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Mike Fletcher 

Facebook adds local news section to UK app

Facebook adds local news section to UK app

Facebook has added a local news section to its dedicated UK home for publisher content within the Facebook app.

The local news addition to Facebook News means that users can choose to receive updates from publishers in towns and cities they live in or are interested in, by using the ‘add location’ functionality.

First launched in the US last year, the new feature allows regional publishers, who are being paid by Facebook for their content, to drive additional audiences to their sites. People are served local news based on the location they’ve set on their Facebook profile.

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 launched Facebook News in the UK in January 2021, featuring partner content from hundreds of national, local and lifestyle outlets. At the time, Facebook said that it would provide publishers with more advertising and subscription opportunities to build sustainable businesses for the future.

Facebook News UK partners include Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group. Local news sites include Archant, ESI Media, Iliffe, JPI Media, Midland News Association, Reach and STV.

At the start of the year, Facebook also announced that it's extending 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) has trained reporters in 80 local newsrooms across the UK, building on an initial £4.5 million investment.

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