Facebook rolls out local news section for users in the UK

Facebook is launching its News product for local news in the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)
Facebook is launching its News product for local news in the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

Facebook has announced that it is launching its 'Facebook News' product for local news publishers in the UK from today (13 April).

The social media giant said it has partnerships in place with hundreds of national and local news outlets across the country to appear in Facebook News, including JPI Media titles.

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How does it work?

Previously, users were served local news from publishers they were connected with on Facebook.

With the new local section, they can choose to receive news from publishers in towns and cities they live in or are interested in by using the ‘add location’ functionality.

People will also be served local news based on the location they’ve set on their Facebook profile.

What is Facebook News?

Facebook News is billed as a dedicated home for news within the Facebook app.

You can find it in the app by tapping the 'hamburger' menu icon (the three horizontal lines) at the top right of the home screen, and from here an option for 'News' will be visible.

The new feature, which first launched in the US last year, will also make it easier for people to find a greater mix of local and national reporting they are interested in.

Sarah Brown, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships for Northern Europe said: “Connecting people to local news has never been so important and many people have come to rely on local outlets for the latest information throughout the pandemic.

"With this new feature on Facebook News we want to drive traffic to local sites, helping publishers reach new audiences. For people on Facebook, they can now see the local news they care about alongside the biggest national stories of the day.”

Facebook also recently announced their plans to extend the Community News Project for another year.

The £2.25 million annual training fund in partnership with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) is training reporters in 80 local newsrooms across the UK, building on the initial £4.5 million investment.