Facebook is piloting a new feature which will reveal the location of popular pages when they publish posts.
With this change, users will be able to see the country where page managers are posting content from.
This will make it easier to tell if they’re actually located where they say they are.
Facebook says it’s testing this update as part of an effort to make high-reach pages more transparent.
“We want to make sure people use our services authentically and can understand who is behind the posts they’re seeing… so we’re 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 displayed in the same spot as a regular location tag.
However, rather than showing the exact city/state where a page manager is located it will only show the country.
So there is still some level of privacy for page managers, while still accomplishing the goal of making pages more transparent.
Coming to Large Pages in the US Only
It’s worth reiterating this change is only rolling out to pages that “reach large audiences primarily based in the US.”
It will not apply to all pages in the US, though Facebook didn’t indicate what qualifies as a page with a “large audience” or “high reach.”
This change can also apply to pages managed in other countries, as long as their primary audience is in the United States.
The update is mandatory, as page managers cannot opt out of having their location revealed when they publish a post.
At first, this update will apply to posts on Instagram and Facebook.
The company is exploring ways to bring this level of transparency to other places – such as Facebook pages and Instagram profiles.
Another place where this information could be particularly helpful is in Facebook Messenger and Instagram direct messages.
When messaging with a page directly, it could be useful for users to know where the person they’re corresponding with is located.
Although that’s just an idea I came up with. To be clear, there are currently no plans to bring this update to Facebook Messenger or Instagram Direct.
Potential Use Cases
In an announcement, Facebook says this change is being made to increase transparency around elections.
“These changes are part of our broader efforts to protect elections and increase transparency on Facebook and Instagram so people can make more informed decisions about the posts they read, trust and share.”
However, this update does not appear to be exclusive to pages with political affiliations.
There are use cases for this feature if and when it rolls out to other types of pages.
For example, it will soon be easy to tell which pages are outsourcing their social media management to people in other countries.
Users can quickly determine if content published by a local organization is really being published locally, or if it’s being published from another country entirely.
That’s useful information for users to have when they’re, as Facebook puts it, making informed decisions about the posts they trust.
The reason why I believe this update will come to all types of pages is because there’s evidence of Facebook making similar changes in the past.
In 2018, Instagram rolled out an ‘About This Account’ section where users can see the country where an account is based out of.
Also in 2018, Facebook pages began displaying the primary country location of the people who manage the pages.
The company is now going a step further by showing the location of page managers on individual posts.
Source: Facebook Newsroom