March 28, 2018
Earlier this year, Facebook announced a change to the platform’s algorithms, whereby local U.S. news and smaller publications would be given a boost as part of their broader effort to increase community engagement. Now, it has announced that it is expanding the News Feed change globally.
But what does this mean for users? In a nutshell, Facebook looks at domains (what it classes as publishers or news sources) and determines which users are in the same area. If you follow the domain’s Page and live in the same location, chances are, you will be served their stories. As the platform succinctly puts it, Local + News Source = Local Publisher.
The algorithm change was initially rolled out to the U.S.; however, they have decided to expand the roll-out to all users in all regions. As outlined in Monday’s announcement, Facebook aims to “…prioritize locals news” so that users “…see topics that have a direct impact on their community.”
If the change is successful then smaller, local publishers will feel the benefit immediately. This also means that they may potentially increase investment in Facebook which is a win for both; however, given the platform’s penchant for frequent algorithm changes, perhaps one to keep watching.