Skip to main content

BBC launches ‘Instafax’ news service on Instagram

bbc launches instafax news service instagram
Image used with permission by copyright holder
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]

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Instagram used to be one of my favorite apps — now I can’t stand it
A Galaxy S23 Ultra running Instagram. On the screen, there's an orange guitar.

Instagram is dying a slow, drawn-out death, and I don't think that I'm the only one to notice. The app has been at the center of controversy after controversy as Meta continuously shifts around its ambitions for it, tries to compete with other social media giants like TikTok, and packs itself full to bursting with suggested posts and a relentless number of advertisements. It feels like Meta is doing its best in order to maximize profits and draw users in, but from everyone I've talked to who feels the same as I do, we're only being pushed away.

As it's desperately tried to find a new identity, Instagram has become completely useless to me. It's an app full of content I don't care about that's plastered floor-to-ceiling with ads that have me closing it each time — feeling frustrated and that I might as well delete it to save myself some time and storage space.
Remembering what Instagram used to be

Read more
If you can’t stand ads on Instagram, you’re going to hate this update
Samsung Galaxy S23 showing Instagram

Instagram has been ruffling the feathers of many users as of late with how many ads and suggested posts it shows from unfollowed accounts. Despite the frequent criticism of the app's near-constant ads, Meta announced in a recent blog post that Instagram will now feature an additional two new types of ads to clutter the feeds of all users.

One place where Instagram remained relatively ad-free was in the search results, as the app devoted that space entirely to directing people to the photos, reels, or other users that you're looking for. Now, users can expect to see ads popping up in the search results — making the results a little more padded and a little less helpful.

Read more
Instagram founders open Artifact news app to everyone
The Artifact news app.

Instagram’s a hard act to follow, but the app’s two creators are having a go with a new effort called Artifact.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released the news app at the end of January, but those interested in checking it out had to join a waitlist to access it.

Read more