Facebook will prioritize local news while still de-prioritizing news overall
Weeks after Facebook announced that it would de-prioritize news from publishers in people’s News Feeds, the company continues to announce that it will prioritize certain types of news. The first example was news from “trusted” publishers; the latest is local news.
Facebook will prioritize news articles from local publishers in people’s News Feeds and is testing a new section on its social network to serve as a dedicated home for local news and events, the company announced on Monday. Facebook’s News Feed algorithm will begin to emphasize local news for people in the US first and will expand to people in other countries later this year.
“We identify local publishers as those whose links are clicked on by readers in a tight geographic area. If a story is from a publisher in your area, and you either follow the publisher’s Page or your friend shares a story from that outlet, it might show up higher in News Feed,” Facebook’s head of news product Alex Hardiman and head of news partnerships Campbell Brown wrote in a company blog post.
In addition to highlighting more local news in people’s News Feeds, Facebook is also trying out a new hub within its site and app called “Today In” that functions as something of a digital town hall for people in specific cities. According to Recode, Today In compiles news from local publishers, as well as announcements and events from local organizations. The company has begun testing out the new section in six US cities and plans to make it available in more locales.