Facebook to expand local news service to 6,000 U.S. cities and towns
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 13 -- U.S. social media giant Facebook said the company is expanding a local news service to more than 6,000 U.S. cities and towns in a bid to help the locals obtain community information more handily. Anthea Watson Strong, the head of Facebook's Journalism Project, said Thursday that the service called Today In has attracted 1.6 million regular users. "Today In features articles from over 1,200 local news publishers every week," Strong said, noting that it was launched in six cities in early 2018 and now is available in more than 400 cities and towns nationwide. Strong said the service aims to reach many "news deserts" or places where the low supply of local news cannot meet people's demand. Facebook have partnered with local newspapers, radio broadcasters, websites and nonprofit organizations on the service. These publishers can have greater engagement with local users who spend more time on community-based contents such as emergencies and transportation, said Jimmy O'Keefe, the marketing manager of Today In.