Taking on Nextdoor and other local news services, Google is testing Bulletin -- an app with which anyone can publish and view local news stories.
“With Bulletin you can contribute to local stories and be the voice of your community,” according to a statement from the search giant.
Bulletin is free, and what Google considers to be a “lightweight” app, in that it doesn’t require much from users or their phones.
Like most social networks, Bulletin invites users to publish photos, video clips and text from their phones.
Currently in a limited pilot, Bulletin is now being rolled out to consumers in Nashville, Tennessee and Oakland, California.
Google isn't the only tech giant presently exploring opportunities in hyperlocal news.
Facebook just began testing a “Today in” feature on its flagship app. The feature is still restricted to users users in six U.S. markets, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; Billings, Montana; Peoria, Illinois; Olympia, Washington; and Binghamton, New York.
As a complement to its existing offerings, Facebook is positioning “Today in” as a place for users to discover and engage with local news and information.
Offerings include local community updates, recent local news, group discussions and local event listings.
Increasingly, local news is a focus for Facebook’s Journalism Project, which is now one year old.
As part of the “Today in” testing, the social giant says it is seeking input from regional newsrooms and local journalists, which it says will shape the service going forward.
Last year, Facebook included local news publishers in the majority of its collaborative product tests, including subscriptions, call-to-action units -- which are currently driving more than 25,000 email signups daily across all types of publishers -- and a breaking news tag.
It's no mystery why companies are currently investing in hyperlocal news.
Among all mobile ad spending, the location-targeted portion is projected to grow from $12.4 billion in 2016 to $32.4 billion in 2021, according to a recent forecast from BIA/Kelsey.
That growth translates to 38% of overall mobile ad revenues, today -- growing to 45% by 2020.