Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is committed to the goal of challenging Twitter as a home for breaking news and trending conversations. To capitalize on people using hashtags, embedded posts and trending topics, Facebook announced Monday that it is rolling out new tools that allow news organizations to find real-time conversation data around certain topics and integrate it into their coverage.
The first Facebook tool, the Keyword Insights API, aggregates the total number of posts that mention any keyword, such as “Syria” or “NFL.” It can also filter the data based on gender, age and location.
The Public Feed API displays a real-time feed of public posts that feature that keyword. It will display public posts only from profiles and pages that have the “follow” feature turned on, so users should be sure to check their privacy settings if they don’t want a Facebook status update showing up on CNN.
“We are committed to building features that improve the experience of discovering and participating in conversations about things happening in the world right now, including entertainment, sports, politics and news,” Justin Osofsky, the vice president of media partnerships and online operations, said on a Facebook blog post.
Facebook is first giving the tool to Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s "Today Show," BSkyB, Slate and Mass Relevance. It is likely that other partners will get involved soon.
On the Facebook blog, Osofsky gave a few examples of how this will work.
“CNN’s 'New Day' can now easily incorporate what people on Facebook have to say about the latest, breaking news event during their show,” Osofsky said. “Mass Relevance, a technology company that enables social experiences, is also leveraging these new tools in interesting ways to highlight the trends and conversations happening on Facebook for their media clients. “
There is no word yet on if the feature will be available to individual Facebook users, or non-media brands. It could be a powerful tool for marketers to know what people are saying about their brands in real-time on Facebook, as they do on Twitter.