The iPhone photo sharing app has been integrated into the NBC Owned Stations’ production systems, to make it quick and easy to use viewer images on the air or online.
NBC Owned Stations today announced that it will begin using Instagram, the photo-sharing app that lets iPhone users share their filtered photos through social media, as part of a larger strategy of tapping into emerging social platforms and integrating compelling user-generated content into its local news delivery on air and online.
Since launching more than a year ago, Instagram has amassed more than 15 million registered users, and just last week, Apple named it the iPhone App of the Year, noting it was the “definitive photo-sharing app” of 2011.
Most of the NBC-owned stations have now integrated the Instagram app seamlessly into their production systems, ensuring that the images viewers submit can be easily used in the local newscast or online. To kick off the Instagram effort, several stations, including WNBC New York, WRC Washington, WTVJ Miami and WVIT Hartford, Conn., are modernizing a local television holiday tradition by inviting viewers to use the app to send in their favorite photos of holiday lights in their area and marking them with localized hashtags. The submitted images could end up on air during a local newscast or online.
“Our viewers send us great photos, particularly during breaking news, special events and severe weather,” said Greg Scholl, president of local integrated media at NBC Owned Television Stations. “Instagram is easy to use, widespread and makes photos look good. We can now bring these fantastic images into our local news broadcasts and easily share our viewers’ photos widely.”
“We’re excited to see the NBC-owned stations using the power of mobile photography to add another dimension to news reporting,” said Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram. “Instagram is a highly visual way to communicate important news and events, and we’re thrilled to see NBC innovating on the Instagram platform to bring these photos to the local television audience.”
The use of Instagram is part of the NBC Owned Stations effort to prominently feature the thousands of user photos and videos it receives from viewers on air and online. Stations have been testing the Instagram app for the last several months. For example, at KNSD San Diego, fans of the station’s music franchise, SoundDiego, were invited to send in photos from select concerts via Instagram.
The Instagram collaboration is the latest in the division’s strategy to leverage social media to connect further with viewers, which already includes a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and foursquare, used by reporters at its WCAU Philadelphia station to check in to news events and provide updates on stories. These efforts were recently profiled in a BIA/Kelsey report on the division’s innovations in this area.