Facebook is testing a new section to emphasize local news
Facebook is testing a new section to emphasize local news
Facebook testing local news section on its platform
12 January, 2018, 03:14
The company is testing a new area of its app called "Today In", a mix of city-specific events, announcements and local news. Those initial cities are New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas. The feature will be available for users through the bottom-right menu button on Facebook.
The immensely popular social network for millennials and users of all ages, Facebook is on a drive to ease out the availability of local news from vetted sources for its user base.
A machine learning (ML) software will power the "Today In" section, helping a team find local content.
The project is a part of the company's Journalism Project initiative, which was launched at the time of presidential elections in 2016, because it was facing inspection for fake news stories being published on the platform before the 2016 election.
The social networking firm wants to expand this app to more cities and then other countries gradually. This should help assuage some of the "fake news" concerns that have plagued Facebook over the past year or more.
The social network also announced last month that it has started demoting engagement bait posts from the users' news feed.
In an effort to up its signal to noise ratio, Facebook may go local. The benefit of advertising, gained through Facebook will further depend on the number of users who frequently use the new section.
The company is now testing the feature in 6 states of the US. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.
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