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Facebook Expands Tool to Connect Users to Local News

"The local alert label appears in News Feed and Today In, and we are also testing notifications, which participating Pages can target to people who live in the affected areas," Strong added

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Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

Facebook has started expanding its “Today In” section for local news and community information to make it easier for people to find news and information from their local towns and cities.

“It is now available in over 400 cities in the US, and we have launched our first international test in Australia,” Anthea Watson Strong, Product Manager for Local News and Community Information at Facebook said in a statement on Wednesday.

Facebook said it wants to expand the “Today In” section more broadly soon.

“In addition, we have started testing Today In in communities located in news deserts, places that have low supply of local news and community information, by supplementing with relevant content from surrounding areas,” Strong said.

Today In aggregates local news and community information in a separate section within the Facebook app.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

People who live in a city where Today In is currently available can visit this section directly, and they can choose to turn on local updates to start seeing a collection of local news more regularly in their News Feed.

Facebook started testing Today In earlier this year after doing a research in which it found that over 50 per cent of people said they wanted to see more local news and community information on Facebook — more than any other type of content they were asked about.

The research showed that people wanted both what might be traditionally understood as local news — breaking news or information about past events like city council meetings, crime reports and weather updates — as well as community information that could help them make plans, like bus schedules, road closures and restaurant openings.

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“In addition to expanding the availability of Today In, we’re running a test with over 100 local government and first responder Pages to help them communicate time-sensitive and need-to-know information to people on Facebook,” Strong said.

“The local alert label appears in News Feed and Today In, and we are also testing notifications, which participating Pages can target to people who live in the affected areas,” Strong added. (IANS)

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Venue: Facebook Launches New App for Interactive Live Events

The app aims to make live events more social

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Facebook Venue
Facebook has launched a new app called 'Venue' to make live events more interactive. Pixabay

Facebook is rolling out a new app for iOS and Android called ‘Venue’ which aims to provide an interactive second-screen experience for live events.

The digital companion app has been developed by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team and it is the third app the team has launched this week. The last two were focused on collaborative music video creations and voice-only group calling.

Facebook will first test Venue with NASCAR’s Food City presenting the Supermarket Heroes 500 race on May 31.

Future NASCAR races will also be hosted in Venue, with commentators including nascarcasm, FOX Sports NASCAR reporter Alan Cavanna and NASCAR driver Landon Cassill.

Venue
Venue happens to be the third app Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team has launched this week. Pixabay

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“As NASCAR makes its return to action over the coming weeks, Venue will provide users with a unique and exciting way to connect with fellow race fans from around the globe — all from the safety and comfort of their own homes,” Tim Clark, NASCAR SVP and chief digital officer, said in a statement.

The service has been widely compared to Twitter’s live event streaming capabilities, offering fans a place to interactively gather and respond to events in real time. (IANS)

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Facebook to Now Verify People Whose Posts Go Viral Rapidly

Facebook will provide ID verification to profiles with large audiences

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Facebook
Facebook will now verify user whose posts go viral rapidly. Pixabay

Facebook said on Thursday that it will now verify the identity of people who have a pattern of inauthentic behaviour on its platform and whose posts start to go viral rapidly.

In 2018, Facebook had first started to verify the identity of people managing Pages with large audiences.

“Now we’re extending ID verification to some profiles with large audiences in the US,” the social networking giant said in a statement.

If someone chooses not to verify their identity or the ID provided does not match the linked Facebook account, the distribution of their viral posts will remain reduced so that fewer people see them.

“In addition, if the person posting is a Page admin, they’ll need to complete Page Publishing Authorisation and will not be able to post from their Page until their account is verified through our existing Page Publisher Authorisation process,” said Facebook.

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The company said that IDs will be stored securely. Pixabay

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The company said that IDs will be stored securely and won’t be shared on the person’s profile.

“We want people to feel confident that they understand who’s behind the content they’re seeing on Facebook,” the company added. (IANS)

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Facebook Takes on TikTok; Launches Experimental App Collab

Facebook takes on TikTok again, this time with music making app Collab

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Facebook
FAcebook launched a music making app named "Collab". VOA

Taking on Chinese short-video making platform TikTok, Facebooks experimental app division has introduced a new iOS app called Collab for making and mixing music with friends.

Facebook’s app-focused New Product Experimentation (NPE) team announced the invite-only beta version of Collab that brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music.

“Collabs are three independent videos that are playing in sync. With the app, you can create your own arrangement by adding in your own recording or by swiping and discovering an arrangement to complete your composition. No musical experience is required,” the Facebook NPE team said in a statement on Wednesday.

In a TikTok-like feature, Once a collab is created, you can publish it for others to watch and mix and match further.

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In a TikTok-like feature, Once a collab is created, you can publish it for others to watch and mix. Pixabay

You can also share the music creation to Instagram, Facebook Stories, or any other platform.

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To request access, the iOS users can sign up for waitlist at https://npe.fb.com/collab.

“We’ll be opening up invites in batches, starting with folks in the US and Canada, as we continue to improve the experience,” said Facebook.

The social networking giant has aimed to take on TikTok in the past, with Reels editing feature on Instagram and the standalone app Lasso. (IANS)