With almost any information easily available at a single screen tap or a quick ‘Okay Google’ or ‘Hey Siri’, getting news updates should be quick and easy nowadays. Google takes news reporting – particularly local news – to another level with the app Bulletin.

This app started pilot tests in two cities – Nashville and Oakland – since the end of January, and what it does is provide hyperlocal news by allowing the users to contribute their own news stories about their community. According to Google, “Bulletin is an app for contributing hyperlocal stories about your community, for your community, right from your phone. Bulletin makes it effortless to put a spotlight on inspiring stories that aren’t being told.”

There is no need for any writing service just to be able to create a news story in this app because anyone with a smartphone can write about events, happenings, and other local information and publish it on the app for others to read. It is designed for anyone to take videos or photos and share stories and information about what is happening wherever they are.

While fake news will surely be a concern, what the Bulletin app can be useful for is getting a pulse on community events and happenings. It makes it easy to know what is happening in one’s own neighbourhood. At the same time, it can be a great way to spread the word about events and other happenings. It can also be useful for sharing hyperlocal stories with the specific audience that will find them newsworthy.

Although it can be seen by some as a disadvantage for online news sources, it can be a boon for journalists. Bulletin can serve as a big source of potential newsworthy material for journalists constantly on the lookout for good stories to cover.

Google Bulletin may not be looking to replace any of the bigger news websites like CNN or Fox News, but it may very well change how local news is being created and shared online.

Although it is currently in a limited pilot, anyone may request early access by submitting a sign-up form.

Author Bio: Rana Tarakji is the Founder of One SEO [http://www.oneseo.net]. Learn more about search engine optimization and how to gain more traffic to your website at One SEO [http://www.oneseo.net/blog], where you can get a free SEO consultation. Rana Tarakji is passionate about digital marketing, startups, helping entrepreneurs grow, and empowering them to live their dreams. She has worked as a digital marketer, a technology co-founder and business developer, and a writer. Rana is an entrepreneur who lives in Beirut, Lebanon.

Connect with Rana:
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Prepared and edited by @EdinaZejnilovic, Journalism Student at DCU.

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