Facebook introduced its latest toy for journalists, Signal, a discovery and curation tool for content from the social network and Instagram.
The release of Signal follows last week’s expansion of the availability of Facebook’s Mentions application to all verified profiles.
The social network also launched Instant Articles—quicker-loading, interactivity-rich posts geared toward mobile devices—in June.
Signal is now available free-of-charge to all journalists, who can request access to the tool here, and Facebook offered an overview of what Signal can do for media members in a post on the Facebook Media blog by director of media partnerships Andy Mitchell:
Discover what’s trending now on Facebook: Journalists interested in seeing what conversations are resonating on Facebook can monitor which topics are trending and then quickly display related content that has been shared publicly—unranked and in chronological order—from both people and pages for deeper context on those trends. Search functionality makes it easy to surface content directly related to a story or topic they are tracking.
See data on who is driving the most conversation on Facebook: Journalists can access lists of public figures ranked by who is being mentioned the most on Facebook, including real-time conversations across politicians, authors, actors, musicians, sports teams, players and more.
Search Instagram for visual content surrounding news events around the world: Using location-tag and topic-related search functionality, journalists can search Instagram for public posts related to specific hashtags, associated with specific public accounts or tagged with locations using an interactive global map.
Curate Facebook and Instagram content for newsgathering and packaging: Every Facebook post, every Instagram image or video and every metric found in Signal can be easily saved into custom collections for later use in a downstream CMS (content-management system) for digital writers or for integration with broadcast graphics packages for broadcast teams.
Easily embed content and data from Facebook and Instagram in online and offline coverage: Journalists can easily embed any Facebook and Instagram post in their coverage by simply selecting and copying the post’s embed code. Newsrooms can integrate Signal APIs (application-programming interfaces) to feed curated content onto their websites and into their broadcasts, as well as produce native visualizations of curated Instagram content for events.
Journalists: What are your initial thoughts on Signal?