As social media use continues to rise, it also becomes more common in everyday conversations. For example, it’s not unusual for news anchors to cite tweets when relaying a story. But Twitter could soon share the media spotlight as Facebook gives TV networks and news sites access to its data through a couple of new APIs.
Over the past few months, the social network has rolled out a series of products aimed at surfacing public conversations happening on Facebook, including hashtags, embedded posts, and trending topics. The company continues to build features that improve the experience of discovering and participating in real-time events, including entertainment, sports, and news.
According to Facebook, between 88 and 100 million U.S. users log in during primetime hours. In the last year, live TV programming like the Super Bowl and the Oscars saw impressive engagement with 245 million and 66.5 million interactions, respectively. In this case, interactions were defined as Likes, shares, and comments.
In an effort to capitalize on this growth, Facebook this week launched two new tools: the Keyword Insights API and the Public Feed API. The latter displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word. Public posts from Pages and Profiles of those with “follow” turned on are available with this API.
The Keyword Insights API aggregates the total number of posts that mention a specific term in a given time frame. It can also display anonymous, aggregated results based on gender, age, and location. These tools can also be used to show the number of Facebook posts that mention a specific word over a period of time, including a demographic breakdown for the people talking about that topic.
For example, now every week during the “What’s Trending” segment of The Today Show, NBC can include how many people on Facebook talked about a popular subject, where it’s getting the most buzz, whether it’s most popular among males or females, and with what age groups. Mass Relevance, a technology company, is also leveraging these tools to highlight trends and conversations for their media clients.
Currently the new APIs are only available for a small group of media partners — including CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Buzzfeed, and Slate — but Facebook plans on making them both available to additional partners in the coming weeks.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.