Early last year, Flipboard launched a Dedicated local tab to highlight news and content from publications in about two dozen markets in the United States and Canada. Today, the company is introducing a new discovery mechanism that will allow users to find local stories from 1,000 cities, towns and regions across North America.
After downloading the latest version of Flipboard, the app will prompt you to share your location with the company so they can provide you with regional content. Flipboard hasn’t asked its users to share their location data in the past, but says it designed the feature with a “privacy-centric” approach in mind. You will not be automatically enrolled and there is a “coarse” precision setting to protect your exact location. Additionally, the company says it won’t store your historical location data on its servers.
After you’ve shared your location and selected the topics and locations you want to follow, you’ll see stories appear on the Next tab. Flipboard will also show them in your For You feed. The stories themselves will cover a whole range of topics, including everything from COVID-19 updates to sports coverage and restaurant recommendations.
“With this effort, we want to make local news and information easier to discover and access by bringing together disparate news sources in one place, organized by location,” said Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard, in a statement. .
For Flipboard, this is a significant expansion of its commitment to local news. In October last year, the company expanded its regional coverage to 60 metropolitan areas across the United States. Of course, it’s one thing to make a feature available in one place and another to support it properly. Just ask Facebook, who has fight to populate his Today in featured with stories from local publications. For its part, Flipboard says its data team has spent “significant” time organizing local news sources based on geography. The company also plans to cast a net by pulling content from national outlets, as well as blogs, broadcasters and Flipboard magazines.