LINE users can now add or subscribe to BBC Hindi’s news services and receive text, videos, graphics and audio news bulletins. Prior to this, BBC News offered content from its English account on LINE. The Japanese mobile messaging app recently claimed to have 30 million registered users in India, though it didn’t disclose the number of active users in the country.
Earlier this month, BBC Global News’ controller of digital and technology, James Montgomery told Business Standard that BBC Hindi website generated 4.1 million unique views in Q3 2014. He also mentioned that currently 4% of the traffic on BBC.com comes from India, making India the fourth in terms of countries accessing the website.
Content distribution experiments: During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BBC News had also experimented with providing news updates through instant messaging apps by pushing out audio bulletins and other updates related to the Indian elections via WhatsApp, WeChat and BBM. BBC News witnessed better engagement on WhatsApp, in comparison to the other two chat apps, because BBC’s approach on WhatsApp was more personalized.
Last year, BBC World Service had launched a BBC Hindi app for Android. At the time, BBC Hindi editor Nidheesh Tyagi had told Medianama that mobile had been contributing to one-third of the total direct traffic to the BBC Hindi site.
Social Media-only news service: In August 2014, BBC had launched a social media-only news service for Thailand. This was after the Royal Thai Armed Forces staged a military coup in May 2014, following which International channels including BBC World News TV had been temporarily taken off air.
BBC had also tied-up with mobile VAS provider IMImobile to improve its audience engagement process across mobile and social channels, July this year.