Facebook testing new feature to host city-specific local news


The project is a part of the company's Journalism Project initiative, which was launched at the time of presidential elections in 2016, because it was facing inspection for fake news stories being published on the platform before the 2016 election.

Facebook's news partnership team will check the relevance of the news that goes on the feed.

Facebook is testing a new feature on its platform, where it will host city-specific local news, events and announcements.

On the flipside, the report notes that while users may appreciate the local aspect of "Today In", Facebook could have trouble attracting advertisers to feeds that are smaller and less diverse in nature.

CNET reported today that the test is now live for a new section called "Today In" across six U.S. cities.

This initiative is the part of Facebook's Journalism Project, which was launched past year to counter fake news allegations faced by the company.

Facebook has also tested and launched a handful of other news-related features this year as part of the effort, which includes a breaking news label for publishers and a label identifying stories disputed by outside fact-checkers.

All of this plays into the company's broader efforts to cleanse the service of false information; hand-selecting local publishers to appear inside this new section of the app should (theoretically) help keep fake news to a minimum. The people in the six test cities are to be alerted by Facebook that the new feature has been brought in already, but after that, Facebook "Today In" will feature in the menu (☰) where Facebook sports several other lesser-used sections of the app. The benefit of advertising, gained through Facebook will further depend on the number of users who frequently use the new section. Eventually, the company hopes to roll it out to more locations and allow users to follow a city they don't reside in.