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, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Android TV.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – Google Search lists TV Shows, Sports + ‘My Business’ gets new update options

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

(News 1 – Source01 & Source02)

Our first big news of this week is from Google. We actually have 2 important news items from Google. First, is from the Google search team. Last week, Google’s search team announced that they are adding new options for you to find Live TV information, and also information about ‘what to watch next’ on TV like shows and movies.

This is significant if you are a ministry or a nonprofit that has been working on television broadcasts. I know many ministries still use TV media a lot, and now you can see how TV media is combining with search – the digital media and TV media merger is happening right there. It would be good for you to go to your backend and optimize how your TV programs are lining up when people search for programs on their mobile phones. Do check out this article or pass it on to your media team.

The second news is about Google My Business listing. If your church or ministry is listed in Google My Business, you can now edit your details directly from Search and your Maps section. Earlier you had to open a separate business.google.com page (login) and do all edits. Now, Google allows you to do it directly within the Search and the Maps product. So do check that out. I will link to both those in the shownotes.

🗞️ News #2 – Instagram introduces new account verification steps to counter Bots & spam

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

(News 2 – Source)

Our next news is from Instagram. Last week, Instagram announced that they are taking new measures to ensure that spammy accounts and BOT accounts which do automated processes and create spams are not going to be able to do that very easily, because they are putting in place a process of verification.

The announcement is: “Starting today, we will begin asking people to confirm who is behind an account when we see a pattern of potential inauthentic behavior by prompting the people behind accounts to confirm their information. We will be able to better understand when accounts are attempting to mislead their followers, hold them accountable, and keep our community safe”. Looks like a step in the right direction from Instagram.

🗞️ News #3 – Android TV gets 6 new features including Gboard TV, PIN purchase and Instant

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

(News 3 – Source)

Our next news is about Android TV. Last week, Google’s Android TV team released details about the upcoming features of the Android TV platform. Android TV operating system is one of the most preferred systems by television manufacturers. The article says out of the top 10 smart TV manufacturers, 7 of them prefer working with Google, and more than 160 TV operators use Android TV as their platform. They also say that their growth rate is 80% year-on-year. So it is an important platform.

You and I need to watch out to know how the television space is growing on the Android platform, which is basically a mobile and digital media space. The merger is very interesting. The new features include something called Google Play Instant, where a user will be able to try out an app without installing it. Quickly, they can see how the app works. There is also options like using ‘PINs’ for transactions, and easy ‘Typing’ on TV. Have you ever tried typing on TV? It is a pain. Now Google is making it easier. So lots of interesting features coming to Android TV.

🗞️ News #4 – Twitter rolls out new conversation settings globally giving better control over replies

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

(News 4 – Source)

Our next news is from Twitter. Last week, Twitter announced that after testing this new feature since May, now they are officially rolling out the option for you to ‘choose who replies’ to your tweet. Before you send out a tweet, you can choose three options. One is ‘Everyone’ can reply. Second, only the ‘People that you follow’. Third is only the ‘People that you @ mentioned’ in the tweet. This gives you full control over who gets to engage or respond to your tweets so that the conversations, when people look at it, will be meaningful.

The important thing to note is Twitter also says, “people who can’t reply will still be able to view, retweet, retweet with comments, share, and like these tweets”. So Twitter remains a public forum, but just that from a user perspective, they want to give you a better control over your content. An interesting approach from Twitter.

🗞️ News #5 – Facebook removes multiple ad-targeting options & brings ‘Paid Events’ to Pages

News 5, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 3, August 2020

(News 5 – Source01 & Source02)

Our final news of this week is from Facebook. Two important news items from Facebook, last week. One is the removal of over 1000 ad targeting options. Facebook usually does this on a regular basis. A couple of years ago, they removed more than 5000 targeting options. Now they’ve removed a few for a couple of reasons. One is the ad targeting options are redundant, or they haven’t been used much, or they are too granular for them to be really useful. For example, they say, “we are removing multicultural affinity segments and encouraging advertisers to use other targeting options, like a language or a culture to reach people”.

I know many of you listening to me release ads on a regular basis. So if you have been using some of the options that were removed, then you might want to check out your ad options immediately. The second big news is, Facebook announced that they are launching the ability for organizations to earn money from ‘online events’ on Facebook. You can run paid online events on Facebook. The announcement says, “Page owners can create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payments, and post the event all in one place”. They’re also bringing in Messenger to make the interaction and gatherings more meaningful. Do check it 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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