In this opinion piece, Facebook news partnerships lead for ANZ Andrew Hunter introduces the social media platform’s latest initiative, ‘Today In’.
People tell us they come to Facebook to connect with friends.
They also say they want to see more local news and community information on Facebook.
We have an entire team dedicated to building products that help people find timely and relevant information.
Across the groups that build news products, and the team that works with news organizations, we’ve made the decision to focus our efforts on connecting people to news and information from the communities that matter to them.
As part of this, we are expanding our test of Today In — a new place on Facebook for local news and community information — to 10 cities in Australia, our first market outside the US, including Ballarat, Bendigo, Canberra, Geelong, Gold Coast, Hobart, Newcastle, Toowoomba, Townsville and Wollongong.
We started testing Today In earlier this year in the US, aggregating recent news from local publishers, upcoming events in your area, updates from community pages, interest groups and group discussions, school announcements, and weather. Since launching, we have seen a positive response from people.
If you live in one of the cities listed above, you can find this new section in the Facebook app by tapping the menu (☰) and then tapping on “Today In.”
You can also opt in to receive regular updates from Today In, including collections of local news in your News Feed.
If you want to receive these updates, visit the Today In section to opt in or tap the “Turn on” button if you see a notice about local updates in your News Feed.
These local updates highlight the most popular information from Today In, in addition to the local news in News Feed and on publisher Pages.
As a part of this test, we are committed to working with publishers and local communities, both in Australia and globally, as we continue to learn how local news and information can create more meaningful connections between people and their communities.