Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in the latest round of changes coming to the social network, said that users will start seeing more local news stories on their News Feeds.
The changes will continue Facebook's overhaul of the content that is displayed to users. The News Feed will prioritize posts from family and friends over news stories, but when news articles do appear, they will be from trusted sources.
Facebook News Feed To Prioritize Local News Outlets
In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said that users will begin to see more stories from local newspapers and television networks in their News Feed.
"Starting today, we're going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city," Zuckerberg wrote. "Local news helps build community — both on and offline. It's an important part of making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is valuable," the Facebook CEO added.
With the change, people who follow local news publications or networks will see more articles from those publications and networks. Users who do not follow local news sources will also see more of such content on their News Feed if people within their network are sharing a certain article.
Facebook, however, admitted that the feature will be a work in progress, as the social network will need to fix the kinks of the new system. The changes are now being rolled out in the United States.
The Reason For The Latest Facebook News Feed Change
According to Zuckerberg, the move is partly inspired by what he learned from his self-guided U.S. tour last year.
"Many people told me they thought that if we could turn down the temperature on the more divisive issues and instead focus on concrete local issues, then we'd all make more progress together," he wrote.
National media outlets may not like the shift, which will provide more exposure to local publishers and blogs. However, the move will place distance between users and national stories that are often seen as more politicized and divisive, leading to unrest on the social network and in real life.
Facebook's Evolution Continues
Zuckerberg's resolution for 2018 is to fix Facebook. Looking at the social network's evolution so far this year, the CEO is off to a good start in keeping his promise.
Facebook was reportedly testing a new "Today In" section that will make it easier to see content within their cities. This feature appears to be connected to the latest News Feed change. Facebook will also be changing its News Feed algorithm to feature less public content and more posts from friends and family and asked users the news organizations that they trust to judge which publishers should be prioritized.