Broadcasting stalwart, the BBC, have always been early adopters of technology, particularly online, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them trialing soundbite-size snippets of breaking news via Instagram’s video platform. The Corporation has launched their new “Instafax” service on the short-form video site, and for the next few weeks will be uploading 15-second videos of news and current affairs stories to their Instagram account. Three videos will be posted a day during the month-long trial, and the BBC are actively inviting user feedback on the venture.
Head of BBC News Online, Steve Herrmann, said the experiment is a response to changing audience patterns:
We want the process to be organic, and we’re keen to trial new ideas on how we can use our video content to reach new audiences. to find innovative ways to bring the best of our journalism to new audiences, something our team has been looking at for some time.
In December 2013, viewing figures for BBC iPlayer showed confirmed tablet and mobile consumption had overtaken desktop usage for the first time.
The name ‘Instafax’ is a hat tip to the old, much-missed, Ceefax service which ran for 38 years until 2012. You can see an example of an example of one of the videos here:
As you can’t link out to other sites from Instagram, it will be interesting to see how the BBC fares, given that it can’t direct viewers back to its main news site.