Facebook’s Digging for News
by Delaney Carroll, Wilson Creative Group
It was just another day of scrolling through Facebook when I noticed a local news headline integrated into my feed. I’d always seen national and world news headlines, but local to Naples, Florida? That was a new one. So, the social media coordinator side of me decided to do some digging on what’s happening in the Facebook news world.
One of the biggest complaints Facebook is dealing with is the lack of local news. It’s easy to see what’s going on in New York, Miami, and Chicago, but what happens when you don’t live near one of those cities? This is what Facebook’s feature ‘Today In’ attempts to solve. Six cities were initially tested and now, over 400 cities have been added; including Naples, Cape Coral, and Ft. Myers.
Initially people were excited, but since its launch, the feature seems to lack the local news people actually want to read. Instead, ‘Today In’ primarily features crime alerts and court decisions. So there is still a lack of interesting and poignant local news being displayed, primarily because many local markets seem to lack it in general. For Facebook, every step toward providing local, newsworthy journalism is met with more challenges.
Trusted Journalism News Tab
In case you have been living under a rock or without access to news for the past, let’s say, 4 years, then you should know be aware there has been some (to put it lightly) controversy involving Facebook and news reporting. So how does Mr. Zuckerberg plan to fix the problem? A new ‘High Quality, Trusted’ journalism news tab may be in the works. Simple enough. Until you have to figure out what is considered trusted news and what is ‘fake news’, which leads to the question of who should decide this, which leads down a deep dark rabbit hole of who’s and what’s.
News has become an integral part of Facebook (who could have predicted this circa 2004?). But either way the issue of how to display accurate and meaningful news, in a world where news is changing by the second, is an ongoing concern Facebook is trying to combat.
Why Am I Seeing this News
Something which appears to have been largely missed by many is Facebook’s announcement of a “Why am I seeing this post?” button. Do you feel like you’ve already seen this? Well, you kind of have. This feature has been available on advertisements since 2014, but will now be added to every post and should be available to everyone around the mid-May. This will help explain in more detail why certain posts are ranking higher on your feed, well, now.
I’m always curious to see what Facebook will do next, but I don’t know how quickly they will find an appropriate solution for providing quality news. There may be light at the end of the tunnel or maybe it’s a never-ending rabbit hole. Either way I’m glad my name isn’t Mark Zuckerberg and my biggest Facebook related struggle is my grandpa sharing all of my posts.