The BBC is set to introduce significant changes to its BBC News website and mobile apps over the coming weeks.
Robin Pembrooke (pictured), general manager, News Products, BBC Future Media, explained: “In the past year we have seen an unprecedented shift in news consumption to mobile and tablet devices; in the UK 50-60 per cent of all visits are now from users on mobile, and in some countries it’s over 90 per cent. Our original website was not designed with users on mobile or tablet in mind, and we need a cost effective solution that works for everyone, on all devices.
“In December we started inviting users of tablet devices to switch from the existing website to the new responsive solution and their feedback has been very positive. People are consuming a wider range of content on the new solution. We’re now in the process of finalising updates that will allow us to start inviting all users into the new experience.
According to the BBC, the new website has a cleaner design, will load pages quicker and surfaces up more video content than the existing design. The new navigation design allows users to find local news much easier than before with a “Find Local News” function.
Pembrooke added: “The new solution will also allow us to deploy new features quicker and respond more effectively to your feedback in the future.
“From the end of January we will invite users to the new site on an opt-in basis. Based on feedback from users we will then look to roll out the experience to all users.”
The BBC is also working on a personalised BBC News App with a broader range of content. “We’ve been developing a new proposition; our new mobile App for iOS and Android is now being tested with a user panel of 2,000 users, which has been receiving very positive feedback.”
The new app will launch at the end of January and will include several new features, including:
– a broader range of content than the existing app, including local news
– surfacing up much more of BBC News video content in and alongside articles
– improved photo galleries and video playback
– most read and most viewed sections
– the ability to follow topics and stories with a personalisable “my News” section
“The ability to follow topics will initially be limited to users of the mobile app. If this proves to be a popular feature then we will look to extend this to work across the app and website so that your “my News” section follows you across devices.”