Facebook recently revealed two new APIs (application programming interfaces) that will provide better insights to brands using real-time data. With the public feed API and the keyword insight API, not only can companies see how often certain words are mentioned, but they can also view detailed demographic data. While the use of these APIs is currently limited, they have enormous potential for all brands working on their customer engagement and marketing on Facebook. In addition, these APIs bring Facebook into major competition with Twitter due to their enhanced demographic capabilities.
The two new APIs that Facebook introduced are called the public feed API and the keyword insight API. With the public feed API, you are provided with a feed in real-time that shows all of the public posts that are being made with a specific word. This feed will only show public posts that are made from either pages or important users who have enabled the “follow” feature on Facebook. With the keyword insights API, you can see how many posts were made with a specific term during a designated time frame. While this API will use private posts and show demographic data about age, location, and gender, this data will be completely anonymous.
While both of these APIs are currently only available to select media partners of Facebook, which include CNN, BuzzFeed, Slate, NBC’s “Today,” Mass Relevance, and Sky Broadcasting, Facebook is planning to open up these tools to both Preferred Marketing Developers and other specific media organizations soon. If they do become available to all brands on Facebook, these APIs can bring huge benefits to marketers. You will be able to not only view the rate of usage for different terms, but also sort that data by time frame (such as before, during, and after an event) and by demographic data. Furthermore, this data will be in real-time, allowing you to respond to customer issues, trends, and breaking news faster and much more constructively.
Many have noted that these new APIs from Facebook closely resemble the capabilities that brands have to search terms on Twitter. However, on Facebook, this data has a significant advantage: demographic data. Facebook has much more detailed personal information than probably any other site or social media network on the web, including where you live, your work and education history, your relationship and family, and more. This type of data is extremely valuable to both news outlets and brands. Overall, this kind of data makes marketing and analyzing your performance on Facebook even more important to your brand’s success.
How will your brand use the new Facebook APIs when they become widely available?