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Facebook extends tools to connect users with local news

Facebook has started expanding its "Today In" section for local news and community information, making it easier for people to see more local news and community information on the platform.

Reported by: India TV Tech Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: November 29, 2018 17:17 IST ]
Image Source : PIXABAY/GERALT

Facebook extends tools to connect users with local news

In order to find news and information from local towns and cities, Facebook has started expanding its "Today In" section for local news and community information, making it easier for people.

Anthea Watson Strong, the Product Manager for Local News and Community Information at Facebook said in a statement on Wednesday, "It is now available in over 400 cities in the US, and we have launched our first international test in Australia".

Facebook said that it was planning on expanding the "Today In" section broadly soon.

"In addition, we have started testing Today In in communities located in news deserts, places that have a low supply of local news and community information, by supplementing with relevant content from surrounding areas," Strong said. 

Today In aggregates local news and community information in a separate section within the Facebook app. 

Individuals living in a city where Today In is currently available can go to the section directly and choose to turn on the local updates that will let them start seeing a collection of local news regularly in their News Feed.

The social media giant had started testing the Today In earlier this year after it did a research in which it found that there were over 50 per cent people said that they wanted to see more local news and community information on Facebook.

The research showed that people wanted both what might be traditionally understood as local news -- breaking news or information about past events like city council meetings, crime reports and weather updates -- as well as community information that could help them make plans, like bus schedules, road closures and restaurant openings.

"In addition to expanding the availability of Today In, we're running a test with over 100 local government and first responder Pages to help them communicate time-sensitive and need-to-know information to people on Facebook," Strong said. 

"The local alert label appears in News Feed and Today In, and we are also testing notifications, which participating Pages can target to people who live in the affected areas," Strong added.

(With IANS inputs)

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