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Published: 4 Mar 2016

BBC Distributes on Messaging Apps

Extra
The BBC explores mobile distribution channels

The BBC has struck up agreements to distribute some of its documentary content through messaging apps Viber and WhatsApp.

On Viber, the British broadcaster will share content from its Our World series to promote the upcoming episode, Kidnapped in Mexico. Starting on March 6, a public Viber chat will fill the week running up to the TV screening with text messages, images and animations to retell the story of a kidnapping in real time.

Meanwhile, BBC Africa will start publishing Young, Angry and Connected – stories of young activists in the Democratic Republic of Congo making their voices heard through social media – through WhatsApp chat groups. The BBC previously used WhatsApp during the West African Ebola crisis, providing health alerts to more than 25,000 subscribers.

By further exploring messaging as a mobile distribution platform, the broadcaster is future-proofing for mobile-first consumers. These audiences are particularly prominent in emerging markets where, according to Google's vice-president of product management, Caesar Sengupta, users are not just mobile-first: "In many cases, they are mobile-only, so how we develop products and services needs to adapt to that."

Additionally, social media engagement data around cultural events like The Oscars demonstrates a shift of entertainment consumption habits in the West to mobile devices. Omnichannel distribution models that take social and dark social behaviours into account will be vital to keep audiences talking about your content.

For more on mobile social media engagement, see Live-Streaming Strategies, Five New Channels for Social Media Marketing and State of Mobile: Winter 2016.

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