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Facebook to ‘prioritise’ local news in forthcoming update

Facebook-icon-1Stories broken by local news outlets are set to be prioritised in an update to the way Facebook deals with news, it has been reported.

It is understood the social media website is set to launch a ‘News’ tab later this year, which will see it pay participating news publishers to display their headlines and article previews.

According to an internal Facebook memo seen by technology news site The Information, human editors will be responsible for curating a ‘Top News’ tab and will “seek to promote the media outlet that first reported a particular story, and additionally prioritise stories broken by local news outlets.”

The plans have been welcomed by Ed Walker, editor (digital) for Reach Regionals.

Posting a link to a version of the story run by Nieman Lab on Twitter, Ed said the development “sounds encouraging.”

He added: “Especially the bit about featuring local media outlets who put the hard yards in to break stories first in their locality. I am obviously a big fan of that.”

Facebook is yet to confirm the publishers it will be working with, although BBC stories are listed as being seen by one person who had seen a version of the tab being tested by Facebook employees.

HTFP has approached Facebook for a comment.