New App to Help Integrate Twitter in Live Broadcast


TV Agent Micah Johnson tipped us off to an interesting new App is making it's way through the approval process in the iTunes store.

Back when his client  Jenni Hogan was working the morning show at Seattle’s KIRO 7, she became frustrated. As a small earthquake rattled parts of Washington one morning, anchors asked viewers to call the news station or email with what they felt.

To Hogan, this was so old school.

“I was sitting at my computer and my Twitter stream was going crazy with viewers reactions to the earthquake,” she said. “At the time there was no way to quickly get those comments on TV. I felt powerless and I wanted to help.”

Now, Hogan has a solution to that problem.


Geekwire reports that the traffic anchor-turned-entrepreneur is behind a new company called TVinteract that enables TV anchors, reporters and hosts to select social media content they’d like to show on live TV and simplifies the entire process of moving all that chatter to the screen.

Hogan, a 2011 finalist in the worldwide Shorty Awards (the “Oscars of Twitter”), hopes that this helps her former colleagues become more interactive with their viewers.

“The technology I’m creating will help empower talent in breaking news situations to stay on top of social media rather than chasing it,” she told GeekWire.

Many news stations already display tweets on-screen, but the workflow is a bit complicated to actually make that happen. TVinteract’s app allows on-air talent to simply search for a certain topic, person or story they want to watch and pick which tweets to show on the live broadcast.

Anchors access the content with an iPad that’s already connected to the live broadcast either via HDMI or wirelessly with Apple’s AirPlay.

The app, which is powered by Seattle’s, is set up so that even if anchors and reporters have no knowledge of Twitter or social media, they can still search for content they want to share.

“The dream is for every anchor and reporter to have this in their tool kit,” Hogan said. “They already have pen and paper; hopefully they’ll all have this app as well. It’s just another tool for the talent.”

Seattle’s KING5 implemented TVinteract Wednesday morning and the station hopes that the new tool helps bridge social media and live TV.

“We’re excited to experiment with this new technology that makes it easy for our anchors to quickly share social content with the audience viewing from home,” said Mark Briggs, Director of Digital Media at KING5. “TV stations everywhere are trying to solve the problem of connecting social media with the broadcast in a way that is authentic, timely and adds value to the content experience on all platforms.”

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