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Facebook launches local news feature 'Today in'

12 January 2018

"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.

The immensely popular social network for millennials and users of all ages, Facebook is on a drive to ease out the availability of local news from vetted sources for its user base.

In an attempt to further address its "fake news" problem and make the platform a better place for people to find local stories, Facebook is testing a new section in its app called "Today In".

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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.

A company spokesperson was adamant in an email to Quartz that the section will be an addition to local news shared in the News Feed, likely because of publisher fears that they will be booted out of the feed.

The section will be powered by a mix of machine learning software and human workers used to surface the local content. Facebook news partnership team will approve local news publishers after testing their authenticity.

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Users in the initial test batch of cities can access the feature in the bottom menu of the mobile Facebook app. Eventually, the company hopes to roll it out to more locations and allow users to follow a city they don't reside in.

Whether the "Today In" feature will help boost local media remains to be seen. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.

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Facebook launches local news feature 'Today in'