this ebook.

YouTube 2019 Report Download Here – YouTube as at least the top videos.

LinkedIn 2019 Report Download Here – LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report

Do check these out. Use these as reports as a guide for your strategic decisions for the coming new year 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.

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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