Facebook testing new feature to host city-specific local news

Posted January 12, 2018

Social media giant Facebook has launched a new product called "Today in" that aims to push local news and information to those with a profile on the platform.

Facebook is now testing "Today In" in New Orleans; Little Rock, Ark.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y., according to Recode.

The move comes as part of the social network's Journalism Project announced in January a year ago which aimed to counter the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships.

To make sure that the stories are relevant and authentic, Facebook will only source links from local publishers that have been manually vetted by the News Partnership team first.

The users in the batches in which the test is going on can access the icon on the bottom of the menu in their mobile app. In his "New Year Challenge" CEO?Mark Zuckerberg said that this year he will focus on dealing with abuse and hate, fake news or interference by nation-states on the platform.

Facebook has launched a new feature called "Today in". Publishers anxious they would have to pay to have their posts end up in the News Feed, where most users would spend their time, and thus where there is more potential for ad-revenue-generating traffic. The benefit of advertising, gained through Facebook will further depend on the number of users who frequently use the new section.

The users will then also be able to follow the cities that they do not now live in, like childhood hometown.

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