Facebook Newswire: the jury is out

Planit Agency
May 29, 2014

Facebook Newswire is the latest and greatest in the growing connection between journalism and social media. An aggregate of news content shared publicly on Facebook from across the world, Facebook’s goal with its newswire is to provide “a resource that will make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce.” The content is being aggregated and verified by Storyful, which monitors the social web worldwide 24/7. FB Word Cloud What They’re Saying: Facebook Word Cloud Undoubtedly, Facebook is inserting itself into the business of breaking news on social media, which has been dominated by Twitter and Reddit. Launched less than four weeks ago, time will tell what the future of this new resource holds. But for now here is the good, the bad, the unknown, and how you can use it to your advantage: The Good: Facebook Newswire will lead to earned media placement for brands, but only if the content being posted is relevant, timely, and engaging.

Lesson: Posts will need to have a lot of fan interaction (i.e., comments, likes, and shares) to even be on Storyful’s radar. Develop content that appeals to your fans through videos and graphics.

Facebook Newswire is tapping into a massive existing database for breaking news, providing a larger audience and more sources for journalists.

Lesson: Monitor Facebook Newswire and connect with reporters covering breaking news by being highly relevant to the story at hand. Be sure to use the same hashtags.

Facebook Newswire pulls stories from around the world.

Lesson: PR pros should know what is trending nationally AND internationally. This helps them to stay tuned in so they know when and when NOT to reach out to reporters. (For example: Don’t pitch a reporter something unrelated when he or she is covering a natural disaster.)

The Bad: Anything posted on Facebook is fair game for public consumption on any news platform in the world. If it’s picked up by the Storyful aggregation process, it can end up anywhere.

Lesson: If you don’t want your posts to end up on ABC News, make your page private.

FB sentiment Facebook Newswire Sentiment The Unknown: Storyful promises to “verify” breaking news for journalists, but how will it do this? How does Storyful aggregate the news? How impartial will the Storyful articles be? Who will verify the credibility of Storyful news? How long does it take for Storyful to verify content? Are we going to see things on FB Newswire before CNN Breaking News? There are a plethora of cases of news organizations misreporting in attempts to break the news first. In order for journalists to accurately report the news using Facebook Newswire content, these questions need to be answered. Planit will continue to monitor and utilize this new resource for the agency and for our clients. Feel free to weigh in and tell us what you think!