Facebook overhauls news feed to focus on friends and family

Phillip Butler
January 12, 2018

There are no plans yet for an global test, despite the new product launching as Facebook, along with other technology platforms such as Google, faces increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies across the world.

The move comes as part of the social network's Journalism Project announced in January past year which aimed to counter the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships.

The new feature, called "Today In", shows users a feed of local events, announcement and other news. Those initial cities are New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Content creation in this section is attributed to machine learning software used by Facebook.

"Today In" is part of the Facebook Journalism Project, an effort launched a year ago that has been seen as an acknowledgment of the company's role in the media industry and a way to fix the platform's often contentious relationship with publishers.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook is calling this feature "Today In" and testing it in select markets. Possibilities indicate that being part of a distinct, local section of the app might help draw more traffic back to publishers' own news pieces and websites where being advertised on Facebook by featuring on the app will add to their revenues, but the section by itself won't help them make money.

News specific to these communities will be directed to users by both human curators and algorithms. This section is being tested in five cities of America however the company plans to launch it globally once its gets approved in its test phase.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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