Facebook tweaks news feed to prioritize local news

Feb 01, 2018, 00:10
Facebook tweaks news feed to prioritize local news

The update to Facebook's News Feed will be rolled out in the USA first, but the social media giant has shared that they have definite planned to introduce the algorithm to more areas in the near future. The new initiative will start in the United States before expanding to other countries.

The Menlo Park, California, company said in a news release that it identifies local publishers as those clicked on by readers in tight geographic areas.

People who live in San Francisco will see posts from that source climb up the News Feed if they follow the publisher.

That's a huge and potentially scary number for Facebook - its goal, after all, is to get people to use more Facebook and see more Facebook ads - but company CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been warning this moment would come, and he's argued that in the long run, it'll be beneficial.

"Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives", Zuckerberg wrote.

Reading more local news, he noted, can also motivate people to get more involved in their communities. However, the company said small publishers will likely benefit the most from the change, as it will help them compete against large nonlocal publishers.

The recent changes to Facebook and Instagram, which have led to lower users' reach through business posts, are expected to have a major impact on the marketing policies of travel agencies on social media. They will appear higher in News Feed for followers in their area. All of our work to reduce false news, misinformation, clickbait, sensationalism and inauthentic accounts still applies.

Zuckerberg said: "Twenty-seventeen was a strong year for Facebook, but it was also a hard one".

Facebook has been revamping its News Feed to show more posts from family and friends and fewer posts from businesses, brands and media. Moreover, this might not be the only update to roll out for Facebook's News Feed as the company seeks to make sure that their users are caring for their well-being and are being productive members of the society.

The social network also worked with local news publishers through the Facebook Journalism Project in the past year. We are testing this in six USA cities and plan to expand in the coming months.

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