Facebook Rolls Out Signal To Help News Makers Source, Gather Content

Continuing its aggressive courtship of news makers, Facebook is offering them Signal -- a new tool for sourcing, gathering, and embedding content from its flagship network, as well as Instagram.

As part of the effort, the social giant is making it easier for journalists to find and use relevant data, including trending topics.

Specifically, Facebook is offering lists of public figures ranked by who is generating the most social buzz at any given moment.

Using location-tag and topic-related search features, Signal users can also search Instagram for public posts related to particular hashtags, along with those associated with specific public accounts, or tagged with locations using an interactive global map.

Taking a page from Twitter, Facebook is even encouraging media types to embed posts directly in their coverage by selecting and copying its embed code.

Newsrooms can also integrate Signal APIs to feed curated content onto their sites and into their broadcasts, as well as produce native visualizations of curated Instagram content for events. 

Signal “leverages our own Media Solutions APIs, as well as third-party APIs including CrowdTangle and Storyful, who each power feeds within the product,” Andy Mitchell, Director of Media Partnerships at Facebook, explains in a new blog post.

For Facebook, the changes are part of a larger strategy to enmesh itself within the news-making business. 

Along with its existing “Instant Articles” push, the company recently made its Mentions and Live features available to public figures with verified profiles.

As such, professional journalists and other public figures can use Mentions and Live to reach Facebook users directly and interact with them in real-time.

Facebook is also reportedly working on a new standalone app that will blast breaking news alerts provided by partner publishers.

In response to Facebook’s efforts, Google and Twitter are reportedly appealing to publishers to show “instant articles” to their many users.

Like Facebook’s own Instant Articles effort, the duo is promising publishers that their participation in the program with guarantee faster and more reliable delivery of news stories. 

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