Facebook Takes on Twitter with New APIs and Broadcast Partnerships

FacebookThree months after Facebook’s announcement on hashtags, the social giant has taken another major step into Twitter territory. Now news organisations will be able to integrate Facebook conversations into their coverage by displaying public posts of real-time activity. For example, a morning news show can now incorporate what people on Facebook have to say about the latest, breaking news event during their show, in much the same way many use Twitter today.

Facebook say the platform is already being used in a similar manner to Twitter and cites the example of last week’s kick-off of the NFL season. Over the last week, the event clocked up over 20 million likes, comments, and shares on Facebook from over 8 million people.

The roll out will start with a small group of media partners including Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Sky TV, and Slate, who will have access to the Keyword Insights API and the Public Feed API. Facebook say more partners will gain access in the coming weeks.

Facebook TV Interactions

Public Feed API
The Public Feed API displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word – a bit like when you search by hashtag or keyword on Twitter. Only public posts (from pages and profiles of those with ‘Follow’ turned on) are available with this API.

Keyword Insights 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.

Writing on the Facebook site, Justin Osofsky, VP, Media Partnerships and Online Operations, explained how NBC could use the Keywords Insights API to enhance the ‘What’s Trending’ segment of The Today Show, “NBC can easily 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”, he wrote.


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