Facebook Is Testing a Separate Destination for Local News in Its Mobile Apps

‘Today In’ is available in six cities

Today In provides local news, community updates, recent news, group discussions and local events
Facebook

Facebook began testing a feature aimed at providing a destination for local news, in addition to content that can already be found on News Feed and on publishers’ pages.

Mobile users in six cities—Billings, Mont.; Binghamton, N.Y.; Little Rock, Ark.; New Orleans; Olympia, Wash.; and Peoria, Ill.—may start seeing alerts guiding them to the feature, which is called “Today In,” or they can access the feature via their More menus.

Today In—the latest initiative from the Facebook Journalism Project—provides local news and other information including community updates, recent news, group discussions and local events, and content included in the section comes from local publishers that are selected via algorithm and by the social network’s news partnership team.

That team is led by former NBC News and CNN anchor Campbell Brown, who joined the company last January.

It is not a curated section, but the goal is to make sure local publishers that should be included make the cut.

Facebook said it will explore rolling out Today In to additional cities.

The social network would not comment on potential advertising opportunities within the section or for local publishers that are involved, except to say that publishers already using its Instant Articles quick-loading rich-media format will have the same monetization opportunities as they do for Instant Articles published via their pages.

Facebook launched the Facebook Journalism Project exactly one year ago Thursday with the goal of strengthening its relationships with media and news organizations and journalists, and local news initiatives it has spearheaded include:

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