Research

Facebook begins testing local news app

Facebook begins testing local news app

The users will get to go through local news on their go.

Facebook announced that it is testing a new section of its app which will be dedicated to events and news stories from local publishers and organizations. It's part of Facebook's Journalism Project Initiative, which includes creating local news partnerships as one of its objectives.

The "Today In" section will be powered by a machine learning software, which will help a team find local content. 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 a year ago to counter fake news allegations faced by the company.

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.

More news: YouTube responds to controversial Logan Paul video

While it's slightly ironic Facebook, the company notorious for being embroiled in the fake news scandal, might be local news' saviour, the social media giant has done a lot to regain the trust of the public.

It still remains to be seen that whether this section will benefit local publishers or not. News that is specific to the related communities and cities will be given in the user's feed.

Eventually, Facebook wants to roll this out to more cities. 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.

Going "Local" spells out the theme for Facebook over the last 18 months as it started providing more posts from local politicians and is also expanding Marketplace, its Craigslist-style platform that is used by people for sale of products to their neighbors.


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