Little Rock test city for Facebook local-news app | Arkansas Blog

Friday, January 12, 2018

Little Rock test city for Facebook local-news app

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 8:12 AM

Recode reports that Facebook is testing a new local-news section from vetted sources called "Today In," testing it in six cities, including Little Rock:

Facebook is using machine-learning software to surface content in this new section. Local news publishers who appear there will all be approved and vetted by the company’s News Partnerships team, which is overseen by former NBC news anchor Campbell Brown, according to a company spokesperson. 

The section will include events and announcements in addition to news reports, and source from local publishers and local authorities, all of it vetted as reputable by Facebook. This is part of the company's "Journalism Project Initiative," which was launched after factually ludicrous propaganda, purporting to be reported news from trusted sources, spread widely via the site during the U.S. presidential election.

I'll register a skeptical voice here: We have allowed a scattering of technology corporations to accumulate size, power and influence that is arguably unprecedented in the history of the nation, with the potential for more reach and scope across the economy and into our daily lives than even the giant monoliths of the Industrial Revolution. Facebook has near-monopoly dominance and is accountable to no one but its own bottom line. To the extent that information is increasingly delivered through Facebook's filters, I don't have much faith in the company as vetter and curator in chief.

Recode asks about the impact on local publishers:

The question is whether or not the section will benefit local publishers. It’s possible that being part of a separate, local section of the app will help drive more traffic back to publishers’ stories and websites where they can make money through advertising, but there is no way for publishers to make money off the new local section at launch.

Even generating that extra traffic will depend on whether or not Facebook users frequent the new section. Facebook plans to alert people in the six test cities that the new feature exists, but after that, “Today In” will appear in the menu (☰) where Facebook has dozens of other lesser-used sections of the app that you might easily forget about.

In addition to Little Rock, the test is also running in New Orleans, La.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y. Eventually the company plans to roll it out in more cities.

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Civil War over in Fort Smith; lawyer strikes his Rebel mascot battle tent

    KSFM reports that Joey McCutchen, the lawyer who's been trying to restart the Civil War in Fort Smith over the School Board's decision to drop the Rebel mascot and related trappingsfor Southside High School, is dropping his School Board takeover campaign.
    • May 27, 2016
  • Little Rock school activists announce events for 60th anniversary of Central High crisis

    The group is not affiliated with the official "Reflections of Progress" commemoration of the 60th anniversary. However, at least two of the Little Rock Nine may be joining the group for an event at 2:30 p.m. at the state Capitol in the Old Supreme Court Chamber.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation