Facebook today announced the availability of Signal, a new free tool that journalists can use to keep track of activity on Facebook and Instagram.
“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,” Andy Mitchell, Facebook’s director of media partnerships, wrote in a blog post. “Search functionality makes it easy to surface content directly related to a story or topic they are tracking.”
The service relies on technology from CrowdTangle and Storyful, as well as Facebook’s own Media Solutions application programming interfaces (APIs), to show trending and emerging posts and news stories on several topics, provide lists of people who are being mentioned the most, and offer rich post search tools. Media organizations can easily embed their findings in content management systems and integrate with new Signal APIs.
Facebook has long had relationships with media organizations. Earlier this year the company introduced Instant Articles to natively host media companies’ content on the social network for fast loading. Now the company is trying to make its data more accessible for individual journalists to use and repackage.