Facebook News section rolls out with local news for all users in the US

Brittany A. Roston - Jun 9, 2020, 4:26pm CDT
Facebook News section rolls out with local news for all users in the US

Facebook News, the feature first introduced in October 2019, is rolling out to all users in the United States. With Facebook News, users in the US get access to a dedicated news portal featuring articles from a variety of publishers, including local news agencies. The portal is found within its own dedicated tab, though news stories will still appear in the regular Facebook News Feed, as well.

Back in October when the News section was announced, it was only rolled out to a limited number of users in the US who got to try out the new tab. With this dedicated portal, users are given more control over the news they see on the platform, enabling them to tailor the feed to their particular interests and region.

The News section includes buttons that can be tapped to take the user directly to specific categories of content, including articles suggested specifically for the user. The company is using both algorithms and journalists for its story selection, the fine-tuning of which is left to users who are able to hide articles, publishers, and specific topics they aren’t interested in.

Facebook makes determinations about which publishers are included in its News section based on criteria that haven’t been fully detailed, but that includes looking for things like whether the site publishes misinformation or clickbait. This should, ideally, keep low-quality publishers from showing up in the News portal, but only time will tell how well Facebook pulls off this curating.

If you’re a Facebook user in the US, you can now access the News section by tapping the triple-line More menu button. If you use this News portal often, the Facebook app will adjust to present the News section with its own tab in the app. Users now have access to local news within this section and may soon also get access to news videos.


Must Read Bits & Bytes