We ask Andy Poulton, Project Manager for BBC Connected Studios, about BBC Drop
How was it made?
BBC Drop was an idea pitched during an event held in Nairobi that was jointly run by the BBC World Service and BBC Connected Studios. The aim of this event was to generate new ideas for tools and products that would better distribute BBC News to a younger and more digitally minded African audience.
The team responsible for this idea were Trevor and Charles from Nairobi based company, Ongair. Following the pitch they worked closely with both BBC Connected Studio and the BBC World service in order to define the work they were to undertake.
To assist the team, BBC Connected Studio also partnered with iHub, a tech hub in Nairobi who also lent a hand in running the event, to support the team throughout the pilot build.
How does it work?
BBC Drop is a mobile-based web application, primarily for Android devices, that allows for personalised news discovery at the fingertips of the user. It works by pulling stories from The Juicer and CANDY. It then allows the user to pick from 9 categories and personalises their news feed based on their likes and dislikes. Users who login via social media gain access to the full experience and can swipe left or right to personalise their content - giving them more of what they like, and less of what they don’t.
What do you want to learn from its time on Taster?
There are three things we want to explore – Discovery, personalisation and the quality of the learning engine.
BBC Drop pushes content to a user that they may not expect. We want to learn if this discovery of content will provide them with news that surprises them and therefore gives them fresh insight.
Finally we want to test the technology and find out how successfully it learns the users likes and dislikes.