Although it’s usually doling out the headlines, hyperlocal news aggregator Fwix made some of its own this morning, announcing the launch of a new API allowing online publishers to add local news feeds to their sites and widgets. The company also secured $2.75 million in Series A funding, which should accelerate Fwix toward its goal of cracking the hyperlocal media model.
San Francisco-based Fwix gathers local blog content, local news stories, and even "citizen journalism" in 80 cities across the U.S. to create highly localized news feeds for those particular regions. The new Wire API makes it easier for Web sites to create hyperlocal feeds to augment their own content, creating a richer, location-specific experience for readers. The fact that it should spread Fwix’s streams far beyond its current 9 million monthly unique visitors also helped convince venture firm BlueRun Ventures that Fwix has the kind of upside worth backing.
"We see Fwix as a key company in helping everyone from big online media outlets to smaller local news bloggers reach larger audiences with the most relevant quality content," said BlueRun Ventures’ Jonathan Ebinger in a press release. "This enables sites to better monetize a larger audience, while readers simply receive the best local content available."
Other media giants like AOL and the New York Times have experimented in the hyperlocal space, but so far success has been limited because advertisers haven't shown a great interest in the content. There's no telling if Fwix can reverse that trend, but the Wire API should at the very least make it easier for good hyperlocal content to find its way to the proper sites, and in turn for the proper news to find its way onto news feeds. Site owners can take a look at the new Wire API on Fwix’s Web site.