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Facebook announces new tool for ‘surfacing’ public conversations


By John Glenday, Reporter

September 9, 2013 | 2 min read

Facebook has announced the roll out of a new functionality enabling selected news organisations to integrate Facebook conversations directly into their broadcasts through the display of public posts on selected topics.

One of the first to harness this new functionality is CNN’s News Day which incorporates Facebook feedback about the latest breaking news during their show.

This functionality extends to distilling the number of posts mentioning a specific word over a period of time down to a demographic breakdown of the sort of people using that term.

Manifesting itself in the likes of NBC’s The Today Show this sees presenters chat about how many people on Facebook talked about a specific topic during their ‘What’s Trending’ segment, allowing them to zero in on the issues generating the most buzz amongst young and old or male and female.

In a blog post Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s VP for media partnerships and online operations, said: “Over the past few months, we have rolled out a series of products aimed at surfacing the public conversations happening on Facebook including hashtags, 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.”

Initial partners include Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Sky TV, and Slate who will each gain access to Keyword Insights API and Public Feed API; an aggregate of the total number of posts mentioning a specific term and a real-time feed of public posts mentioning a specific word.

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