HomeNewsOnce again, Facebook promises to make news feed more relevant. Our...

Once again, Facebook promises to make news feed more relevant. Our view: Don’t expect much

The update will be first released in the US, and the later goal is to expand to more countries later

The social networking and almost ‘monopoly’ giant in parts of the world other than China, Facebook has announced that it will focus on promoting local news on users News Feed. It claims that this means , from now onwards people will be able to see topics that have a direct impact on them, their community and will discover what’s happening around them. For ordinary people, that might have meant they will actually see posts and more from the people they call ‘friends’ or from pages they have ‘liked’, but of course, this is Facebook. So you will need to trust them with a completely new interpretation of what matters to you. As all things with Facebook, users are advised to take this new claim with a pinch of salt, as it might just mean that now fake news will go local and you will see local events, as long as Facebook is able to monetise them.

The social media monopolist’s claims have previously turned out to be dissapointing at best for both consumers and content creators, with repeated about turns on policy and criteria, even as Facebook looks to take the fight with digital dominance to the next level by using its other social properties, Whatsapp and Instagram more tactically.

The update will be first released in the US, and the later goal is to expand to more countries by the end of the year, said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO. The giant will make a series of new updates to its website. From now on, if you follow a local publisher or a friend shared a local news, it will be ranked at the top, compared to other stories. For both users and publishers, that should be a win win, except that all such previous primises have actually led to more frustration.

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Zuckerberg believes that local news will help users understand the issues that affect their lives. He added, “People who know what’s happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference.” Again, this is corporate speak for Facebook looking to push stuff where the key metric for the paying advertiser is likely to be be engagement in the form of like, share, or even form submissions. Possibly driven by advertiser fatigue with figures on ‘reach’.

Other than this,Facebook India has started prompting users to provide their Aadhaar details to create a new account on its platform. The social media giant has begun asking the details from limited users as a part of a small test in the country. With the excuse that doing so will help the social media monopolist match you better with your friends, as it will have your real name to work with. Of course, we are ‘assuming’ that local establishments would also like the more authentic version of you before they really spend on the platform.

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