Now your public Facebook posts could appear on the news!

Facebook is making it easier for news outlets such as BskyB, CNN and NBC to integrate conversations from the social network into their broadcasts. Using the Public Feed API, broadcasters are now able to display a real-time feed of posts that contain a specific word. Considering that, according to Facebook's own figures, last week's kick-off of the new NFL season resulted in over 20 million likes, comments and shares, that's a lot of data to be dealing with.

There is also the new Keyword Insights API which can be used to determine how many posts mentioned a particular term in a specified timeframe. But the API goes further than this, also making it possible to filter results -- allegedly anonymously -- based on gender, age and location. At the moment both of these APIs are only being made available to a limited number of partners, but the list is certain to grow over time.

For news shows looking to find new ways to interact with their audience, this is a great announcement. Now, rather than just presenting viewers with the news, programs can pontificate about how viewers from different parts of the country feel about a given story. A lot of people like the idea of hitting the headlines, but this is unlikely to be what they had in mind.


What is interesting to note is that, as you'd probably guess from the name, the Public Feed API can only be used to access public posts, but no such limitations are mentioned in relation to the Keyword Insights API.

The blog post that Facebook uses to announce the new "feature" -- referred to, almost comically as "tools for surfacing conversations" -- is also home to an interesting little infographic that shows the number of Facebook interactions generated by various TV programs.

So… what do you think? Should we have been expecting something like this to happen? Does it seem like a reasonable implementation of Facebook's terms of service? Anyone planning on storming away from the social network in a stroppy protest?

4 Responses to Now your public Facebook posts could appear on the news!

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