The BBC is tailoring a new brand of its world famous news coverage specifically to a certain set of social media users,15 seconds at a time. On January 16, the British Broadcasting Company introduced Instafax, a month-long experiment consisting of three 15-second daily videos that round up the day’s news and are disseminated to the Instagram masses by way of Instagram.com/BBCNews.
The name is a nod to the BBC’s former Ceefax service, which was “the world’s first teletext service that ran on UK television until 2012,” according to The Guardian. The British national daily newspaper also reports Steve Herrmann, head of BBC News Online, is very serious about the new initiative, especially considering December 2013 was the first month in history that mobile and tablet traffic to his website was greater than desktop consumption.
“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,” Herrmann said in The Guardian. “[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 vast majority of the videos are comprised of B-roll footage with title sequences explaining the news item, all set on top of stock background music while the Instagram video description provides a touch of context.
The BBC isn’t the only well-known acronym getting in to the short-form news coverage game. NBC recently invested an undisclosed sum into short-form news startup NowThisNews. The two will work together to create bite-sized news stories to be distributed across NBC’s online properties and the web at large.