Facebook Changes Again: Unexpected Announcement For Local Media

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Facebook Changes Again: Unexpected Announcement For Local Media

For the last 10 days, it’s been pretty quiet on the official page of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO. We might have even thought that Facebook is done announcing big updates.

And yet, yesterday Mark Zuckerberg showed up with a big announcement.

News of the day: Facebook is prioritizing local news over global.

According to the latest post of Facebook CEO , the new policy is going to be a part of company’s focus for 2018.

Zuckerberg's New Post Regarding Local News

“People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook. Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives”- Zuckerberg points out.

In one of our latest articles, we’ve discussed that new algorithms can sweep the rug under local news outlets. They don’t have a big audience or budget, so, with all likelihood, they would be thrown under the bus.

The new announcement is Zuckerberg’s way to help small media survive the changes of Facebook.

What media is considered local news?

For everyone who is running a media outlet, there is a question to be asked: “Is my outlet considered local?”, “Do I stand a chance of getting endorsements?”

According to Facebook NewsRoom, “there are no constraints on which publishers are eligible, which means that large local publishers will benefit as well as publishers that focus on niche topics like local sports, arts, and human interest stories”.

Also, Facebook News Room created an infographic that sums up what types of outlets are considered local.

Facebook News Room Infographic About Local News

Who will be the first to try the update?

The feature will be rolled out in the United States. As Facebook officials admit, the system is not perfect yet. There are might be some kinks and bugs to fix. After new algorithm is tested in the US, it’ll be rolled out globally.

What is yet to come?

It seems that Facebook has stepped beyond and above in its new policies. The company has changed almost everything - the News Feed, the engagement metrics, the algorithms of the relevance of content. However, Zuckerberg and Co don’t seem to be done with surprises.

The Further Development of Today.In

Not that long ago, Facebook has announced the testing of a new section called Today.In. It’s a feed created entirely for local publishers.

Right now, the test is running in Binghamton, NY, New Orleans, Little Rock, Billings,. Peoria, and Olimpia.

Those who live in any of 6 cities listed above could use a new section to read local news from vetted sources. In order to filter media outlets that show up in Today In. Facebook uses machine learning. Also, all the news are overseen by News Partnership Team.

We can expect the feature to become available for Facebook users worldwide.

Is the innovation going to be of help for Facebook users, and for how long will it hold on? Those are questions that are yet unanswered. One thing is clear: there’s quite a busy year ahead of Facebook.

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