Simply connecting the world together wasn’t good enough for Facebook. It since has tried to bring the world’s conversation together into one metric-based pool of discussion aimed at helping users -- particularly businesses -- figure out what’s on the world’s mind collectively.
They want to know who’s talking about what, what they’re saying, who they are, where they are, how many times they’ve talked about it and if they’re a man or woman.
Latest Integration: Tracking for Media
Today, Facebook unveiled in a blog post that selected news organizations can integrate Facebook conversations into their broadcasts or coverage by displaying public posts of real-time activity about any given topic.
Facebook cites CNN’s New Day as an example: the news program can now “easily incorporate what people on Facebook have to say about the latest, breaking news event during their show.” Essentially, it's coffee-shop chatter being broadcast directly on the media source's broadcast.
What else? Media partners will be able to use the new tools to show the number of Facebook posts that mention a specific word over a period of time. It will also include a demographic breakdown for the people talking about that topic.
How many people talked about a popular topic? Where it is getting the most buzz? Is it more popular among males or females? How old are the people talking about it?
Surfacing Public Conversations #FacebookFail
So how has Facebook done with its features that aim to create a giant world-sized water cooler? Not so great, according to recent industry reports.
Simply Measured and Edgerank reported that Facebook hashtags are not yet yielding added exposure for brands. Facebook hashtags launched in June, so it’s early. But it’s certainly clear that increased exposure online is a road better traveled with hashtags through its creator, Twitter.
Facebook says it is still continuing to get better at surfacing the conversation in social media with features like embedded posts and trending topics.
“We are 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,” according to today’s blog post, authored by Justin Osofsky, VP of media partnerships and online operations at Facebook.
Facebook Starting Small
Facebook is rolling out its latest feature with a small group of media partners including Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, BSkyB and Slate.
The tools behind the technology are the Keyword Insights API and the Public Feed API. The latter displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word -- this is only available, however, through public posts from pages and profiles of those with “Follow” turned on.
The Keyword Insights API aggregates the total number of posts that mention a specific term in a given time frame. How many have said, "Syria," for instance, in the past two hours? It can also display anonymous, aggregated results based on gender, age and location.
Facebook says it’s in discussions with other media partners and marketers to make the tools more available in the coming weeks.