Google announced a new platform they are working to roll out soon that will provide a source for “hyperlocal” news stories. The platform is called Bulletin and will enable people to “put spotlight on inspiring stories that aren’t being told.” Google has things constructed at present to drive the new platform via a smartphone app.
The overall feel of Bulletin is one of a social media nature as Google’s plan is to put the tool in the hands of “citizen journalists” who can share stories at the “hyperlocal” level. Based on their portrayal, Google appears to think there is not enough news coverage of events at a local level and that citizens are best situated to be able to put something together.
Unlike social media platforms where users control who sees what, Bulletin stories will be public and “easy to discover”. For that last point, Google says they are working to make it easier for these stories to show up in Google search results and to make it easy to share stories with others through email or messaging apps via a simple link.
One of the benefits users may find from Bulletin is that no separate web site or blog is needed to be able to publish stories.
Google is currently running a limited pilot in the Nashville, Tennessee and Oakland, California areas. They are also accepted applications for people to join in the pilot testing presumably when they expand it later this year. If you are interested in signing up for the pilot, you can access the registration form via the source link below.
At present it is not clear whether Google may impose any market limitations – like being U.S. only – on Bulletin. Presumably Google may curate all stories submitted as one step to ensuring the quality of the stories submitted.