You simply plug in a term, say #greece or #sunset, and up pops the latest Instagram photos that people have sent out on Twitter. The corresponding tweet also pops up and gives you the option to reply, retweet, quote and favorite.
I can see this being useful in two ways. First, the obvious: As a way to search for eye-catching images or interests. Maybe you search #wimbledon while watching a match.
The second way it could be useful is in a breaking news situation where you want to see the latest images coming in from the scene. Instagram — at least from my perspective — isn’t a big breaking news photo sharing service yet. I think this is because it’s mostly used for snapping photos of cool-looking things, such as storm clouds gathering over a New England pond.
But I actually think it has great potential during a breaking news situation (see Brian Stelter, Joplin tornadoes). I can see opening a Hashtagram window during the next major news story that has compelling images coming out of it.
To illustrate what its like, I mounted my iPhone and shot a time-lapse of the Beltway and Exit 33 in Maryland. Traffic this day wasn’t nearly as bad as it can be, and it wasn’t rush hour, but still far from ideal.
The view from The Washington Post newsroom during Obama's address (timelapse)
At The Washington Post’s Universal Newsdesk (the hub of the online, mobile and print operations), we have four flatscreen TVs that display 10 stations and feeds at a time.
So when President Obama makes a primetime address, such as the one he made Wednesday night, roughly eight Obamas are displayed (each Obama moving differently based on the speed at which each network broadcasts).
Using a nifty iPhone app aptly-named iTimeLapse, I recorded the 13-minute speech from my seat at The Post, resulting in an 11-second time-lapse. The one non-Obama screen is CNBC.
The film, and specifically this scene, is a great marker for where technology was then, and how far it has come in 24 years.
Gekko, the billionaire corporate raider, is seated at a posh Manhattan restaurant when his new protege sits next to him. He’s watching something on a brick-like “mini”-television with an antennae that stretches as far as the eye can see.
The important thing to remember is that Gekko is a powerful billionaire with the world at his fingertips. He says to Bud:
"Hey, see this? Can you believe it? Got a two-inch screen…I tell ya, we’re going to a new age, pal."
Of course mini-TVs obviously weren’t the “new age.” But mobile devices that you could use anywhere, such as your table at a restaurant, certainly are.
Bloggers Melissa Bell and Elizabeth Flockouted an American man in Scotland as the blogger behind “A Gay Girl in Damascus”. While a researcher helped piece together the blogger’s identity, tools like Facebook helped them fill in the blanks.
I asked them five questions about about what they learned while covering this story. Listen:
How did you figure out that this was a hoax?
How did you use social media to connect the dots?
Will this story affect the way you do your job?
Are there any tools or tactics you used that people might not know about?