BBC News

How the BBC are using Messenger bots as a new publishing channel to keep younger consumers informed on the UK political landscape.
Project Objective:

Audience engagement


BBC News

Project Completion:

May 2018


A new publishing channel for the BBC

In order to connect with a younger, more diverse audience seeking out information on the impact of the European Referendum result, the BBC created a Messenger bot that allowed consumers to learn more about Brexit, test their knowledge and stay informed of breaking news and alerts.

The challenge

With over 43% of millennials primarily getting news on their smartphones and the impact of Brexit high on the cultural agenda, the BBC wanted a mobile first way of connecting with younger consumers seeking out information on Brexit and the general UK political landscape.

The bot needed to provide useful information on the status of Brexit, educate consumers in fun and engaging ways and keep users informed with breaking alerts.

The solutions

Originally intended to focus solely on Brexit and the process surrounding the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union, the bot allowed users to “get the facts” on key topics, see how different regions voted, test their EU knowledge, answer common questions, understand the withdrawal process, and stay informed of future Brexit updates and decisions.

After a successful trial period and with a snap-election looming, the bot then expanded to include coverage from the general election, fact checkers, breaking news alerts, analysis and opinion, general explainers and mobile story formats related to the British political news cycle.

The results

people sent election night updates
0 %
enabled alerts
0 %
updates read within 1 minute
0 %
CTR on news articles
You take a 500-word news article and think: If I saw this in the form of a series of message alerts, what would I want to see and what would I leave out? That’s a different way of thinking about journalism.
Mark Frankel
Social Media Editor, BBC News

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