- Facebook is going to start showing users more local news in their News Feed, the company announced on Monday.
- The social network has been heavily criticised over its role in the spread of misinformation and hoaxes, and is now making significant changes.
- “People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
Facebook is going to start showing users more local news.
On Monday, the social network announced that one of the flurry of changes it is making to its News Feed is to prioritise stories and news outlets from areas where its users live.
The company has been seriously criticised in recent months over the spread of disinformation and hoaxes on its platform, and is making significant changes to try and combat this – also including sorting news by how “trustworthy” users think they are.
“Starting today, we’re going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “If you follow a local publisher or if someone shares a local story, it may show up higher in News Feed. We’re starting this first in the US, and our goal is to expand to more countries this year.”
Facebook is defining a publisher as local, it says, if its links “are clicked on by readers in a tight geographic area.”
Local news has largely suffered in recent years. Outlets have seen advertising dollars move online, particularly to major platforms like Facebook and Google, while readership has declined.
On January 19, Zuckerberg said that Facebook intends to prioritise “news that is trustworthy, informative, and local.”
We’ve now heard from the company in more detail about its plans to for trustworthy and local news – meaning an announcement about how it intends to focus on “informative” news is still yet to come.
Here’s Mark Zuckerberg’s full post: