Facebook continued its aggressive courtship of journalists yesterday with the release of Signal, a free discovery and curation tool that helps journalists turn Facebook status updates into news articles.
According to Facebook, Signal lets journalists "source, gather, and embed newsworthy content from Facebook and Instagram, across news, culture, entertainment, sports, and more—all in one place". It's invite only, and you have to prove your work status when you request an invite (I was rejected for using Gmail as my work email). According to Facebook:
Journalists interested in seeing what conversations are resonating on Facebook can monitor which topics are trending and then quickly display related content that has been shared publicly—unranked and in chronological order— from both people and Pages for deeper context on those trends. Search functionality makes it easy to surface content directly related to a story or topic they are tracking.
In other words, Signal offers an unfiltered view of Facebook which isn't influenced by the journalist's personal profile or what pages they’ve liked and what content they engage with.
Signal can also be used to identify public figures generating the most talk on Facebook, and it can help curate images on Instagram and status updates on Facebook so they can be used in a news article or in a broadcast.
Facebook says that Signal users can easily embed any Facebook and Instagram post in their coverage simply by selecting and copying the post’s embed code.
That is limited to only public updates, of course, and it is also a reminder of just how much control users give Facebook when they upload content to the social network. Facebook wouldn't be able to offer Signal to journalists if users hadn't already granted permission for FB to do so.
image by Franco Bouly