Facebook’s Updated Focus on Local News is Now Live in Canada

Following along with Facebook’s updates to the newsfeed has been a bit tough, considering the multitude of changes it has undergone over the past year.

One of the most important updates has now made its way to Canada. The news feed will now show more local news from the places people care about in Canada and around the world. This effort was originally launched in the U.S. in January and has now been expanded to every single market Facebook operates in.

“Local news helps build community—both on and offline,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg back in January when the U.S. update launched. “It’s an important part of making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is valuable.”

The update will now push news from local sources higher on users’ news feeds, whether it covers just their city or other nearby cities they may care about. The update is also designed to help publishers who cover several cities in a small cluster better reach those audiences.

Facebook considers a publisher as local to multiple cities “if the people in those cities are more likely than the people outside of those cities to read articles from the publisher’s domain.”

This update will actually lead to an overall decrease in news on a typical Facebook users’ news feed. It is a deliberate move from the social media giant to put a focus on meaningful social interactions with family and friends over passive consumption. Small news outlets may benefit from the update the most, as they tend to boast concentrated readerships in one or two cities.

“People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook,” wrote Zuckerberg. “Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives. Research suggests that reading local news is directly correlated with civic engagement. People who know what’s happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference.”

This effort, along with the many linked above, are all to better increase transparency when it comes to how Facebook treats news. They have continually tried to bring local news to the forefront, especially in the wake of election tampering allegations.

Many outlets came out and attacked this move when it launched in the U.S., and it’s still a bit too soon to see what kind of effects it has had on national publications.

Check out the infographic below for a bit more detail.