Social media giant Facebook has announced plans to allow more local news on its platform. It had already announced it is now prioritizing posts from friends and high-quality news sources.
“People tell us they come to Facebook to connect with friends. They also say they want to see news about what’s happening in the world and their local community,” said Alex Hardiman, Head of News Product and Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships at Facebook.
This has prompted the company to update News Feed to also prioritize local news so that Facebook users can see topics that have a direct impact on them and their community and discover what’s happening in their local area.
Facebook said it will identify local publishers as those whose links are clicked on by readers in a tight geographic area.
“If a story is from a publisher in your area, and you either follow the publisher’s Page or your friend shares a story from that outlet, it might show up higher in News Feed,” the company stated.
For publishers, Facebook said there are no constraints on which publishers are eligible, which means large local publishers will benefit, as well as publishers that focus on niche topics like local sports, arts and human-interest stories.
“That said, small news outlets may benefit from this change more than other outlets, because they tend to have a concentrated readership in one location,” Facebook stated.