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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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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.

Also Read- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan Talks About The Unity of a Nation

“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)

Next Story

Facebook, T-Hub Pick 10 Indian Start-ups for Support Programme

The other start-ups that were shortlisted include Greenturn Idea Factory, Sensegrass, Marut Drones, Shortlist Professionals and Innerhouse

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Social media giant Facebook and T-Hub, a Hyderabad-based global start-up catalyst, on Wednesday announced the 10 start-ups they have selected for the second edition of their “India Innovation Accelerator” programme.

Announced in May, the programme will support the growth of start-ups focused on finding solutions for social challenges using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas of good health and wellbeing, agriculture, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic opportunities, industry, innovation & infrastructure, climate change and peace and justice and strong institutions.

“At Facebook, we believe Artificial Intelligence will be key to finding disruptive solutions to address societal challenges like access, affordability, and skill shortage. We are excited to champion next generation of tech start-ups applying AI for social good and accelerate their development by giving them access to expertise,” Manish Chopra, Head and Director of Partnerships, Facebook India, said in a statement.

The 10 cohort start-ups include Mumbai-based ftcash which aims to empower micro-merchants and small businesses with the power of credit using digital payments.

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

While another start-up, StaTwig, is building Blockchain based solutions to ensure that every child is vaccinated with high quality vaccines, Signzy has built a digital trust infrastructure which enables completely secure digital on-boarding using the AI assisted on-boarding (RealKYC), Algorithmic Risk Intelligence (ARI), and Blockchain technology to store and verify consumer information.

Blue Sky Analytics, a geospatial data intelligence start-up, and Pensieve that aims to democratise legal data and make it accessible to the common man were also selected.

Also Read: Google Closes its Controversial Chinese Search Engine Project

The other start-ups that were shortlisted include Greenturn Idea Factory, Sensegrass, Marut Drones, Shortlist Professionals and Innerhour.

The India Innovation Accelerator will support the growth of these start-ups in many ways. A panel of mentors, industry experts, investors, will provide hands on operational support and mentoring with specialised training on product development, marketing, partnerships, management. (IANS)