Ongair-designed BBC Drop now available for trial

Digital Content

BBC Drop, a tailored BBC news content for the smart phone and social media generation designed by Kenyan startup, Ongair is now available on BBC Taster for trial for the next three months.

The platform is the result of a unique collaboration between digital innovators in Kenya and the BBC, and was specially created and designed in Nairobi last year to work well on smart phones.

BBC Drop works by asking users for a few favourite topics, or social media preferences, and then continues to learn what the users like and dislike from what they swipe on screen.

There is also the option of an even more personal news feed which incorporates the user’s own social feeds. The end result is users getting to see content specifically tailored to them, and the stuff they are not interested in being filtered out.

Dmitry Shishkin, Digital Development Editor for BBC World Service said, “This latest innovation highlights the BBC’s strong commitment to serving young digital audiences in Africa – both editorially and technically. Digital revolution in Africa offers media companies great opportunities to grow the reach of their journalism and I am very happy that an African tech start-up is playing a key role in it.”

The platform works well on all screens and devices, but has been designed with Android users in mind given the overwhelming popularity of the platform with our audiences across the world and in Africa in particular.

The platform collects news content from across the BBC. The aggregation and tagging is made possible using BBC Juicer, a tool created by BBC News Labs, which takes in news sources from across the globe and automatically tags specific topics.

The idea of the platform was born out of a development studio (aka ‘hackathon’) held by the BBC World Service and BBC digital innovations team, Connected Studio. Teams of African tech experts were invited to think of new ways to reach young Africans through social and digital media.

The launch of the BBC Drop pilot continues the BBC’s investment in digital innovation across Africa and it follows another successful African-designed digital pilot, BBC Minute CatchUp, which was designed by a South African team of young innovators and has been viewed over 290,000 times since its own pilot began in Nov 2015.
Source: TechLoy 11 February 2016