Finally, something good for local publishers.
Facebook’s big changes in its flagship feature News Feed have been the most talked about topic since we entered 2018. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced big changes in Facebook’s news feed starting this month, aimed to make it more focused towards posts from friends and family while suppressing pages of publishers and corporates. As of now, Facebook’s news feed has another new focus and that is local news.
It appears to be linked with Facebook’s earlier promise when the company started testing a local news and events section for local publishers. The new change that has been affirmed by Zuckerburg in a Facebook post means that people who have either followed a local news publication or not will now see more stories from that publication, all thanks to the algorithm that integrates your friend’s interest in your news feed. According to Zuckerberg,
“People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook. Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives. Starting today, we’re going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city.”
It’s the third big change Facebook has announced following the company’s mission of 2018 to make Facebook more productive for society since last month. And the experts predict that at least one more is coming. All of these changes to news feed are part of Zuckerberg’s broader plan to try to make sure Facebook plays a positive role in people’s lives. Meanwhile, this positive role has proven to be the overhaul for some publishers.
The changes are the result of the scrutiny Facebook faced earlier about its influential algorithms and the massive power they have over what people see online. Meanwhile, Facebook is still facing backlash for its role in the 2016 US election, in which Russian agents misused Facebook and other tech giants including Google and Twitter to spread the fake news in the country.