Facebook buys tool that tracks how stories spread

Facebook will acquire CrowdTangle, a social analytics service used by publishers to monitor trending stories online, the company revealed Friday.

"Publishers around the world turn to CrowdTangle to surface stories that matter, measure their social performance and identify influencers," said Facebook in a statement. "We are excited to work with CrowdTangle to deliver these, and more insights to more publishers."

In a statement, CrowdTangle notes the "full support and resources" of the social media giant as a reason for the deal.

Launched in 2011, CrowdTangle is an analytics tool used by publishers to measure how well stories perform on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. USA TODAY is among the publishers using CrowdTangle.

The acquisition follows CEO Mark Zuckerberg defending Facebook's influence in the 2016 election. Nearly half of Americans get their news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center, and it's been criticized for failing to stop the spread of fake news through its social network.

Some in Silicon Valley blamed false information circulated on the News Feed for fueling Donald Trump's election success. Facebook says that isn't so.

"To think it influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea," said Zuckerberg during the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.


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