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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 Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – Facebook Messenger Rooms get screen-sharing across mobile apps, desktop & web app.

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

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Our first big news this week is from Facebook. Last week, the Messenger team announced that screen sharing capability is now available globally inside Messenger Rooms. You can now share your screen on mobile apps – iOS, Android, desktop app and the Web app. It makes it very interesting in terms of application for small groups and other purposes that suit nonprofits and ministries. Definitely check out this feature. It’s also interesting to read how Facebook looks at the use cases for this. It says “whether you want to share memories from your camera roll, shop together online, co-browse social media and more, screen sharing makes it easy to stay connected”. So basically, they’re looking at this as a tool for e-commerce.

They’re looking as a tool for co-sharing your social media experience, like if you’re streaming a video or something and you want to do this together with friends. This is a feature that Facebook wants us to use across apps. Remember that now you can start Messenger Rooms from Instagram and WhatsApp also, eventually. They are looking at this as a feature across all of their apps to share content in a social way. So do check it out.

🗞️ News #2 – Google launches new image extensions beta program inside its ads platform

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

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Our next news is about Google Ads. Last week, Google released a couple of new features inside their shopping ads, display ads and search ads. I wanted to bring to your notice one particular extension or a feature that could be helpful for you, because I know many nonprofit and ministries listening to me do work on Google Ads. There is a new extension, a beta version, called ‘Image extension’ inside search ads. So now you can have an image or a creative when your ad shows up on search results. Have you seen the Google ads? Right at the top, you see a text and then a couple of sentences? Now you can have an image there.

This makes a big difference, especially if you’re running a campaign at the top of the funnel. If you’re trying to influence people or spread a message or share a particular service that you’re offering as a nonprofit. Having an image is really helpful when people make decisions. In this article, Google explains how it helps in the middle of the funnel where people are trying to make a decision, and an image can really help them take that decision. Do check out this extension.

🗞️ News #3 – Snapchat launched the first app inside its new Snap Minis chat product

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

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Our next news is from Snapchat. And this news could indicate a new trend in social media. Snapchat announced there that they are integrating with Headspace meditation app. The interesting thing is, this new product called Snap Minis, which they announced a while ago, will have these mini apps built into chat. For example, let’s say you’re chatting with another friend. You can now open this Headspace meditation app and you can meditate with your friend inside the chat application. This opens up a new possibility.

Imagine what you can do if there is an application that helps you have a discipleship-conversation with another friend. Maybe talk about God. Talk about faith-based stuff. Talk about your nonprofit cause. Or get people involved in something that could bring transformation in the society. There are lots of good applications. It’s a great trend to watch out for.

🗞️ News #4 – Twitter releases details of its new API version 2 with multiple new features

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

(News 4 – Source)

Our next news is from Twitter. Last week, Twitter announced the release of a new version of Twitter API. This API has been rebuilt for the first time since 2012. It seems to have many missing features compared to the first version, which includes conversation threading, poll results in tweets, pinned tweets, spam filtering and many powerful features, including stream filtering. So if you’ve been using Twitter API in some form for your online ministry, then this is a news that you might want to pass on to your developer team.

🗞️ News #5 – Instagram Shop rolled out in the US, with Facebook Pay built into it

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

(News 5 – Source)

Our final news of this week is a big one from Instagram. Last week, Instagram announced the rollout of ‘Instagram Shop’ that we’ve been discussing for quite some time now. They are building it inside the Explorer tab of Instagram. So you will find it inside the explore tab if you’re in the U.S., because they are initially launching it in the U.S. and then they will roll out globally.

What is more exciting about this announcement is the details about Facebook Pay. They have given some screenshots on how this is going to work and how they are structuring this whole payout system. This is something you might want to make a note of, because this is going to appear across Facebook platforms eventually, across WhatsApp, Facebook now and Instagram. Do have a look at these screenshots and see how Facebook Pay works and the dynamics of it, so that you can prepare yourself as a nonprofit or a ministry for the coming changes.

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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