Growing Mobile Audiences: Nigeria

As part of our World Service programme, we launched a brief in Nigeria, in February 2016, that focused on innovative digital concepts to help increase the reach of BBC content across Africa to younger, digital audiences.

We held an event in Lagos to explain the detail of the challenge and how people from the UX and design community could get involved. We also made a range of technical resources and APIs available for participants to utilise.


Two proposals from the open submission process were selected against the criteria of the brief to be developed further.


Timerail explores the user journey and experience of curating big news stories by time and relevance from multiple news sources in a compelling manner. This is being further developed by BBC News Labs for potential adoption across BBC News.

BBC NewsChatta

BBC NewsChatta is a chatbot developed by Lagos-based technology company, Codulab, and brings users an innovative and personal way to interact with BBC news content on their mobile phone. The bot works with the BBC News API to generate news stories based on user-input, using keywords and topics to send relevant news stories via the WeChat Messenger app.

These collaborations form part of the BBC’s objective of increasing its global reach to 500 million by 2020, which has seen similar briefs launched across Africa and Asia, with new services and tools having launched, with others in development.

To try the BBC NewsChatta service:

1. Install the WeChat app on your mobile device.

2. Search for the NewsChatta account by tapping the plus (+) button in the WeChat app window (top-right) and then type "NewsChatta" in the search bar.

3. Click the ‘Follow’ button After adding BBC NewsChatta, you will get a welcome message with a list of commands that you can type in to get news content from the BBC. You can also click on the menu buttons within the app to select topics or subjects that are of interest or relevant to you.

Once you’ve tried BBC NewsChatta, head over to BBC Taster to rate your experience through the link below.

Presentation slide deck