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Google Bulletin gives anyone the power to be a reporter... kind of

Google Bulletin is a new app that lets you create local news stories for sharing with your community — if you happen to live in Nashville or Oakland.

Published onJanuary 26, 2018

  • Google Bulletin is a new app that is designed to let users share photos, video, and text to create a local news blog post of sorts.
  • Testing is currently starting in Oakland and Nashville. You can sign up here.

Google is no stranger to crowdsourcing. Over the years we’ve seen Google Map Maker, Google Crowdsource, and a variety of other efforts that get users to contribute traffic alerts, restaurant reviews, map edits, and much more. Now Google has announced yet another app that relies on user-contributed content, and it’s called Google Bulletin.

The age of the internet makes finding news easier than ever, but what about local happenings? Unless we are talking about massive headliners here, they often go under-reported. That’s where Bulletin comes in, letting users share photos, video, and text to create a news blog post of sorts that is shared with their local communities. Unlike a traditional blog, you don’t have to worry about building up a target audience, as Google handles most of that itself. Of course the better your content is, the more likely it will get attention.

Honestly, there’s a lot of potential in Bulletin, but there are just as many unknowns.

Right now the Google Bulletin app is very much in pilot mode with just two test areas: Oakland, CA and Nashville, TN. Even if you live in either location, you’ll first need to sign up through a simple ‘request’ form. Beyond that, you just need a Google account.

Honestly, there’s a lot of potential in Bulletin, but there are just as many unknowns. For starters, we don’t know what kind of moderation processes are involved to ensure that content is accurate. All we know is that without a good way to check story accuracy, this service will fall apart quickly.

We also have to wonder how average Janes and Joes will find the stories. While it’s possible that finding content will simply be done through the Bulletin app, we’re assuming some of these results will also make their way in Google Search and Google News.

Assuming the initial pilot goes well, Google Bulletin could likely make its way to more markets in the months to come. Is this something you could see yourself using? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.

While you wait for Bulletin to roll out, be sure to check out a list of the best news apps currently available.

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