In today’s 24-hour media orgy of constant information shoved down your throat via chimney sweep, what qualifies as “newsworthy”? Is it what the cable networks report? What your friends share on Facebook? Or is it what’s trending on Twitter?
If you answered with option number three, then congratulations! You are one of millions egging Facebook into battle. The launch of the social network’s competing Trending feature two months ago was a salvo in the war to control America’s news flow. This war has, like a heavy aircraft carrier pivoting from east to west, unfolded gradually. But make no mistake—the lines are drawn: News Feed is replacing your morning paper; sharable content is replacing your watercooler chats; and trending is replacing your breaking newscasts. In this death of a thousand cuts, Facebook today dealt another gushing wound: the Public Content Solutions Program.
This program might sound medical, but its origins are analytical. Like the Keyword Insights and Public Feed APIs of 2013, the PCSP is a data-aggregator. With all the trending events and topics across Facebook’s 500 million subscribers, the network needed a tool by which media developers could join the conversation. And PCSP does just that.
According to Bob Morgan, Facebook’s Partner Engineer Manager,
This new program provides partners with dedicated technical and business resources to help them build the best possible media solutions using Facebook and Instagram. We believe that working with these companies to develop expertise with social solutions from Facebook, Instagram, and others will enable broadcasters, publishers, and arenas to deliver the best overall experience to their fans and followers.
So there you have it. In the war for control over our eyeballs (and the advertising revenue they underwrite), Facebook has just outsourced their fighting to mercenaries. Welcome to 21st century warfare.