Over the past months Facebook has aimed to highlight public conversations happening on Facebook through a series of new features, including hashtags, embedded posts, and trending topics. Today, by sharing two new APIs with select news organizations, Facebook has enabled access to real-time activity around any given topic being discussed on the network. For example, using Facebook’s new APIs CNN can incorporate into news broadcasts what people on Facebook have to say about the latest breaking event.
In addition to enabling news organizations to track topic-centric posts on Facebook, the new Public Feed API and Keyword Insights API will also show the number of Facebook posts that mention a specific word over a period of time. This number can be broken down by demographics such as age and gender. Mass Relevance, a social engagement platform that helps brands use real-time data to engage their audiences on social media, has also started leveraging the new APIs for its clients.
Today’s rollout is available to a small group of media partners, including Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, BSkyB, and Slate. Facebook will continue to add new partners while refining the experience to be more compelling for readers and viewers in the coming weeks.
Public Feed API
The Public Feed API displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word or tag. This data is available only for public posts from Pages and profiles of those with ‘Follow’ enabled.
Keyword Insights API
The Keyword Insights API displays the total frequency of posts that mention a specific term within a set time frame. The feed can also display anonymous, aggregated results based on user gender, age, and location.
Putting Facebook Conversations to Work
People use Facebook every day to post news and comment on current events. As Facebook wrote on its blog,
If there is something interesting going on, people are talking about it on Facebook. From favorite television shows to sporting events to the latest news; the conversations are happening on Facebook.”
The new Public Feed API and Keyword Insights API will allow the media to put conversations on Facebook to good use.
The new APIs are similar to the firehose of data Twitter already offers the media, and will help Facebook compete with Twitter in gaining coverage by major media.
Just last week, the NFL season kickoff garnered over 20 million “Likes,” comments, and shares on Facebook by over 8 million people. That’s a lot of conversation Facebook can now begin to intelligently bring to the surface.
Here is some information on other notable conversations that took place on Facebook:
Are you interested in accessing Facebook’s Public Feed API? Do you think this data will be useful for readers?