During Facebook’s annual F8 conference in April, the social media platform announced technological innovations they are working on. While these announcements were primarily geared toward marketers and social media users, there are all kinds of applications for churches to engage members and grow your church.
Some of these innovations sound like something from science fiction, but we may be closer to having them at our fingertips than you think. Here is your chance to get ahead of the curve by preparing to incorporate these five technological advances into your church’s marketing and communications.
1. Augmented Reality
Facebook’s key point at this year’s F8 conference was “augmented reality.” In its simplest form, this means adding 3D elements to your camera view.
The main implementation opportunity for churches at the moment is the Camera Effects Platform, which allows you to create special effects during live broadcasts (think: Snapchat filters). You may already be using Facebook Live, and with this feature you can add fun effects during your broadcasts to increase engagement and sharing. Replace your photo backdrops at special events with virtual ones, and get your congregation sharing.
2. Facebook Spaces
Facebook also announced the launch of Facebook Spaces, describing it as “a new VR app where you hang out with friends in a fun, interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room.”
Check out this video to see how it works:
Imagine the potential reach for online services, virtual conferences, international Bible studies and even mission trips!
3. Facebook Analytics
Facebook Analytics will soon expand to provide even more information on how social media users interact with your content and website. The functionality was previously only available for apps, but you will soon be able to use it to measure engagement on your Pages. Think Google Analytics for Facebook.
This functionality will better equip you to prove the value of your social media presence. (Are people who like a post more likely to register for an event?) You will also get more control over how you segment your audience for future ads and campaigns.
It never hurts to get a better understanding of where visitors are coming from and how they discover your church online.
4. QR Codes are Back
Remember those guys? Facebook is expanding the use of QR codes to its Messenger app, so that when users scan a QR code through the app, they are shown relevant information.
There are lots of potential applications here for churches to make it easier to connect in-person activity with online engagement. Without the need for a special scanner app, codes on banners or in bulletins and collateral can connect people with the information and online action you want them to take in that moment.
5. Connecting the World
Finally, Facebook is understandably obsessed with connecting the entire world through social media. That’s great news for churches who want to bring the Gospel to all nations!
At the F8 conference, Facebook announced projects to bring the Internet to all corners of the globe. Technology continues to make the world smaller, and social media may be the door to reach everyone on earth.