Facebook is testing a new section to emphasize local news

12 January, 2018, 03:13 | Author: Delbert Rhodes
  • Confirmed: Less face time for brands and media on Facebook Newsfeed

The social network is testing a new section inside its app called "Today In", a feed made up entirely of local news, events and announcements. From what has been revealed, Facebook is now conducting the test in a handful of cities around the United States - New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Users in the initial test batch of cities can access the feature in the bottom menu of the mobile Facebook app.

Content creation in this section is attributed to machine learning software used by Facebook.

Facebook's news partnership team will check the relevance of the news that goes on the feed. The social media giant, last year, also tested products to connect its users to local news.

The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project announced in January previous year to curb the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships.

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This features is launched after the company has faced fake news issue.

The social network also announced last month that it has started demoting engagement bait posts from the users' news feed. Publishers anxious they would have to pay to have their posts end up in the News Feed, where most users would spend their time, and thus where there is more potential for ad-revenue-generating traffic.

The social networking firm wants to expand this app to more cities and then other countries gradually.

Facebook plans to alert those living in the six cities about the new feature.

It will include community updates, group discussions and local events, along with a local news component.

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