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NBC News buys smartphone video streaming company in bet on user-generated footage

August 12, 2013 | Telepresence Options

smartphone video streaming

Story by Jeff Blagdon / The Verge

In a bet on user-generated content, NBC News has acquired a startup called Stringwire in what�the�New York Times�is calling�an acqui-hire. The company's founder, Phil Groman, developed software to enable real-time sharing of smartphone video, which chief NBC News digital content officer Vivian Schiller believes is going to be the next generation of news coverage. "Wherever you see a swarm of eyewitnesses on Twitter, that's the sweet spot for Stringwire," she said.

The software uses the emerging WebRTC standard for transmitting real-time voice and video data over the web. It's currently in private beta, but the�Times�writes that NBC could simply ask people tweeting from a news event to click a link that launches the Stringwire web app, obviating the need to install any specialized software. If the footage was particularly compelling, NBC would then be in a position to air it live. In cases like the�manhunt following the Boston bombing�and the Tahrir Square clashes in Cairo, Twitter was often the first source of breaking news, and NBC wants its cameras on the ground as quickly as possible.

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