One of the project's most important mandates is combating fake news, and the promotion of legitimate local news sources appears to be part of this battle (Facebook is vetting local news publishers who will end up in the section).
There are no plans yet for an worldwide test, despite the new product launching as Facebook, along with other technology platforms such as Google, faces increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies across the world.
The new section of this fascinating app is called "Today In", a feed that would wholly feature local news, events, and announcements. Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y. will now have access to a new section, called "Today In [city name]".
Content creation in this section is attributed to machine learning software used by Facebook.
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The project is part of Facebook's Journalism Project initiative, which it launched past year following the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook plans to alert those living in the six cities about the new feature. This should help assuage some of the "fake news" concerns that have plagued Facebook over the past year or more.
Whether the "Today In" feature will help boost local media remains to be seen. The users will get to go through local news on their go.
While this is far from Facebook's first foray into trying to make the Facebook experience more locally focused, the tiny batch of city-specific rollouts and at least sort of hands-on curation efforts suggest that Facebook is trying to move cautiously. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.