Earlier this year, Facebook started testing a new feature called ‘Today In’ which focused on adding more local news to the News Feed. Facebook later made local news and events a permanent fixture in the News Feed, however, the feature was so far limited to certain regions in the United States. The social media firm has today announced that the prioritization of local news content in News Feed is now live globally in all languages supported by the platform.
Today, we’re expanding that update to people in all countries, in all languages. Now, people around the world will see more news on Facebook from local sources covering their current city and other cities they may care about.
Now that Facebook’s efforts to prioritize local news have expanded globally, local publishers have a higher chance of getting more exposure for their news content amidst the target audience. However, details of revenue sharing between Facebook and local publishing partners, if any, have not been revealed.
Publishers whose news links are clicked by a sizeable number of users concentrated in a small geographic area are categorized as local publishers on Facebook. “We’ll consider a publisher as local to multiple cities if the people in those cities are more likely than the people outside of those cities to read articles from the publisher’s domain”, reads Facebook’s official blog post.
Thanks to the updated algorithm, news from local publishers will now be displayed higher in the News Feed. However, users who don’t want their News Feed populated by local news content, they can opt out of it, and also select the publishers whose news content they want to prioritize by using the ‘See First’ feature, be it a local or national publisher.
There is no limitation on which publisher can be classified as a local publisher, as local publication houses with a sizeable nation-wide reader base as well as small publishers which cover niche news are all eligible to be recognized as a local publisher.