Facebook to feed chatter to news outlets

Facebook has started feeding select news outlets real-time social network chatter about hot topics to weave into story coverage, wading deeper into Twitter territory.

A pair of software tools, Public Feed and Keyword Insights, lets Facebook's media partners tap into comments posted on the service.

"Selected news organisations can begin to integrate Facebook conversations into their broadcasts or coverage by displaying public posts of real-time activity about any given topic," Facebook's online operations vice president, Justin Osofsky, said in a blog post.

"From favourite television shows to sporting events to the latest news; the conversations are happening on Facebook."

Facebook listed its media partners as Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC's Today Show, BSkyB, Slate and Mass Relevance.

For a while now, news outlets have turned to globally popular one-to-many messaging service Twitter for real-time insights, opinions, and perspectives for stories.

Osofsky said that Facebook is "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."

Only public posts by Facebook members will be streamed to news outlets, according to the California-based social network.

The software tools also allow news outlets to report demographic breakdowns of those discussing topics online, as well as how often specific words have been mentioned.

Osofsky gave the example of NBC's Today Show being able to "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 which age groups."

-AFP

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