Mobile platform aggregates user-generated content, unites Jornal do Commercio audience

By Veronica Barros

ComuniQ is a mobile platform to bring the audience closer to the newsrooms of Sistema Jornal do Commercio de Comunicação (SJCC), a conglomerate of TV, newspaper, radio, and Internet news portal companies in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.

This large variety of media channels and outlets needed to gather news-related content submitted by the local citizens in a more organised way. The methods previously used by the journalists were e-mail and social networks, but the major problems were the lack of content flow control and the inability to output the high amount of content received every day.

To resolve this problem, SJCC TV, newspaper, radio, and Internet executives teamed up with i2 Mobile Solutions, a local company specialising in mobile experiences, design, and technology for consumers.

After initial meetings to determine the objectives and priorities for the project, a few concepts were tested and prototyped to get feedback from journalists, newsroom editors, and potential users.

The resulting solution was a mobile application for iOS and Android, where users can send videos, photos, audio, and texts that are immediately received by a timeline-based Web panel, or dashboard, managed by journalists of all SJCC news companies. The Dashboard automatically notified users when their content was used by any of the SJCC media channels.

The first version of comuniQ was launched during a workshop for journalism students on November 26, 2013.

The solution was warmly welcomed and helped journalists generate dozen of news-related content pieces using videos, photos, audio, and information sent by the users in the very first weeks after the launch.

The user author credits were given for all content used, which boosted the tool’s word of mouth popularity due to the visibility local media channels provided to citizens’ contributions.

The mobile application was later updated to allow users to view all the content submitted by other users, which was called public feed. In this second version it was also possible to share content on Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. 

A Web site aggregating all the users’ contributions was launched at to increase the visibility for the user-generated content. The Web site mirrored the mobile application public feed and allowed non-mobile users to also follow the local news and stories posted by their community. 

Our Web strategy for comuniQ also included a newsfeed widget placed on every Web site of the SJCC news network that results in an average 70,000 page views monthly for the comuniQ’s Web site. 

SJCC continuously reinforces the usage of comuniQ with a communication campaign across all the media (TV, radio, print, online and offline) to reach more users and educate about the tool benefits and new features. 

The platform also allows SJCC to send push notifications called missions to the application users, requesting specific types of content or to participate in fun activities that will be later featured on the TV, newspaper, radio shows and online.

After seven months, comuniQ has approximately 10,000 application installations, 60% for Android and 40% for iOS, with 8,000 contents submitted by the users, which 520 were featured or used as source for journalistic purposes on SJJC media channels, including on several covers and pages of Jornal do Commercio, the main newspaper in Recife.

The project was also awarded as the best mobile social network and best mobile tool of 2014 on the Prêmio Tela Viva Móvel, an annual event that awards the best mobile project cases in the Brazilian market.

About Veronica Barros

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