Newscasts encourage viewer participation via social media

In an effort to improve ratings, local newscasts are increasingly engaging viewers in a more personal way through social media and allowing their voices to be heard. To facilitate this, broadcasters must implement a stable platform that seamlessly accommodates Instagram photos, videos, personal photos, Facebook posts, tweets, and other user-generated content.

Two companies based in Norway, Vizrt and, are targeting this segment by combining their years of experience with social media integration, newsroom operations and broadcast graphics. They’ve jointly built an integrated technology platform that bridges the broadcast TV and social media worlds. The Social TV platform allows newsrooms to create revenue-generating synergies between the live broadcast and social media audience in order to make their news stories compelling and much more retentive with viewers. 

The partnership brings’s Interactivity Suite and Vizrt’s live graphics systems together to provide broadcasters with the required tools for harvesting, managing, and presenting social media content within their live shows. The interactive “TV. Mobile. Social. 1Framework” technology from connects fragmented media platforms across broadcast TV systems, mobile, and social media platforms — supporting real-time viewer participation, social TV, and synchronized companion apps. Vizrt’s template-based 3D graphics systems are then used to quickly and automatically display “what’s trending” in social media and promote interactive viewer participation on screen.

“Without tools specifically designed for Social TV, broadcasters can quickly become overwhelmed by the volume of social media that’s being created,” said Petter Ole Jakobsen, CTO of Vizrt. “The goal here is to give broadcasters a tightly integrated Social TV platform and intelligent workflow that simplifies the management and display of all of this user generated content. Our Social TV platform powered by helps broadcasters maximize social media platforms to promote their shows and channels as well as harvest valuable data that can benefit their advertising and marketing.”

By integrating’s Interactivity Suite with Vizrt’s real-time graphics technology, broadcasters can monitor, filter, approve, and harvest viewer-generated content—such as tweets, Facebook posts, RSS, video clips, and Instagrams—and then build playlists or carousels that are displayed within live Vizrt graphics and subsequently used on air. Vizrt’s broadcast graphics product line includes: Viz Artist for 3D graphics design, the Viz Trio CG graphics system; Viz Content Pilot, a template-based graphics system; and Viz Engine, a real-time HD video and 3D graphics compositing and rendering system.

A variety of new tools and functionality have been added to’s Interactivity Suite, which is used for creating the technical backbone of interactive broadcasts and digital marketing campaigns that leverage social media. New integrations with Instagram and Google+, along with’s Sync for multi-screen advertising synchronization, and the “What’s Trending” trend discovery toolkit, are among the latest developments that make it easier for broadcasters to create a compelling social TV experience.

Both Vizrt and are also allowing broadcasters to use “word cloud” graphics to show what keywords are trending on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms. If a particular keyword keeps coming up in the social-sphere — like the name of a star athlete, celebrity, or politician —’s “What’s Trending” toolkit quickly identifies that trend. Broadcasters can also leverage heat map graphics that enable pop-up displays of select social buzzwords occurring in different geolocations by selecting places on a map.

“We’re beginning to see a new way of producing TV,” said Lars Lauritzsen, CEO of “Trending and polling, using geo-located and in other ways segmented data provides new and very interesting insights. The next big paradigm shift we believe is Social TV Advertising. The potential for commercialization cannot be overstated.”