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BBC targets mobile users with news via Instagram

Anh Nguyen | Jan. 23, 2014
Instafax, a play on Ceefax, launched last week.

BBC News has launched short news videos viewable on Instagram in response to figures last month showing that for the first time, more people were accessing BBC's online services on mobile devices than on desktops.

Called 'Instafax' - a reference to the BBC's teletext Ceefax service that ended in 2012 - the video news service was launched on 16 January as part of a month-long trial. The BBC uploads three 15-second videos to the site each day.

BBC News Online's head, Steve Herrmann, told the Guardian: "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.

"[BBC News director] James Harding has been clear in his vision to find innovative ways to bring the best of our journalism to new audiences, something our team has been looking at for some time."

The BBC is not a pioneer in this field, however. NowThis News, which is partly owned by NBCUniversal, has been producing news videos of up to 30 seconds for social media sites since 2012.

In the latest statistics released by the BBC, after 26 December, almost three million people were viewing its catch-up service iPlayer on their tablets each day, ahead of laptops and desktops.


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