Facebook launches new APIs to make it easier for real-time activity to be accessed

Many media organizations are catching on, wanting to know what people on Facebook are saying about a certain topic. While it’s easier with Twitter, where celebrities often talk about issues of the day, Facebook wants to be known in this space, as well. The site launched two new application programming interfaces (APIs) to make it easier for news organizations to show public posts and real-time conversation data around a certain topic.

For instance, Facebook points out that the NFL kickoff this weekend accumulated 20 million likes, comments, and shares on Facebook by more than 8 million people.

Facebook on Monday announced the Keyword Insights API and Public Feed API. The Keyword Insights API displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word (such as “Grammys” or “NFL”). Only public posts from pages and prominent users with the “follow” feature turned on will be displayable. The Keyword Insights API aggregates the total number of posts that mention a specific term in a given time frame, making it easier for news organizations to see how many people were talking about an event before, during or after an event. It can also display anonymous, aggregated data based on gender, age and location.

Facebook has launched these features with Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, BSkyB, Slate and Mass Relevance at first, but is working with PMDs and other media partners for a wider rollout in the coming weeks.

Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s Vice President of Media Partnerships and Online Operations, commented on these features in a blog post:

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.

Starting today, selected news organizations can begin to integrate Facebook conversations into their broadcasts or coverage by displaying public posts of real-time activity about any given topic. For example, CNN’s New Day can now easily incorporate what people on Facebook have to say about the latest, breaking news event during their show.

Facebook also included an infographic, quantifying the Facebook buzz around certain events:


Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.