Facebook testing new feature to host city-specific local news

Facebook testing new feature to host city-specific local news

The most widely used social network, Facebook is testing a new feature in its platform.

Facebook is testing a new feature where it will have city-specific local news, events and announcements available on its platform. "The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project Initiative, a program the company announced in January 2017 that seeks to build out local news partnerships, among other goals", the reports says. Those initial cities are New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas.

The "Today In" section will be powered by a machine learning software, which will help a team find local content. This should help assuage some of the "fake news" concerns that have plagued Facebook over the past year or more.

The project is part of Facebook's Journalism Project initiative, which it launched previous year following the 2016 presidential election. There was a charge being circulated against Facebook that during the election season, a so-called fake news doing rounds on the social network was partially responsible for Donald Trump's unexpected victory, and so the tech giant was partly to blame for it. 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.

More news: National Football League announces three enticing London 2018 matchups

But, the question that cuts through is will this section benefit the local publishers, or not? For now, the test is running in six cities of the United States, while the company is also planning to expand it to more countries after the test completes.

Even generating that extra traffic will depend on whether or not Facebook users frequent the new section.

The company will expand the "Today In" feature in other cities too.

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

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