Facebook announced that it is testing a new section of its app which will be dedicated to events and news stories from local publishers and organizations. The initial test markets are New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas.
News appearing on each cities' "Today In" feed will reportedly be vetted by Facebook's news partnership team.
The users in the batches in which the test is going on can access the icon on the bottom of the menu in their mobile app.
The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project announced in January previous year to curb the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships. There was a charge being circulated against Facebook that during the election season, a so-called fake news doing rounds on the social network was partially responsible for Donald Trump's unexpected victory, and so the tech giant was partly to blame for it.
A company spokesperson was adamant in an email to Quartz that the section will be an addition to local news shared in the News Feed, likely because of publisher fears that they will be booted out of the feed.
There's no word yet on when the feature will roll out to all USA cities. This section is being tested in five cities of America however the company plans to launch it globally once its gets approved in its test phase.
In an effort to up its signal to noise ratio, Facebook may go local.
It will include community updates, group discussions and local events, along with a local news component.