A prototype media player, designed and built by digital innovators from Africa, is now live online. BBC Minute CatchUP - can sit within any online page and will let users hear and share the latest edition of BBC Minute. Specially created to work well on smartphones, BBC Minute CatchUP comes from one of the development studios (aka 'hackathons') held earlier this year by the BBC World Service and BBC digital innovations team, Connected Studio. A social enterprise hub called RLabs from Cape Town in South Africa designed it.
In a unique collaboration - the first of its kind for the BBC outside the UK, teams of African tech experts were invited to think of new ways to reach young Africans through social and digital media and this selected idea can now be tried and rated by the potential audience themselves here.
Dmitry Shishkin, Digital Development Editor for the World Service, says, "African audiences have become 'mobile-first' before the term has become mainstream for western media and World Service has an impressive record of growing mobile and social segments of our digital reach. While planning these hackathons our task was to find new ways of reaching digital audiences in Africa - to offer them a huge array of great content, relevant to them. It is extremely important for us that we are taking selected pilots from ideas into live products, developed from scratch by the audience - for the audience. It is exciting that the BBC can be at the forefront of these developments in Africa and we hope the ideas can be used in other regions of the world. The team can now see their idea performing in real life and we hope the audience enjoys trying it out."
Further pilot from Nairobi
A further pilot from the Connected Studio project in Africa - BBC Drop, which was designed in Nairobi, will launch online in the coming weeks. It was made by a Kenyan start-up called Ongair that develops products that make it easier for companies to engage their audiences on instant messaging platforms.
These pilots continue the BBC's initiative to invest in digital innovation across Africa. This year has already seen the launch of the Africa edition of the bbc.com website and the Africa live page on the BBC News website. Both of these have provided African internet users on the continent and in diaspora communities with dedicated digital spaces where they can find more African news stories and features. In addition, the BBC continues to focus on Africa's massive online audience via many social media outlets, creating clickable and shareable content delivered by the BBC's reporters across Africa.
For more information on the Development studios, click here for South Africa and Kenya. An embeddable video can be viewed here.
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