Facebook is testing a new section to emphasize local news

Herbert Rhodes
January 12, 2018

The new section of this fascinating app is called "Today In", a feed that would wholly feature local news, events, and announcements.

The feature is being tested initially across six United States cities: New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; Billings, Montana; Peoria, Illinois; Olympia, Washington and Binghamton, New York.

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

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.

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

According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook is calling this feature "Today In" and testing it in select markets.

For those who have access to the feature, it is accessible via the menu button in the bottom-right of the main Facebook app. News that is specific to the related communities and cities will be given in the user's feed.

The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project announced in January past year to curb the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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