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Facebook launches discovery and curation tool called Signal for journalists

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Social network Facebook has released a new discovery and curation tool for Journalists called Signal which will allow them to track trending and breaking news. Signal, which is available for both Facebook and Instagram, helps journalists source, gather, and embed newsworthy content across news, culture, entertainment, sports, and others in one place.

“We’ve heard from journalists that they want an easy way to make Facebook a more vital part of their newsgathering with the ability to surface relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts on Facebook and Instagram for use in their storytelling and reporting,” Andy Mitchell, director of media partnerships at Facebook, wrote in a blog post.

Journalists can monitor which topics are trending on Facebook and then quickly display related content that has been shared publicly (unranked and in chronological order) from both people and Pages for deeper context. They can also access lists of public figures ranked by who is being mentioned the most on Facebook.

“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,” the post added.

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Signal also allows Facebook posts, Instagram images and videos and metrics to be saved which can be later used in other content management systems for digital writers or integration with graphics packages for broadcast teams.

Twitter’s Curator tool

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In April, Twitter also launched a new free product called Curator that allows media publishers to search, filter and curate relevant tweets and Vine videos and publish it in real-time to their readers, across web, mobile and TV. The microblogging platform mentions that publishers will be able to create complex keyword and hashtag queries to discover Twitter content, and queries can be further filtered based on authors or verified users, follower counts, location, time zone, language, and number of retweets or favorites among others, to create embeddable collections of relevant tweets.

Facebook instant articles

In May, Facebook announced Instant Articles, a mobile app feature where news from The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News and German news publishers Spiegel and Bild were displayed. We’d reported in March, that Facebook would apparently remove the usual ads of a publication (when the content was hosted on Facebook) and show a single ad in a custom format within each Facebook article.

Google and Twitter’s publishing platform

Earlier this week, Google and Twitter said that they are working together on their own version of ‘Instant Articles’. The plan is currently called ‘accelerated mobile pages’ although the name will probably change before launch. The project will also be apparently open source in hopes that other tech companies will adopt it as well. The project will also not host publisher content, rather it will show users cached copies of the publishers’ websites.

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