Here in the UK, you'll hear the BBC referred to as 'Auntie'. There are a few different explanations flying around for the moniker, but the consensus is it derives from the slightly prudish and reserved, 'Auntie knows best' attitude that the corporation had in its early days and well into the 1950s. Now, 'Auntie' is far more a term of endearment, and it can't really be said that the Beeb doesn't innovate. Over the next month the BBC is experimenting with delivering news via Instagram, a venture it's calling 'Instafax', a reference to the late departed text news service, Ceefax. Three times a day it'll post a 15 second video to its BBC News Instagram account.
The videos feature news footage overlaid with text and a music backing. Even if you can't listen, you can still access the salient issues before following through to the full story on the BBC website, or moving on to the next image in your Instagram feed. I've noticed some commenters have found the text a distraction from the footage and would prefer a more news-dense voice-over. I'm going to whisper this because it probably makes me some kind of new media pariah, but I'm not a fan of video content as I find it instrusive. The Instafax hybrid seems to be compromise and one that I like. As BBC person put it:
The idea behind not having a voiceover is that you don't have to have the sound on to understand the video. Additionally, it significantly cuts down on the amount of time the videos take to produce. If we decide to continue producing these after one month, we may consider having both a voiceover and on-screen text.
Why three videos a day? No one wants a feed overwhelmed with BBC news stories.
Doubtless someone, somewhere will be lamenting the demise of longform journalism and decrying the dumbing down of the news, but I'm rather impressed by the BBC's diversification and willingness to embrace social media. It's a pilot that I'd like to see taken up. You can keep up to date by following the BBC's Instagram feed.
(Headsup to DesignTaxi)