Facebook is expanding a new local section on Facebook called "Today In" and starting a test for local alerts from relevant government pages.
Today In connects people to local news and information about their community. It is now available in over 400 cities in the US, and Facebook is also testing it in Australia. In addition, the copany has started testing Today In in communities located in news deserts, places that have low supply of local news and community information, by supplementing with relevant content from surrounding areas.
Today In aggregates local news and community information in a separate section within the Facebook app. People who live in a city where Today In is currently available can visit this section directly, and they can choose to turn on local updates to start seeing a collection of local news more regularly in their News Feed.
In addition to expanding the availability of Today In, Facebook is running a test with over 100 local government and first responder Pages to help them communicate time-sensitive and need-to-know information to people on Facebook.
The local alert label appears in News Feed and Today In, and Facebook is also testing notifications, which participating Pages can target to people who live in the affected areas.
Local government Pages participating in the test can mark their posts as local alerts at their discretion. Pages can post up to 35 local alerts over a rolling 30-day period, and can mark a post as a local alert for up to six hours.
Facebook's interactive map can show you where Today In is currently available.
If you live in one of the cities where Today In is available, you can find this section in the Facebook app.