Fwix launched a revamp to its service yesterday, allowing readers on its website to customize and socialize their news feed. Fwix users can follow local and hyperlocal topics, as well as follow other readers who share their interests. Taking advantage of Facebook's recently released Open Graph API, Fwix now allows likes, comments and sharing of news stories. Noting that Facebook currently doesn't "do location," Fwix founder and CEO Darian Shirazi said that the updates to Fwix allow them to connect local data to the social graph, creating an ecosystem of real-time local and hyperlocal news.The hyperlocal news site
"Linking 'social' and 'news' has been a goal since the beginning," said Shirazi. "Now that we've built a robust and well-trafficked content network, we are making that goal a reality. The next step for local news is making it social, and we're excited for this launch."
Fwix aggregates local news articles and blog posts, and delivers content to readers based on their geographic and topical interests. The San Francisco-based company is less than two years old and in March inked a deal with the New York Times Company to deliver its content to its regional news sites. Initially covering 80 cites, Fwix now boasts a network of more than 200 markets worldwide.
While major newspapers have cut thousands of jobs, the rise of hyperlocal news services like Fwix, Outside.in, and EveryBlock demonstrate that readers are keenly interested in tracking local news, but want to be able to filter that information based on the topics and neighborhoods that matter personally to them.
As we wrote last week, the hyperlocal is already an important site for new startups. The updates to Fwix point towards more services that are not just acutely hyperlocal, but deeply socialized.