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, Google, TikTok, Instagram and how technology giants around the world are coming together to fight coronavirus.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – YouTube releases a new tool for video creation – YouTube Video Builder

News 1, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 4, Apr 2020

(News 1 – Source)

Our first big news of this week is from YouTube. Last week, YouTube released a very interesting video creation tool called YouTube Video Builder. This is a free tool available on beta right now, that helps you create short promotional videos.

Originally, YouTube has created this for organizations that want to create ads, YouTube Ads. But I think there is a lot of use cases for this tool when it comes to nonprofits, churches and ministries because there’s always something that you want to say in a short video format, right? And it’s always challenging because you need to hire a video team, you need to shoot, you need to do all these complicated things.

Now YouTube gives you this ability to pick up images, add some text, add some music, and they have layouts that look really, really good. And you can, for example, you can put together a quick announcement, a short announcement about something that your ministry is doing, or some activity for which you want to do fundraising, or something like that. So this will create the video and directly upload it on YouTube. And then you can just share the link. You don’t have necessarily release an ad if you don’t want to. So do check out this tool. I think it might help you in multiple ways as a ministry.

🗞️ News #2 – TikTok adds a new Voiceover feature for creators

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

(News 2 – Source01, Source02 )

Our next news is from TikTok. Last week, TikTok added a new feature that could be a game changer. The feature is ‘Voiceovers’. Now you can add voiceover, your own voice, on top of your video shots without leaving TikTok app.

This makes it much, much easier, especially in a ministry context, to convey something quickly on TikTok. Because it could become boring or it could become not-very-entertaining when you keep the camera in front of you and you try to convey a complicated message on TikTok, because the audience are young, they want something to be entertaining and quick. Now having voiceover facility, you can change the shots that you are shooting on TikTok and add your voice at the back of it, to make it more entertaining and more captivating for the audience. So do check out this new voiceover feature. It even has its own hashtag #voiceover.

🗞️ News #3 – Google Duo can now accommodate 12 people in a group video call

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

(News 3 – Source01, Source02)

Our next news is from Google. Google Duo team has released new features on the app. Google Duo is a popular video calling app and now they have released features like AI, which will help you reduce audio interruptions, make the quality of the calls better, and also most importantly, they have expanded the number of participants from 8 to 12.

You can now have 12 people on a call when you are using Google Duo app. Not just Google, everybody on the video conferencing space is starting to increase the seats because more people are using it and there is a big need as well. For example, WhatsApp announced that you can now add 8 people to a WhatsApp Group call. So if you have a WhatsApp Group and you just click the call button, you can now add 8 people to that video conferencing call. So do check out these apps and make use of this facility for your ministry.

🗞️ News #4 – Instagram might soon allow you to ‘Simulcast’ live streams to Facebook

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

(News 4 – Source)

Our next big news is from Instagram. Instagram seems to be testing a new ‘simulcast’ feature that would help you take your Instagram live stream and push it on to Facebook at the same time. Which means you just go live on Instagram app and both your Instagram audience and your Facebook audience will be able to see and engage with you on the live stream. Which could be very helpful because it reduces the work of having to download an Instagram live session and then work on it and upload it on Facebook.

Instagram Live is fast becoming very popular because it looks authentic, it’s on the mobile, you can invite another guest and have a meaningful conversation, sharing the mobile screen on top and at the bottom. And it makes it easier for people because it does not involve a heavy technology set up. You just do it over phone. So it’s a very interesting form of content that you as a ministry probably needs to check out.

🗞️ News #5 – Founders of major IT and Tech companies are joining hands to fight coronavirus

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

(News 5 – Source01, Source02, Source03)

Our final news of this week is an encouraging one, where we see technology giants and the founders, the brains behind these technology giants, coming together to fight this COVID crisis. Earlier, we had reported how Apple and Google are coming together to create a Bluetooth technology to fight COVID.

Now we see Microsoft and Facebook and all of these founders coming together, putting their brilliant minds together to solve problems. The latest to join this are the cofounders of Instagram, Kevin and Mike, who have come together for the very first time since they left Facebook, to create a code and create this tracker for COVID-19 that tracks the rate at which it spreads across different states (in the US).

It’s very encouraging to see how these brilliant minds that created these revolutionary products are coming together to solve this problem in a time as this.

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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