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Facebook Prioritizing Local News

Previously, Facebook stated that we would see less news on our feed and it will prioritise updates from our friends and family. This was good news for casual users, but bad news for small business owners who use Facebook for marketing. But recently, the social media giant told us that it will bring more emphasis on local news. It means that, other than getting new information from our inner social circle, we will also get topics that directly impact our local community. Small news outlets could benefit from this, especially if they are focused on local events. Facebook further reiterated that it will continue seeking to reduce misinformation, false news, sensationalism and clickbait.

Improving Local Communities

We can see this as a commitment from Facebook to contribute to the improvement of local communities. If implemented properly, this change could provide more value to its users, because they get things that are relevant to them. The move to provide something relevant to the audience and to emphasize local news publishers is certainly noble, but there could be significant downsides and risks, given the importance and sheer scale of Facebook in the digital realm. In some countries, civic engagement to local politics is at a record low and by emphasizing on relevant local news, there could be an increase in general participation and voter turnout.

Businesses Could be Negatively Affected

Businesses and global news publishers could be negatively affected by this move to emphasising local news. Some already depend significantly on Facebook to generate sales and readership, and due to these changes, it can be difficult to determine who will be lucky enough to appear more frequently on the Facebook news feed. If it is proven that businesses and global news publishers get significantly reduced chances to appear on the news feed, they may switch to different platforms. Facebook may already cut the organic reach of many publishers to nearly zero. This is the consequence of attempting to give users more relevant and useful content, as well as giving small publishers a better chance to survive.

This could become a major financial loss for Facebook and the small businesses that use the social media platform. For the regular audience, news feeds will become more trustworthy and credible and they will know what’s happening in their local areas and any fake news can be debunked more easily. Users will contribute more, because they are dealing with what’s familiar to them and there is a good chance that Facebook will become a livelier place for regular users.

If you want to grow your business using Facebook more effectively, contact Social Buzzing, the digital marketing agency Chester trusts, and let one of our social media marketing professionals assist you today!

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