Facebook is currently testing a new section of its mobile app called “Today in…”, which serves up a feed of city-specific events, announcements, and local news, according to TechCrunch.
The company is kicking off the local hub with a small batch of test markets, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois; and Little Rock, Arkansas. Users in those markets can access the feature via the lower-right menu button, indicated by three horizontal lines in the main Facebook app.
The feed will be populated using a mixture of human-curated and algorithmically-plucked content, and is being spearheaded by Facebook’s Journalism Project, designed to support news literacy and to serve as a hub for journalists and publishers to learn and share. It also comes on the back of the company’s recently announced Journalism Project Initiative, which aims to build local news partnerships as one of its core goals.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has dabbled in promoting local content. Last year the social network giant introduced a separate Explore Feed that is said to use live location information occasionally to suggest posts, articles, photos, and videos from local sources a user hasn’t followed, but might be interested in.
In another attempt to establish links within local communities, Facebook recently expanded its e-commerce Marketplace service, which lets users advertize and check out region-based private and business listings for things like vehicles, properties, and household goods.
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