Ever wanted to tap in to what your consumers are talking about?

Word on the street is that brands and other organisations on Facebook will be able to search for keywords in users´ public posts. They´ll also be able to view the demographics in real-time social conversations for specific keywords they are interested in.

The feature will be rolled out for a selected handful of organisations, such as the New York Times and CNN, but it has the potential to show marketers the profiles of users who find certain keywords relevant. For example, they will be able to see the gender ratio for users searching for a brand name and their age range, as well as the device they are using to access the site.

Andy Mitchell, Facebook´s director of partnerships, told the New York Times that the new tool will help brands and organisations get a better picture of what people are talking about and will give solutions on how to meet consumers´ needs.

The search will only be possible for posts that users have designated as public and organisations will not be able to access private posts, he explained.

Since the majority of posts on Facebook are private and visible only to friends of the users who post them, following conversations about key events and major news is more difficult than on Twitter, for example. However, Facebook hopes to change things with the new tool. The networking site has already made a move towards opening up with the introduction of hashtags. It looks like it´s planning to continue in the same direction.