Many small business owners and entrepreneurs now use Facebook to share news and information about their brands, products or services.
Now, a new tool called Facebook Signal will make it easier for journalists to follow, collect content and report on your brand or business — or any other newsworthy content on Facebook.
For journalists across the world, Twitter has been the preferred tool to track breaking news and share updates in real time.
All that may soon change as Facebook has launched a new platform to lure the media industry.
The company has introduced Signal for Instagram and Facebook. It describes the new Facebook Signal platform as a “free discovery and curation tool for journalists who want to source, gather, and embed newsworthy content.”
Facebook Signal provides a dashboard for journalists to follow trending topics, track conversations around public figures, and create embedable collections of posts. It also lets them search stories and sources via location or hashtag.
All posts, Instagram images or videos, and metrics found in Signal can be saved into custom collections for later use, according to a Facebook blog post.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has tried to attract the media industry. It recently opened up its Mentions app to people with verified accounts, allowing journalists to broadcast live on Facebook. Earlier this year, the social media giant introduced Instant Articles to make it easier for users to read news articles on their phones.
Facebook also launched some new tools and insights for publishers last year to entice more journalists.
The message is fairly loud and clear: Facebook is keen on luring journalists away from Twitter.
To retain its loyal users from the media industry, Twitter has been working on its own trending tools, although it’s efforts have not been met with a lot of success so far. Its tool for finding and curating tweets around specific topics called Collections is not widely used. It also has a tool specifically for journalists called Curator, which is quite similar to Signal.
For Facebook, the biggest advantage is, of course, its massive user base. With nearly 1.5 billion users, it has the potential to become an important platform for news discovery.
It’s also worth noting that Twitter doesn’t have any exclusive tools for journalists to surface tweets.
With Facebook Signal, the aim is to help journalists keep tabs on all the important conversations happening in real time. In doing so, it will help media organizations cover stories that people are interested in reading and seeing.
Journalists may request access to Signal now, but they need to provide a full name, personal Facebook URL and work email. This will help the company ensure the service remains exclusively available to only media persons for now.
Remember, the existence of Facebook Signal does not guarantee you’ll get media coverage of your business or brand on Facebook.
But you may want to consider more carefully the content you are choosing to share there. Be sure it is newsworthy and something local journalists might want to curate and report on. Also, be sure to contact local journalists and let them know where they can find your brand on Facebook.