ST. LOUIS, Mo. – You may want to switch up the ways you get local news online. For years, many people used Facebook to access a mix of news and updates from friends. Now, the big blue app is changing its core product. This change is happening right now. The “newsfeed” is turning to artificial intelligence to pick the content you see. This means you’ll likely see fewer local news stories.
Many news outlets are already reporting a drop in the amount of traffic from social media. A Pew Research Center poll says that 53% of Americans get their news from social media. So, you’ll want to change your habits if you want to keep getting local headlines.
How to get your local news online from FOX 2 and KPLR 11
There are a lot of ways to stay in touch with local news as social media changes. You can watch live-streaming video of newscasts, download our apps for alerts, sign up for newsletters, or just bookmark our website, FOX2Now.com. The cost to you is nothing.
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Want more sources of local news? Check out these websites.
Artificial intelligence and social media
Why is Facebook doing this? Younger people are increasingly turning to apps like TikTok for news and entertainment. Without new users, the companies are in danger of shrinking. That is not a good sign for investors and advertisers.
A lot of the social interactions people have online are now private messages, not feeds. Plus, your friends and family have stopped posting to Facebook as often. Their recommendations can’t compete with the variety of interesting content on the internet. So, the social media giant has a plan to keep you coming back to the app.
It turns out that AI is superb at picking content that you’ll spend time reading and interacting with. It’s probably better than your friends and more engaging than the local news. Is the content that the AI picks for you any good? Try it out for yourself and let us know.
“Customize” your Facebook feed
Facebook says that you can now customize your feed. You can tell the AI what you like to see, and you’ll see more or less of those posts.
“By offering more ways to incorporate direct feedback into Feed ranking, we’re making our artificial intelligence systems smarter and more responsive,” states Meta. “Features like these can help you discover more of the content that’s valuable to you, so you can see more of what you want and less of what you don’t. As with every product change we make, we’ll use direct feedback to continually refine our approach.”
So, you will still get updates from your friends, but it will be mixed in with posts from pages you don’t follow. There is now a button called “feeds” on the app where you can see posts from groups, friends, pages and others. But, that isn’t the default view, and you may miss it.
Where do we go from here?
Many people started using Facebook when connecting with friends and family was not exactly easy. MySpace was the place to share personal updates, and Facebook eclipsed it in popularity in 2009. That is the same year the “like” button was introduced, and the world hasn’t been the same since.
There are now 2.85 billion people on Facebook, and the company is trying to keep those people active. Will the “new” Facebook click with older or younger users? Who knows. It may be time to move on. Try texting your friends and checking your local TV station’s app once a day.