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Facebook Unveils Tools for Showing Posts About TV News

Facebook Inc. is rolling out new tools that integrate posts from the world’s most popular social network with television broadcasts, stepping up competition with rival Web companies.

News organizations such as CNN and NBC’s Today Show will be able to display real-time comments from Facebook users and companies that have designated their posts as public, the company said today. The features will also offer aggregated information on what’s generally being discussed on the social network based on gender, age and location.

Facebook is looking to extend its reach into media as it battles the growing popularity of services such as Twitter Inc., which already is a popular way for TV viewers to share comments during broadcasts. Twitter’s users can increase TV ratings by posting their thoughts while a show is on air, researcher Nielsen found in a study last month.

“We are committed to building features that improve the experience of discovering and participating in conversations about things happening in the world right now, including entertainment, sports, politics and news,” Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of media partnerships and online operations, said in a blog post.

The partnerships included in the rollout include Buzzfeed, NBC and Slate.

Hashtags, Photos

Facebook has been debuting more products, including some made popular on Twitter, to highlight what people are saying or posting. Earlier this year, the company announced hashtags to make it easier to find content on the site. The Menlo Park, California-based company also introduced a service that makes it simpler to embed photos from Instagram across the Web.

Separately, Yahoo! Inc. announced a new video-based mobile application that will make it simpler for consumers to find content from the Web portal. The Yahoo Screen application, designed for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, lets users easily access Yahoo’s channels. The company has landed partnerships with Viacom Inc. for clips from Comedy Central’s shows, along with content from Saturday Night Live.

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