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 TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, and Twitter.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – Twitter is testing a new ‘Audio Clips’ voice feature for select users on iOS

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

(News 1 – Source)

Our first big news of this week is from Twitter. Last week, Twitter announced that they have released ‘Audio Clips’ option in your tweet messaging. So you can send out a tweet in your own voice – audio tweets! This is a 140-second audio clip for each tweet. If you have a message that’s longer than 140 seconds, you can still continue to record it and it will get recorded as a separate clip, and they will all go together as one tweet. So it’s a very interesting option.

It’s going to be very easy for you to find it if you have access already, it’s been released only to select users on iOS platform, once you open the compose window, you will see on the left most corner, you will see a wavelength icon. All you have to do is click on that icon and start recording, and start speaking to the entire world. Check it out, if you have access. If not, hopefully, you’ll soon have it.

🗞️ News #2 – Instagram enables new advertisers to release ads without Facebook Ad Account

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

(News 2 – Source01, Source02)

Our next news is about Instagram. Earlier this week, AdWeek announced that Instagram is enabling new advertisers, people who come newly to their platform, and want to promote their product or service, they are being enabled to do that without having to connect to their Facebook page. So far, if you have tried Instagram ads, you will have to link it with the Facebook Ad Account. That’s the only way you can advertise on Instagram.

Now, Instagram is making it easier for new advertisers to just advertise straight from the Instagram account without having to link it. I wanted to bring this to your notice because it’s a sort of a counter-intuitive step from what you would expect from Facebook because always you see Facebook trying to bring Instagram, Facebook (app) and WhatsApp together. And suddenly there is this announcement. I think it’s probably because they come across accounts and businesses that want to keep Instagram away as a separate brand and want to be able to do that as a separate thing without having to connect it with their Facebook ad account.

So if you’re a first time user, you’ve never used Instagram, then you need not connected it with your Facebook ad account. Do check it out. An interesting move from Instagram.

🗞️ News #3 – TikTok releases details about how it recommends videos in the ‘For You’ feed

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

(News 3 – Source)

Our next news is about TikTok. Last week, TikTok released a very interesting article that gives us a peek into the backend of their ‘Recommendation Engine’, which is basically the algorithm that recommends video in the ‘For You’ section. If you tried using TikTok you’ll see there are two tabs on the top – one is the ‘Following’ tab and the other is the ‘For You’ tab. ‘For You’ is the one that suggests new recommended videos where people spend most of their time.

Most of us have wondered how they do these recommendations because it’s very absorbing and that’s one reason the channel has grown a lot. Now TikTok is telling us how they actually do that. They give a lot of information in the article, do check it out. User interaction is one factor. Video information is one factor. Device and account settings, etc. But what I wanted to bring to your notice especially is: what is NOT a factor. Many of us think that when a video is posted by an account with a lot of followers and a big track record, it is going to get a big reach. But TikTok clearly says that those two are NOT the factors! They say there is a likelihood of them getting views, but those two are not factors in their recommendation engine. It’s very interesting. It also gives you hope. If you haven’t started TikTok, it means irrespective of how many people follow you, irrespective of whether you have had previous videos that have done well, you can still make it on TikTok.

At this juncture, this is the situation (of TikTok algorithm). So you can have a fast mover advantage. Think about using TikTok for your ministry or nonprofit, if you haven’t used it already.

🗞️ News #4 – LinkedIn releases its ‘Stories’ feature in Australia, after Brazil, Netherlands & UAE.

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

(News 4 – Source)

Our next news is about LinkedIn. Last week, LinkedIn announced that they’re expanding the rollout of ‘LinkedIn Stories’ to Australia. Now it’s available in four locations. They started with Brazil, Netherlands, UAE, and now they have it in Australia. So if you live in Australia, then do check out LinkedIn Stories. Last week, the news was about Twitter Stories, Fleets. And this week it’s about LinkedIn Stories. Stories format is something that you might want to think about very seriously for your nonprofit or ministry.

🗞️ News #5 – Google adds $200 million to existing Ad Grants taking the total to $1 billion

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

(News 5 – Source)

Our final news for this week is from Google. And it is a big one for nonprofits. Google Ad Grants team announced that they are adding $200 million to their existing Ad Grants annual commitment, which stands at $800 million. So the total goes up to $1 billion. And Google says, this time during COVID, where millions of people are affected, nonprofits are trying to reach people for donations.

Donations are coming down for many nonprofits, they’re trying to raise money to help people. So, Google wants to do its part. Now, in this article, Google also says that if you have not yet registered, then they give you some details like how they have brought down the registration step from 14-steps to 2-steps. In just 2 steps you can register yourself if you’re qualified. And they also have expanded the program to 16 new countries.

I highly recommend you check out this article and find out details if this Ad Grant is applicable to you, and to help you in your ministry, in order to help more people through what you’re doing. They also have training programs and webinars to help you. Those links are also mentioned in the article. 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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