LOOK Philstar, Scoopshot incentivizes citizen photojournalism

The Philippine Star and Philstar.com has partnered with Finland-based P2S Media Group to launch an app that lets smartphone owners make money just by taking pictures.

Called Scoopshot, it is a crowd sourced photo marketplace and accompanying mobile app that encourages people to submit pictures and videos that can be bought by brands or media companies.

Users can send newsworthy content or try to meet a company's assignment posted on the app. Those deemed fit for a news article or ad campaign are then bought from the contributor and get recognized for the work.

The move beefs up the Star’s ability to deliver breaking news and offers a unique way to drive and incentivize citizen journalism in the country. So far, local media giants like ABS-CBN and GMA have their own crowd sourced news content but not to the possible scale of what Scoopshot can offer, considering that 15% of the 100 million people living in the Philippines own smartphones.

"We are shaping user-generated content in the Philippines as our readers will soon join others from around the world in this endeavor. User-generated content will have a new meaning as Scoopshot enters the picture," Philstar.com VP for operations Jules Salonga, said in statement.

Just launched in February 2011, Scoopshot takes on the stock photo industry by involving content consumers in the creation process. To date, the app is being used in 170 countries and about 60 publications worldwide use the service.

With virtually everyone owning smartphones these days, most fitted with decent cameras, the service creates a pool of fresh images and video sent the minute they were taken – something stock photography can’t do as fast.

The Scoopshot app is available in the App Store and Play Store. Pricing terms for the Philippines have yet to be announced but based on reports from the US, a picture costs $US 5 apiece but the contributor only receives $ US 2.50 for each photo sold.