Zurich. The social network of the New Apostolic Church known as nacworld will close its doors at the end of this month. The Church’s chat channel will be shut down. As an alternative, the Church leadership is planning to concentrate on other, more modern means of communication.
For twelve years, the nacworld exchange platform has provided its members—who presently number some 40,000—the opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with one another. It all began in 2008 with a contact exchange for young Church members from all around the world—a year before the major event that was the European Youth Day in Düsseldorf 2009. Just how useful this was at the time was demonstrated by the positive acceptance of the medium in this age segment. After the big Youth Day event, the New Apostolic Church International took over the network to manage it on its own, and opened it up to all age groups—at the suggestion of the then Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber.
Different times—different media
However, user behaviour has changed fundamentally in recent years. This is also what trend researchers have been saying, and it has not left nacworld unaffected. Social networks with their own thematic focus are losing popularity or disappearing entirely. Only those networks that are not tied to a specific theme—industry titans such as Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube—are surviving. These are supplemented by small, closed micro-networks, like WhatsApp.
Out of the competition
The migration of users from theme-based forums to the larger platforms and micro-networks also has a direct impact on the membership growth and activities of nacworld. An independent New Apostolic network is no longer feasible or competitive—there are bigger and better offers. The consequence of these facts: on 30 November 2020, nacworld will close its doors.
Instead, the Church is endeavouring to find new methods of communication. For example, the website of the international Church—www.nak.org—is currently undergoing a complete overhaul. The official communications body of the Church’s leadership is scheduled to go online shortly with new functions and an expanded range of content. The previous activities in the social media area are also gradually being intensified: more languages are being added, new media projects are planned.
A combination of sadness and hope
“Naturally we regret having to say goodbye to nacworld,” stresses Bishop Peter Johanning, spokesperson for the international Church leadership. “By relocating our activities, we are simply responding to the wishes of a clear majority.” His gratitude goes out to all active users and team members “who have made nacworld a unique community over the years.”
Memories that will endure
Members of nacworld will soon receive an e-mail from the operator: before it closes, they will be able to download the content of their own profile pages, their own contributions and comments, as well as any messages they have received or sent, as a souvenir package. The download contains many valuable memories and will allow members the opportunity to immerse themselves in up to twelve years of personal nacworld history.