We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #498

Facebook changes its algorithm to prioritise original reporting
Facebook is working with academic experts and news publishers to change the way news stories are ranked in its feed. While content from news sources that users or their friends follow will still make up the majority of stories, where there are many sources, the story with original reporting (the one which broke the story, contains in-depth investigative reports, or is uncovering new facts and data) will be prioritised. Stories from sources that don’t provide transparent information about the publisher’s editorial staff will also be demoted as part of the changes.

Facebook shuts down Lasso and Hobbi
Facebook has announced that it will be shutting down its TikTok-style app, Lasso, on July 10th; and has also closed its recently launched app, Hobbi – the social network’s answer to Pinterest for content creation around personal projects and hobbies.

WhatsApp introduces contact-adding QR codes and more
WhatsApp has announced a number of new features that will be coming to the messaging platform over the next few weeks, including the ability to add contacts via QR codes. Among the other new features to be introduced is the extension of group video calls to include a maximum of eight people and the ability to share animated Stickers in chats.

Twitch racks up 5 billion hours watched in Q2
After breaking its viewership records in Q1 of this year, surpassing 3 billion total hours watched in a single quarter for the first time, Twitch has broken its record again – reaching 5 billion hours watched in the second quarter of 2020. The figure represents a 62.7 per cent increase in hours watched from Q1, and an 83.1 per cent increase year-over-year. Twitch also broke records for hours streamed, unique channels, and average concurrent viewership in Q2.

LinkedIn rolls out several new updates 
LinkedIn has introduced several new features to its platform, including a new audio option for pronunciation on user profiles, and an alternative process for limiting company page invites. For Company Pages, LinkedIn has also added a new Follower analytics section, which allows admins to see a full list of every person that’s followed the Page, sorted in reverse chronology.

YouTube builds out YouTube TV… and hikes up the price
YouTube TV has added eight new ViacomCBS channels to its arsenal, including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1. However, to match the inflated content offering, the platform has also hiked up the price – raising the monthly price from $50 per month to $64.99.

Ones to watch
Instagram is testing a way to expand the Stories experience, making it a more of a central focus in the Instagram app; Facebook’s newest proof-of-concept VR headset looks like a pair of sunglasses; Discord raises $100 million and plans to move beyond gaming.