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, Amazon, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – Facebook adds other video conferencing tools like Zoom to its Portal device

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

(News 1 – Source)

Our first big news of this week is from Facebook. Last week, Facebook announced that their ‘Portal’ device, which is a smart video calling & video conferencing device, will now support other video conferencing solutions like Zoom, Go To Meeting, Blue Jeans, and WebEx, etc., starting September. This is an interesting consolidation from Facebook because now they are focusing more on the device and adding other platforms that people use so that the device becomes something that people don’t hesitate to get. I see multiple applications inside non-profits and ministries.

For example, who can just get a set of devices and place it in small group locations across and have a seamless, immediate connection. The connection is private. The camera has a smart A.I. algorithm behind that, with high fidelity sound. There are many ways in which you can use it. So do check this out. It’s also interesting to see in the industry how consolidation is starting to happen between the various video conferencing devices as work at home and home-based interactions through video continues to increase.

🗞️ News #2 – TikTok news roundup: sues U.S. Government over ban, talks to Oracle for deal.

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

(News 2 – Source01 & Source02)

Our next news is a quick roundup of TikTok and the developments so far. Earlier this week, TikTok filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, arguing that it has been denied due process to argue it isn’t a national security threat. Meanwhile, the company is also continuing its conversations with Microsoft and Oracle.

Oracle is a new player that has come in which seems to be interested in the deal, so those conversations are continuing. Snapchat, in the meantime, has released a TikTok-like feature with music in the background. So, the competition or apps that are similar to TikTok are also starting to mushroom and keep growing. We have to keep a close watch on Instagram Reels, not to miss that as well. Just want to give you a quick roundup of what’s happening with TikTok.

🗞️ News #3 – Amazon launches a cheaper Audible subscription plan with exclusive audio content

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

(News 3 – Source)

Our next news is from Amazon. Earlier this week, Amazon announced a new, cheaper subscription plan for Audible. This subscription plan will include access to exclusive audio content from audible, like podcasts. They are planning to add more exclusive content like podcasts from Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast company, also from NBA about the impact of Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls.

They also want to include content from celebrities like Alicia Silverstone, Michael Caine, and so on. Do check it out. They’ve also revamped the Audible Gold and Platinum plan. I will link to the details in the show notes if you are interested in audio content.

🗞️ News #4 – Instagram confirms new ‘Suggested Posts’ feature after the newsfeed section

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

(News 4 – Source)

Our next news is from Instagram. Last week, Instagram confirmed plans for releasing a new feature called ‘Suggested Posts’ at the end of the news feed. If you keep scrolling on Instagram, all the new content that you are going to see for that session will keep going. And then if you’ve exhausted your new content, you will see a notice at the end of the news feed, which will say ‘You are all caught up’.

Now, below that, Instagram is placing this section called ‘Suggested Posts’, where they are also going to show ads, relevant ads. They are going to show both posts and ads. It’s a new space where you have an option to see and place Instagram ads. So if you are a nonprofit or a ministry interested in placing ads in a different placement, then you do want to check out this news.

🗞️ News #5 – Twitter launches new Transparency Center opening up access to the general public

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

(News 5 – Source)

Our final news for this week is a big one from Twitter. Last week, Twitter announced its new ‘Twitter Transparency Center’. What used to be a biannual report called Twitter Transparency Report is now a separate site with lots of inclusion of data and statistics. And they are calling it the ‘Twitter Transparency Center’. Twitter has been very proactive in talking about #OpenInternet because they are, as a company, always constantly under pressure from governments and other organizations about their data and how, as an open platform, they have a heavy influence on the mindsets of people. So this is a step they have taken in that right direction and they have opened this Twitter Transparency Center.

This is a brand new website, they say, which includes all the disclosed data in one place, and data visualizations are available, making it easier to compare the trends. And they also have country comparison modules and so on. If you are in any need of any kind of research or data or information from Twitter, then this is a good place for you to go to. So that you can understand trends from around the world and what’s going on. Twitter is a big repository of important information from around the world. Important news, 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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