Facebook offers new insight into online conversation

Updated
Dave Thompson/PA Wire/AP

Are you talking about Syria?

According to analysis of Facebook data, NBC News finds that Syria was a hot button topic of conversation last week with 66% of posts mentioning Syria came from the U.S. The data showed that Syria was referenced as much as Miley Cyrus twerking, yet not as much as NFL Football, which was the main topic of conversation.

The polling function used by NBC News is the latest effort by Facebook to stimulate conversation by users and surpass Twitter as the leading platform for online conversation. On Monday, Facebook released two new search tools designed to give news organizations, like NBC News, more insight into the real-time conversations being held in the social media universe, particularly when it comes to big news events.

Both of the tools will allow news organizations to search Facebook posts using key words in order to understand what individual users are discussing. However, if the user does not designate their post as “public” then the news organization will only be able to acquire demographic data.

This is just another way for Facebook to continue enhancing how their users communicate with one another. In June the social media site introduced hashtags, similar to Twitter, into the conversation, and it recently rolled out a feature where users can embed posts on their own web page. They are also testing a “trending topic” module where users can see what people are talking about at any given moment.

By compiling Facebook users information, organizations will be able to understand what users see as the important issues of the day and their views on particular topics, such as Syria.

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Facebook offers new insight into online conversation

Updated