Facebook has been experimenting a lot lately, to find out ways as to how it can act as a more productive tool for journalists. Taking another step in that direction, the social networking giant is announcing Signal, for Facebook and Instagram, to allow journalists gather relevant news from these two platforms.
As Facebook puts it, Signal is a free discovery and curation tool for journalists who want to source, gather, and embed newsworthy content from Facebook and Instagram, across news, culture, entertainment, sports, and more—all in one place.
Signal has a lot to offer to journalists, specially to someone like me who are scouting Facebook for news and reliable sources but find it extremely difficult to find credible ones.
To know what’s trending on Facebook right now, Journalists 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. Search functionality makes it easy to surface content directly related to a story or topic they are tracking.
Facebook Signal will also offer a comprehensive ranking of public figures, devised by basing it on a lot of parameters, from within Facebook. These parameters can be the number of likes a celebrity has, number of comments among others.
Journalists can access lists of public figures ranked by who is being mentioned the most on Facebook, including real-time conversations across Politicians, Authors, Actors, Musicians, Sports Teams, Players, and more.
Since Signal is being introduced on both Facebook and Instagram, using location-tag and topic-related search functionality, journalists can search Instagram for public posts related to specific hashtags, associated with specific public accounts, or tagged with locations using an interactive global map.
Furthermore, every Facebook post, every Instagram image or video, and every metric found in Signal can be easily saved into custom collections for later use in a downstream CMS for digital writers or for integration with broadcast graphics packages for broadcast teams.
As for availability, Signal is now available at no cost to journalists and leverages Facebook’s own Media Solutions APIs, as well as third-party APIs including CrowdTangle and Storyful who each power feeds within the product.