Google is ending its hyperlocal news experiment Bulletin. Similar to Nextdoor, Bulletin was a blog-like service that allowed users to post stories with video and photo content to the app. People nearby could see those posts, and they could appear in Google Search. The service launched as a pilot in 2018, and now, Google is shutting it down.
In a letter to users (obtained by Android Police), Google said in two weeks the Bulletin app will no longer be accessible. Users who shared content on the app will be able to download their posts until November 22nd. One reason Bulletin never took off was that it wasn’t highly publicized, so chances are few people are going to miss this.
Google is still trying to figure out other ways to support local news as part of its ongoing Google News Initiative. The company just updated its Search algorithm to favor original reporting. It has put $300 million toward fighting fake news, and it’s working with the newspaper company McClatchy to develop sustainable business models for local news publications, starting in Youngstown, Ohio. As fake news becomes more of a global problem, Google will likely continue these efforts — though it’s clear not all ideas will make the cut.