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For us in local news, Facebook is like a roller coaster ride

You may have missed our Facebook posts over the weekend.

Our social media posting service had a hiccup.

Some of our content was posted to Facebook multiple times. By Sunday, nearly all of the content that we had posted on our Facebook page over the course of the last year had disappeared.

Thankfully, by Monday night the content had returned. So did our ability to automatically post content to Facebook (thanks, Facebook, for fixing whatever it is that was broken).

Those who follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our emails, or visit the homepage did not see a disruption.

I’ve been paying close attention to Facebook since last fall when I was invited to mingle with other journalists from the Washington, D.C. area at the Facebook Journalism Project. It was day-long meeting in Washington to discuss how the social network is responding to its critics when it comes to accusations of “fake news,” and it was an opportunity to show journalists how to use new tools on Facebook to use to reach new audiences and to produce better journalism.

I’ve grown Potomac Local with the help of Facebook. I’ve used the social networking service to share on content since we launched in 2010, I’ve purchased ads on the service to increase the number of local Facebook users who need to be aware of Potomac Local, and I’ve boosted our advertising clients’ posts on the social network.

In recent weeks, it has been disheartening to learn that Facebook will limit the news posts users will see when they log into Facebook. After hearing that news, I urged our readers to sign up for our emails so they never miss a post.

If you want to make sure you keep seeing us on Facebook, there’s also a way to do that, too.

The changes for Facebook have many wondering if the social network is trying to figure out a path forward. Others question whether or not the move to limit the amount of news content you see is so the company can expand into markets without a free press, like China.

Monday brought even more Facebook news, as the social network announced that it now wants to show more local news to its users. That’s good news for people like me, other local independent journalists, and of course Potomac Local fans.

It was the best news from Facebook I had heard in weeks.

But then I had to remind myself that only a week ago Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said users should expect less news, and more feel-good content, as well as content posted by friends and family.

Keeping up with all of this has been a rollercoaster ride. But, it’s part of the changing business local digital media and local news.

Uriah Kiser is the founder and publisher of Potomac Local.

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