By Sahil Patel
NowThis News may have been the first major online news organization to distribute content on Instagram, but it’s no longer the only one. BBC is now experimenting with distributing news clips on Instagram Video by launching a service called “Instafax.”
The service, which was announced late last week, will be available via the BBC News Instagram page, and will publish three 15-second news round-ups every day. BBC is trialling the service — and this new method of news distribution — for a month to see how viable of an option it is to reach viewers wherever they are consuming content. In fact, Steve Hermann, head of BBC News Online, told The Guardian that the decision to trial “Instafax” was influenced by increased BBC News video consumption on mobile devices — so much so that mobile (including tablet) consumption surpassed desktop in December for the first time.
As mentioned above, the move to use non-traditional platforms like Instagram to distribute news content isn’t completely new, NowThis News has been doing it since 2012. In a previous interview with VideoInk, NowThis News editor-in-chief Ed O’Keefe said: “We know the natural urge of the social and digital generation is to find content on the platform they prefer. We’re not going to fight that instinct.”
It appears BBC recognizes this fundamental shift in content consumption as well. Once the news organization’s month-long trial is over, it won’t be surprising if it opts to continue with “Instafax.” Though BBC News says it currently has no other plans to launch other social media trials. Snapchat will have to wait.