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New Facebook tools target TV industry

Facebook launched two new tools this week that will allow TV broadcasters to integrate conversations and data from the social network into their content.

Targeting the TV content industry, the new Facebook functionality will allow selected news organisations to integrate conversations from the social network directly into their broadcasts by displaying public posts on selected topics.

Facebook’s public feed API will give selected broadcasters access to a real-time feed of public posts on a specific word. And its keyword insights API aggregates the number of posts mentioning a specific term in a given timeframe. It will also allow its partners to access anonymised, aggregated results using gender, age and/or location.

“Trusted media partners” include Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Sky TV, Slate, The Economist and Mass Relevance. Facebook said that it was also starting discussions with other media firms and expected to sign up more partners in the next few weeks.

One of the first shows to harness this new functionality is CNN’s News Day, incorporating Facebook feedback on breaking news during the show.

In a blog post, Facebook VP media partnerships and online operations Justin Osofsky said: “Over the past few months, we have rolled out a series of products aimed at surfacing the public conversations happening on Facebook including hash tags, 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.”

Facebook’s move follows Twitter’s moves towards integrating social networking with TV content. Last month Twitter bought social TV analytics firm Trendrr and in February it bought social analytics business Bluefin Labs.

The social network said that between 88 and 100 million US users log in during primetime TV viewing hours of 8pm and 11pm. Last week’s NFL season kickoff generated more than 20 million ‘likes’, comments, and shares from 8 million people.

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