Facebook is working on a new section for local news

Alan Olson
January 12, 2018

The company is testing a new area of its app called "Today In", a mix of city-specific events, announcements and local news.

A company spokesperson was adamant in an email to Quartz that the section will be an addition to local news shared in the News Feed, likely because of publisher fears that they will be booted out of the feed.

To make sure that the stories are relevant and authentic, Facebook will only source links from local publishers that have been manually vetted by the News Partnership team first.

Commentators point out that the social network's reported foray into local news publishing segment comes at a time when it is looking to fix the problem of misinformation and fake news on its platform. The social media giant, last year, also tested products to connect its users to local news.

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On the flipside, the report notes that while users may appreciate the local aspect of "Today In", Facebook could have trouble attracting advertisers to feeds that are smaller and less diverse in nature.

The users will then also be able to follow the cities that they do not now live in, like childhood hometown. The benefit of advertising, gained through Facebook will further depend on the number of users who frequently use the new section. This section is being tested in five cities of America however the company plans to launch it globally once its gets approved in its test phase.

Users in the initial test batch of cities can access the feature in the bottom menu of the mobile Facebook app. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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