Facebook testing features to put local news in front of more users


Facebook is currently testing products that can help its users find more local news on its platform.

According to Poynter, one product serves more local news to users in community-linked Facebook groups, another lets commenters be recognized as local if they make their city of residence public and a third helps people find local groups.

“We're looking to establish baseline metrics for the availability and discoverability of news and identify the levers that move users to consume, share, comment and form community around local news,” a Facebook spokesperson told the publication.

The spokesperson added that local news publishers have told Facebook that they want new ways to connect local content to people in their communities.

RELATED: Twitter announces live video API aimed at media companies, broadcasters

Facebook’s push to better connect local news comes as broadcasters have increasingly begun using platforms like Facebook Live and Periscope to reach audiences that may be tuned into traditional broadcast channels in their communities.

Earlier this year, Twitter rolled out new APIs geared toward publishers and broadcasters. The company said the APIs will allow for things like starting broadcasts directly from external hardware, software, cameras and web services without needing to connect them through the app. The API also will let third-party applications authenticate Periscope accounts, configure streams, start and stop broadcasts and publish broadcasts to Twitter.

Of course, for Facebook, a deepening relationship with local news—including broadcast television stations—comes as the social media company is also pursuing a more TV-like content approach, which could help Facebook collect television advertising revenue and in the process possibly take away ad dollars from broadcasters like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and their affiliates.