News as we know it is poised to change, and it's in the hands of smartphone users.|
A couple weeks ago, the New York Times print edition ran a photo of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez taken by sports photographer Nick Laham — on his iPhone and edited in Instagram.
Laham's photo was not the first time Instagram-edited photos have been used by news outlets, but it was one of the most prominently placed to date.
Laham shot a series of portraits in a bathroom. He didn't have much of a choice. "I wasn't given the option of studio or bathroom stall and decided on the latter," Laham wrote on his blog. "I joined the chain of photographers at 6 a.m. in the confines of the New York Yankees' spring training facility in Tampa, and took what space I could get and worked with it."
Sports coverage is not the only place you'll see Instagrammed photos. Seasoned photojournalist Ben Lowry used his iPhone and Instagram to cover turmoil in Libya last summer.
He wrote that using a phone rather than an intimidating DSLR camera allows him to get closer to subjects. He also believes that using Instagram gets more attention from viewers, making them feel as if they were looking at a friend's photos.
Filters also have come to Getty images, the professional choice for high-end photography. Percolator, a start-up that offers a social media publishing service for brands, recently announced a new service that lets its clients select Getty images, add their logo and apply filters from Aviary, the photo editing app that powers Twitter's in-app photo editor.
Watch for brands posting more filtered photos to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other networks which could spill over from advertisements to news photos.
But filters are just the beginning. We also can look forward to "moving pictures," a la Vine, Twitter's fledgling 6-second video app. The looping format can heighten emotion as viewers automatically see a snippet repeated over and over again.
For instance, the Michigan Wolverines, the only team in the NCAA Final Four that has a Vine, posted a video showing the team's triumphant return to Crisler Arena, trophy in hand.
Major League Baseball has also embraced Vine. For now, its videos are entertaining, such as showing what's inside a baseball, but once the season gets underway, you will likely see game highlights shown as Vines.
News agencies have so far been reluctant to use Vine. NBC and its affiliates around the country have posted a handful of Vines, mostly on lighter subjects such as cute animals and the weather.
CBS has an account, but is yet to use it. But a clip posted to Vine by NBC's New York affiliate covered a traffic accident in the micro-movie format.
Unlike with Instagram and other services with photo filters, Vine does not include filters or voiceover capabilities, which means an unedited view.
However, other video creation apps do, such as Funky, an app launched last month that lets users add several filters and commentate videos up to 30 seconds — about the length of a typical TV news brief.
With apps like Instagram, Vine and Funky, your news could soon look a lot more like you made it yourself, which may or may not be a good thing.
Ogden, Utah-based TopTenREVIEWS.com guides consumers by comparing products in the world of technology, including electronics, software and Web services. Have a question? Email Leslie Meredith at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her @lesliemeredith on Twitter.
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