Facebook testing local news section on its platform

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The new section of this fascinating app is called "Today In", a feed that would wholly feature local news, events, and announcements. The initial test markets are New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas.

The social networking behemoth is reportedly using artificial intelligence to cull content for the new section.

The social media company, Facebook is testing a new section, "Today In". "This tactic, known as "engagement bait", seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach", explained Henry Silverman, operations integrity specialist at Facebook". The users will then also be able to follow the cities that they do not now live in, like childhood hometown.


Facebook Inc shares rose $0.62 (+0.33%) in premarket trading Thursday.

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.

The immensely popular social network for millennials and users of all ages, Facebook is on a drive to ease out the availability of local news from vetted sources for its user base. Whether local content becomes as potentially contentious as national news remains to be seen as the US enters mid-term election season this year.


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

While this is far from Facebook's first foray into trying to make the Facebook experience more locally focused, the tiny batch of city-specific rollouts and at least sort of hands-on curation efforts suggest that Facebook is trying to move cautiously.

According to a statement by Facebook's official, the new section of its app will be dedicated to local publishers and organizations and will feature news stories and events from a selected community or a region. Eventually, "Today In" will appear in the menu where Facebook has other sections of its mobile app. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.


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