BBC launches ‘Instafax’ news service on Instagram

BBC News has revamped its Instagram presence with the launch of a new service delivering single news items via the app’s 15-second video option.

Called ‘Instafax‘ – a nod to the BBC’s Ceefax service, the world’s first teletext information service which ran until 2012 – the new offering is part of a month-long trial that’ll see three concise news pieces uploaded each day. And with only a quarter of a minute to play with, ‘concise’ is certainly the key word here.

Before the launch, the BBC’s Instagram feed was a mishmash of content delivered in a variety of styles – now it’s a much more uniformed affair, comprising video or photos with snippets of overlaid text and a soundtrack. Check out the example below:

Each post is expanded upon with text-based information beneath the imagery, but with hyperlink functionality currently absent from the media-sharing app, Instafax feels rather limited in what it can offer. It may be fine for those with a fleeting interest in what’s happening in the world, but news addicts will have to exit Instagram and hop over to their news app of choice to discover the meat of a story.

The new service comes a month after it was announced mobile traffic to BBC News sites had exceeded desktop traffic for the first time, with the rollout of Instafax an indication of the British corporation’s eagerness to experiment with new features in a bid to further increase its audience.

However, the BBC isn’t the first to offer short-form news in this way, with NowThis News, for example, doing the same since 2012. NBCUniversal recently bought a stake in the site, which produces news videos of up to 30 seconds for various social media sites, as well as its own cross-platform app.

[via Guardian]

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