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Facebook eyes real-time tracking in shot over Twitter's bow

The social network is rolling out a feature to news organizations that will integrate Facebook conversations into their broadcasts.


Facebook wants to increase its awareness in news broadcasts, and it's taking a page out of Twitter's book to do so.

The world's largest social network announced Monday that it has rolled out a new feature to "select" news organizations, including CNN and Slate among others, that will allow them to broadcast real-time insight into Facebook activity around a given event. The news organizations can also broadcast Facebook user comments made publicly on the social network.

Twitter has, for the last several years, aimed at becoming the go-to zeitgeist for a particular event or topic. Television shows, news networks, and just about every other content-delivery outlet tap into Twitter's data to show tweets, trends, and other key information around a topic.

To prime the pump a bit, Facebook on Monday released some data on how its users interact with what they watch on television. The company says that between 88 million and 100 million of its US-based users are logged on to its service between TV prime-time hours of 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

So far this year, the Super Bowl was the most popular event for Facebook users with 245 million shares in a single day. The NBA finals came in second place with 125 million shares on the social network, according to Facebook. The Oscars delivered 66.5 million shares in a single day. The shares include likes, comments, and sharing a particular post with others.

Facebook is launching its real-time tracking today. It plans to partner with more media outlets in the future.