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Facebook is going local

Facebook is testing a new initiative: getting local news in your news feed, in a new section of the app called “Today In”.

Having launched State-side first, Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of trying to get Facebook to be more relevant has meant that more “personalised” stories would feature. The test has rolled out in six cities at the moment; New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas.

With fake news and click-baiting being prominent in the news with Facebook at the moment, Facebook has had to use a combination of machine learning as well as, more importantly, human curators to help build this section of the app. Facebook has already said they are cracking down on advertisers and news stories by trying to make the content to users more relevant, so this is just another step in their personalisation of content.

What does this mean for advertisers?

Some sources believe this localisation element could limit advertisers in the future, as one of Facebook’s biggest selling points has always been its national and global reach. However, here at All Response Media we know the importance of regional testing, whether it is through digital, TV, inserts or radio (amongst others!) as that gives you the opportunity to concentrate spend in smaller areas before looking to scale. It also informs a whole host of other regional based insight. If anything, hopefully, this move means more transparency on local level performance, as at the moment you cannot get city-level information on Facebook, so this could be the way forward for more regional testing.