Facebook is giving a good look at the configuration and testing of this engaging new attribute. Those initial cities are New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas.
A machine learning (ML) software will power the "Today In" section, helping a team find local content.
It's understood this will be in addition to local news that already appears in Facebook's News Feed and on publishers' pages.
This is all supposedly part of Facebook's Journalism Project initiative that was launched by the social media following last year's U.S. Presidential election. The company has attempted deploying different solutions to the problem of fake news, with varying levels of success.
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In this section, users see recent news from local outlets, as well as local groups, opportunities to "get closer to your community", and events.
According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook is calling this feature "Today In" and testing it in select markets. Publishers anxious they would have to pay to have their posts end up in the News Feed, where most users would spend their time, and thus where there is more potential for ad-revenue-generating traffic.
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.
The company will expand the "Today In" feature in other cities too.