Facebook News Feed update focuses on local news

by Edgar Hayes February 1, 2018, 0:12
Facebook News Feed update focuses on local news

Zuckerberg said the prioritization of local news sources is part of an effort to help people engage with the communities where they live.

A growing number of Americans are consuming news stories from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. According to the Facebook CEO, prioritizing local news will help promote civic engagement and create constructive dialogue on issues less divisive than those usually discussed in national or worldwide media.

Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users worldwide, said it's prioritizing trustworthy, informative and local news.

Among the changes that Zuckerberg has made in the first month of 2018 are prioritizing posts from family and friends in News Feeds and boosting local news. Some critics have begun arguing that social networks like Facebook and Snapchat can be addictive. Local news publishers participated in the majority of our collaborative product tests in 2017, including support for subscriptions in Instant Articles; call-to-action units, which are prompts for readers to like a publisher's page or sign up for an email newsletter; and a new breaking news format in News Feed.

"There's a lot of research that suggests that people who read local news are more engaged in their community and they're more likely to engage in civic improvements", Zuckerberg told the newspaper. "Many people told me they thought that if we could turn down the temperature on the more divisive issues and instead focus on concrete local issues, then we'd all make more progress together", wrote the Facebook chief.

Facebook Inc. said time spent on its social network is already falling as the company reacts to a year of questions about its impact on society. The new initiative will start in the United States before expanding to other countries.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that they're going to be putting more local news on Facebook to highlight more stories from your town or city.

In the third quarter, Facebook grew its ad sales by 47 percent to about $10 billion compared to the same period previous year.

The company also beat revenue expectations for the quarter ending December 31: Facebook generated $12.97 billion revenue during the holiday quarter, compared to $8.8 billion during the same quarter in 2016. The tech firm is scheduled to report its fourth quarter results on Wednesday.

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