Ever since Mark Zuckerberg has announced a change in the Facebook newsfeed algorithm prioritizing news from friends and family, publishers all over the world started worrying about how their information will get to the users and how budgets have to be changed considering this.
In a blog post published recently, Facebook representatives and Mark Zuckerberg himself on his Facebook page (see below) announced that part of the new algorithm will focus on prioritizing news from local publishers.
What does local mean in this context and how can Facebook tell which small business is where and how to reach the intended audience? They will take this information from the interaction that users in a certain area have with business pages. This way, users can see both updates from family and friends and the ones from businesses that are nearby.
In what the publishers are concerned, there are no limitations in topics: whether it is about a new shop that’s opening, an event happening in your area or news on a local sports team, you, as a regular user, will receive updates on the topics. This way, small businesses outlets, and publishers will benefit from the change because each location has one or more of these and they have a concentrated readership in the area.
Through 2017, Facebook has worked closely with several publishers through Facebook Journalism Project, in order to provide the training and support on what quality is concerned and, as well, to build different products for them to keep in touch with their audience. Such products are subscriptions in Instant Articles, together with the support associated with it; other call-to-action units, such as “subscribe to newsletter” or “sign-up for an e-mail newsletter”. And also a new breaking news format.
Besides all these, Facebook is also testing a new app, called Today In, which wants to put in contact people to news and events happening in their community. Currently, the test is made in six US cities and, after feedback is received, they are planning to spread it worldwide.
This new algorithm plans in connecting people with important and relevant news for their community and to prioritize quality news.
What do you think about this update regarding displaying more local news on your Facebook timeline? Let us know in comments!