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This article was published on September 9, 2013

Facebook takes on Twitter with new tools to give TV broadcasters access to its user data

Facebook takes on Twitter with new tools to give TV broadcasters access to its user data

Facebook is rolling out a set of tools designed to help media and news organizations better integrate Facebook conversations into their broadcasts, such as displaying public posts in real-time of relevant topics. Starting today, the social network company is making available its Keyword Insights API and the Public Feed API — both are being made available to a small group of partners initially.

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Conversations are certainly happening on Facebook and the company has been paying attention. In data it published today, it was revealed that between 88 and 100 million people in the US were logged into the site during television primetime hours of 8pm and 11pm.

What do these new tools do exactly? Facebook says that with the Keyword Insights API, news organizations can aggregate the total number of posts relating to a specific term within a given time frame. It can also display results based on gender, age, and location — and all done anonymously.

The Public Feed API gives access to a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word. Only those posts made public from Pages and Profiles with the “Follow” option enabled are available with the API.

Facebook is certainly mimicking what Twitter is already doing with news and media organizations. Just watch any show on networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, USA, Comedy Central, and the likes and you’ll see that they’re already integrating social media content, specifically tweets.

With Facebook launching hashtag support to unify topical conversations, along with testing trending topics, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe that producers would dive in to integrate discussions that people are saying right into their shows. For some, importing user comments from Facebook might be better than on Twitter — there aren’t any character limitations, opening it up hearing more significant discussions instead of trying to interpret the statement based on 140 characters.

Perhaps this will surely go a bit of ways to help prove that Facebook hashtags are of value to some, contrary to a study published last week by EdgeRank Checker.

The new tools are available for a small group of media partners, including Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Sky TV, The Economist, Mass Relevance, and Slate — all who are social media savvy and highly prone to utilize Facebook data to have engaging shows on their networks.

Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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