In a move straight from Twitter's playbook, Facebook is partnering with major news organizations to find and display conversations around keywords. If people or pages with public profiles are talking about specific events, Facebook partners like CNN, Slate, The Today Show, Buzzfeed, and BSkyB will embed those conversations in a Public Feed.
Facebook vice president Justin Osofsky in a Monday blog post said media outlets could show real-time Facebook conversations in their breaking news coverage. Facebook is also offering an API to analyze keyword usage—how many posts mention a word in a certain time, whether the term is more popular among men or women, what part of the country is talking about that term the most, etc.—so news partners can include Facebook metrics in their event coverage.
The features aren't available to normal Facebook users, only the above media partners and other news organizations and marketing developers to be announced in the next few weeks.
This isn't the first Twitter feature to make its way to Facebook. Hashtags, trending topics, and embeddable posts have recently turned up on the social network as a way to translate user conversations into resources for media outlets and advertisers.
There's some indication that these Twitter tools aren't working as well on Facebook, perhaps because Facebook conversations tend to be more private and personal than those on Twitter. Twitter is a social network for strangers. Facebook is for friends and family, no matter what changes the site makes to its privacy policies.
But Facebook has to prove its worth as a valuable second screen if its plans for TV-style video ads are going to be successful. (This handy infographic offers evidence of Facebook's popularity among TV-watchers.)
Twitter still has the leg up on breaking news by virtue of its format, but Facebook is obviously angling for a position in the real-time conversation space.
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