Facebook Will Now Prioritize Local News In User Feeds

Social media giant Facebook is planning to roll out a feature that would prioritize local news. The effort was viewed as one way to improve its services. The company has announced this development in a blog as it aims to promote contents coming from families and friends. With this, Facebook users will now see more local news on their feeds.

 

Facebook to start prioritizing local news?

 

Facebook said this feature would prioritize local news outlets since the demographics involved are smaller. This means that local news would be elevated after a Facebook user would click the news in a tight geographic locale. It added that news content would also be prioritized when users share contents from a certain publication.

 

“Many people told me they thought that if we could turn down the temperature on the more divisive issues and instead focus on concrete local issues, then we’d all make more progress together,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote.

 

“Local news helps build community – both on and offline. It’s an important part of making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is valuable,” he added.

 

The Facebook founder further revealed that the new feature was a product of his fact-finding trip in the U.S. He said that this new feature would roll out first in the United States. He, however, stressed that this feature is still work-in-progress.

 

“This update may not capture all small or niche-interest publishers at first, but we are working to improve precision and coverage over time,” the Facebook said in a blog post.

 

“All of our work to reduce false news, misinformation, clickbait, sensationalism and inauthentic accounts still applies.”

 

Meanwhile, search giant Google has been testing its Bulletin app to crowdsource local news reporting.

Google Pilots Local News With An App Called Bulletin

A report surfaced last week saying that Google is testing an online that would allow users to publish news and events locally. The search giant confirmed this on Monday and called the tool as Bulletin. Google’s online tool would allow people to relay information on any topic of local interest. These topics include street closures, school events, among others.

 

What is Google’s Bulletin?

 

In fact, there’s already a live website intended to create a posts. However, the website is still in “early access mode.” Google has rolled out its new service in both Nashville and Oakland, California.

 

Based on the website, Google described the Bulletin as an online lightweight app that can be used to tell stories.  The app can also be used to capture photos and video clips from any smartphone.

 

Bulletin would be able to publish all these materials to the web with the pre-defined template. This means that people would no longer exert any effort to create a blog just to publish news.

 

“If you are comfortable taking photos or sending messages, you can create a Bulletin story!,” a text from the website said.

 

Also, a high-ranking Google official revealed that the company would tap local news organization to find and publish stories that were posted to Bulletin.

 

Tech analysts, meanwhile, said that Google’s new service would be in the direct collision to other online services that allow people to share news locally. So if Google attempts to share news or events, locally-it is the same with posting to a business page on Facebook.

 

This would mean that Google’s Bulletin attempts to focus more on “news and information” as it establishes itself in the social web space.  The company should have bought micro-blogging site Twitter if Google wants this kind of service.

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