Facebook & Instagram Provide Location Info Of High-Reach Posts
May 20, 2020
Article Overview10min read
Facebook & Instagram Will Provide Location Info Of High-Reach Posts Targeting US Audience
In an attempt to increase transparency, Facebook launched a new feature that provides the location of the ‘high-reach’ FB Pages and Instagram accounts on every post they share.
Facebook, one of the most popular social media platforms has always focused on providing remarkable and distinctive ways for businesses to connect with their customers in new and appealing ways. This new feature has also made Facebook a very valuable platform, as it is aimed at people to have more information to help them determine the reliability and authenticity of the content they see in their feeds. Facebook says it’s testing this update as part of an effort to make high-reach pages more transparent.
The Product Manager at Facebook, Georgina Sheedy-Collier, and Product Manager at Instagram, Anita Joseph wrote on Facebook’s official news page, that they want to ensure people use their services genuinely and understand who is behind the posts they’re viewing. For that, they are taking extra steps to make pages and accounts with large audiences more transparent.
When this update rolls out, the location of a page will be revealed in the same spot as a regular location tag. That is, with this change, users will have the option to see the country where page administrators are posting content from. It will make easier for users to see if they’re actually located where they say they are.
However, rather than showing the exact city/state where a page administrator is located, the feature will only show the country, which actually keeps some degree of privacy for page administrators, while still accomplishing the goal of making pages more transparent.
Update Targets US Audience Only
The company said it is initially launching the feature in the US, that is, pages that “reach large audiences primarily based in the US” but not to all pages in the US. Even though Facebook didn’t specify what qualifies as a page with a “large audience” or “high reach”, this change is only targeting US audiences. It can also apply to pages managed in other countries, as long as their primary audience is in the US. They are also exploring ways to bring this transparency to more places in the future, such as FB Pages and Instagram Profiles of outside US audiences.
New Feature Rolled Out Foreseeing the Upcoming Elections
Facebook cleared the fact that they want to make sure that people who use their services should use it authentically and understand who is behind the posts they’re seeing, especially when it comes to elections. With the approaching presidential elections later this year, it’s apparent that Facebook wants to avoid repeating any mishaps of what went before. After the 2016 elections, the social network came under fire for allegedly becoming a tool for convincing the scales in one person’s favor. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint Senate Committee and acknowledged the issue, saying “It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy.”
However, to cover those mishaps, the company is taking extra steps – foreseeing the elections – to make pages and accounts with large audiences more transparent. The new feature that shows location info under posts can prevent the same situation from happening. Facebook’s official announcement concludes by pointing out that these changes are part of Facebook’s extensive efforts to protect elections and increase transparency on Facebook and Instagram so that people can make more informed decisions.
What Benefits Can This New Feature Provide?
Apart from the benefit to make messaging during election more transparent, this feature is not limited to pages with political affiliations. There are certainly other potential use cases for this feature if and when it rolls out to other types of pages. They are:
- Users can make informed decisions about the posts they trust.
- Users can quickly determine if the content published by a local organization is really being published locally, or if it’s being published from another country entirely.
Moreover, the feature which is live now on Facebook and on Instagram is a mandatory update that a page administrator cannot opt-out of having their location revealed when they publish a post. Facebook also launched ‘About this Account’ on Instagram to provide an additional framework for people to assess the authenticity of an account.