NBCUniversal pop-culture network E! is grabbing photos and videos celebrities post to Facebook's Instagram, with a feature for its website and on-air news show ranking the top 200 stars in real time.
The cabler's Instagram Photo Wall launched first on E! Online and will debut May 9 on E! News, with hosts using an 82-inch touchscreen monitor to scroll through the most-popular and trending celeb pics.
No money is changing hands: E! and Facebook do not have a formal business or commercial deal for the Instagram feature. But Instagram sees the arrangement as boosting user engagement with the service. "(W)ith this new wall, E! will make it even easier for fans to connect with their favorite stars on Instagram," said Charles Porch, strategic partner lead for Instagram.
As of around 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the top 10 celebs on E!'s Instagram-tracker were Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Khloe Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Cara Delevingne, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Hilary Duff and One Direction's Niall Horan.
On TV, E! News talent will access the Instagram Photo Wall using a monitor from Perceptive Pixel, the Microsoft-owned manufacturer that CNN has used for its interactive "Magic Wall" for national election coverage. Other TV programs that have pulled social-media content their telecasts in an integral way include ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today."
In another digital initiative, E! also expanding the "Love It, Buy It" on-air ecommerce segment beyond its trial that launched in December, opening the platform up to brand integrations. The segment, which features different fashion and beauty products available for purchase online at loveitbuyit.tv, will run every other Tuesday, starting May 13. The cabler claims an average of 3% of E! News' linear audience visits the site as active shoppers.
In addition, E! this summer plans to launch "In Feed," an ad unit that places sponsor messages directly into the network's multiscreen digital news feeds. That will place the ads in a "marquee position" near the top of each newsfeed across E! Online's mobile and website properties -- in an "organic" way, the network says.
Watch a demo of E!'s "Instagram Wall":