The BBC is trialling a new service called Instafax using Instagram to push out three daily video news stories of 15 seconds each. The service is described as being the updated version of a text-based, short-form news service for the digital age. The name, Instafax, is an homage to the BBC’s, now retired, Ceefax service which was the world’s first teletext service that ran on UK television until 2012.
The head of BBC News Online, Steve Herrmann, said that the trial was conceived after monthly visitor figures to the BBC over December showed that mobile phones and tablets had overtaken desktop browsing for the first time ever.
Each news story is in the form of a series of short clips stitched together with text overlays describing the events of the video. In the video caption is an expanded description of the news story and a link to the full version on the BBC’s main website with the disclaimer “[We are experimenting with a short form news service we’re calling #Instafax. We’d love to hear what you think.]”.
So far feed back has been varied with comments from “Instafax is a game changer” to “worst idea ever” having been submitted.