Eyeing Twitter, Facebook Rolls Out New Tools That Track Social Activity Surrounding TV Events

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Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
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If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then Twitter ought to be blushing.

In another recent move to unseat microblogging giant Twitter as the reigning king of conversation in real time about current events and television shows, Facebook announced today that it is rolling out a pair of applications which will allow media outlets to highlight what's currently trending during TV broadcasts and shows. Facebook has already blatantly copied Twitter by adopting hashtags.

One new tool, the Public Feed API, tracks activity for a specific word in posts that have the "follow" feature turned on. The other tool, the Keyword Insights API, allows a media outlet to track a keyword in a given period of time broken down by gender, age and location.

Related: Facebook's Hashtags Might Not Be as Social as You Think

"We are committed to building features that improve the experience of discovering and participating in conversations about things happening in the world right now, including entertainment, sports, politics and news," says Justin Osofsky, vice president of Facebook's media partnerships and online operations, in the blog post announcing the new programs.

Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC's Today Show, BSkyB and Slate will be the first media outlets with access to the new tools. Social-experience technology company Mass Relevance will also be among the first with access to the tools, says Osofsky.

Some of the most talked-about television events on Facebook over the past 12 months include the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, the birth of the royal baby and "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel. Check out the infographic (below) for a look at the most popular events as measured by social interactions on Facebook.

Eyeing Twitter, Facebook Rolls Out New Tools That Track Social Activity Surrounding TV Events

Related: Internet Users Want to Be Invisible. And They Fear Advertisers More than the Government

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