Facebook Testing Local News & Events Section in its App

Facebook Testing Local News & Events Section in its App

Yolanda Curtis
January 11, 2018

As reported by a company spokesperson, the Company's News Partnerships team which is directed by former NBC News Anchor Campbell Brown is entrusted with the responsibility of approving and vetting the local news publishers featuring on Facebook.

As Facebook continues its efforts to squeeze in more information in the user timeline, the platform is reportedly testing a new feature that would show users local news and events judging by their location. 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.

This initiative is the part of Facebook's Journalism Project, which was launched previous year to counter fake news allegations faced by the company. The initiative is called the Facebook Journalism Project and the first observable product to come from it is now in soft-launch in a few areas in the USA. It's possible that being part of a separate, local section of the app will help drive more traffic back to publishers' stories and websites where they can make money through advertising, but there is no way for publishers to make money off the new local section at launch.

The social networking firm wants to expand this app to more cities and then other countries gradually. News that is specific to the related communities and cities will be given in the user's feed. For now, the test is running in six cities of the U.S., while the company is also planning to expand it to more countries after the test completes. Users in test markets will be able to access the feature through the bottom-right menu button (the three horizontal lines) in the core Facebook app.

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