Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been a mainstay on the news over the last few months. This is largely due to the giant snowball that started with the history of the fake news, which carried forward until the end of 2017 with the changes in Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm.
The spotlight continues to shine on them with their latest official announcement, which is about featuring quality news for users with a priority on promoting local news.
Priority: Local news on the top of your feed
Mark Zuckerberg made a tour of 23 US states in 2017, which sent rumours that the tech guru was one step away from embarking on a political career. Whether this assumption is true or not, what is certain is that it has served to clean up his image after so many hits and, it seems, to also make a personal trip which will be relevant to the next steps of his company.
Zuckerberg refers to this trip in his last official announcement, in which he highlights how “the news helps us to understand the problems that matter in our communities and affect our lives”. After all, that is the goal of a social network, especially Facebook, is the creation of communities.
These are the changes that are already online: those who follow local media will have more chances to find their posts on Facebook. Those who do not follow them will also be exposed to their publications when their friends interact with them. Simple.
The target of Zuckerberg’s team is to find credible, informative and, most recently, local content. This official announcement and trip show the increasing need to promote information that calm the divisive political situation in the US and place a focus on local problems. After all, everything is connected with the division of American society after the last elections and the polarization of specific sectors.
Another change in the news feed. Why is it relevant?
Most of the industry experts in Social Media Networks and Communication Media field have considered this change as a reaction to a social and political situation, but there are others who posit another reason why.
For instance, the online publication Axios, suggests that this change was in response to the new Google Bulletin app, which is still in its testing phase, aimed at offering hyperlocal news. Facebook’s move to prioritise local news may be a strategic move to tackle what could be a potential threat from her competitors.
With the war between various platforms intensifying, the next challenge for Facebook is to keep all their stakeholders satisfied, which means balancing the interests of users, local media, big news corporations and commercial brands.