Facebook Adds New Tools for Broadcasters

As part of a larger push to work closer with broadcasters, Facebook is rolling out a number of new features to help broadcasters and programmers better engage audiences. 

These include a new voting and polling API, hashtag voting, native polling features, video and photo submission capabilities, video and photo galleries and custom icons.

A number of the technologies, including the video and photo submission capabilities were created in partnership with Telescope. 

Telescope is also the first company to adopt the new Hashtag Voting API. 

Several of the tools have already been tested by such programmers as HBO, Fox News and others, but they were officially rolled out on Oct. 6 and were being demoed this week at the MIPCOM programming market in Cannes, France. 

The video and photo submission tool, for example, was used in the Fox News/Facebook Aug. 6 GOP debate to handle more than 40,000 video questions that were submitted by the public. 

The new tools add onto an extensive development effort by Facebook to make it easier for broadcasters to integrate into their platform and use it to interact and engage with their audience. 

Many of those tools were also developed after extensive conversations with broadcasters about their needs, explained Bob Morgan, director of media partner engineering at Facebook in an interview. 

These other tools include air capability to simplify curation of comments and graphics from Facebook, video publishing; tools for talent to help them more easily connect with fans with Q&As and other features; content curation for integrating Facebook and Instagram into broadcast content; and graphics templates.