Amid the chaos of Facebook’s latest News Feed update and the cries that it spells the end for marketing on the platform, another less publicised change also took place which sounds like it could be very beneficial to local businesses that publish news.

On January 30, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg published this announcement on his profile:

The key part of his post being: “Starting today, we’re going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city. If you follow a local publisher or if someone shares a local story, it may show up higher in News Feed.”

Zuckerberg’s announcement was also accompanied by a post on the Facebook Newsroom [here].

Facebook says that local publishers are identified as companies whose links get clicked on by people in a tight geographic area. Going forward, there’s a good chance their posts will appear higher in the news feeds of people who are located close to them.

Initially, the update will be rolled out in the US, with more countries to follow later in the year. While some publishers might not benefit immediately, Facebook says it will work to “improve precision and coverage over time”, with the ultimate goal being to “reduce false news, misinformation, clickbait, sensationalism and inauthentic accounts still applies”.

The bottom line is that if you’re a local business, publishing news stories that relate to your local community could see you achieve greater organic reach in the future. There’s never been a more important time than now to get your content game up to scratch.