What’s trending on…Facebook?

October 3, 2013

By: Elizabeth
Lately, it seems as though Zuckerberg and Co. are constantly rolling out new features. Most recently, they've kept the momentum up by adding two application programming interfaces that will allow select media organizations to monitor what is “trending” on Facebook.
Media partners of the social network, including Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC's “Today Show,” British Sky Broadcasting, Slate and Mass Relevance, have been granted access to a Public Feed API that, similar to Twitter, displays public posts including certain keywords in real-time.
The other API, called Keyword Insights, provides a tally of posts mentioning a certain keyword during a specific time period and allows users to break the information down by gender, age and location. The posters included in the insights remain anonymous.
In his post in Facebook's Newsroom, the network's vice president of media partnerships and online operations Justin Osofsky wrote, “If there is something interesting going on, people are talking about it on Facebook. From favorite television shows to sporting events to the latest news, the conversations are happening on Facebook. Last week's kickoff of the National Football League season garnered more than 20 million likes, comments, and shares on Facebook by over 8 million people.”
The aim, Osofsky explained, is for the news organizations to be able to integrate Facebook commentary into their broadcasts by displaying real-time activity surrounding the topic on which they're reporting. Additionally, he wrote, “Partners can also use these tools to show the number of Facebook posts that mention a specific word over a period of time, including a demographic breakdown for the people talking about that topic. For instance, now every week during 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.”
Sound like information you'd like to have access to? Not so fast. The two tools are currently only available to the selected media partners, and they will be extended to additional partners in the coming weeks. For now, though, there is no talk of them becoming available to all Facebook users.
What do you think of the new APIs?

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