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The BBC has launched a new international BBC News app for iOS and Android devices. The free app, which since dropping into stores on Friday has already seen 1.5million downloads, has been completely redesigned. It offers a uniquely personalised approach to its award-winning news on-the-go, combining top stories and most-watched stories with a set of personally selected or recommended topics, chosen from a range of over 50,000 subjects.
Users can customise their news experience through the new My News section, which offers a direct route straight to the stories they care about. By choosing to follow topics from within an article, through a list of suggested topics based on what they’ve read or via a search box, users can create a truly personal service with stories listed either chronologically or by topic.
In addition, the new app offers a wider range of world class content from the BBC’s extensive network of journalists from around the globe and access to the BBC’s full international range of images, audio and video for the first time.
Other features include: mobile-first video designed specifically for digital platforms, live BBC World Service radio, most-read and most-watched sections, onward journeys to related articles and video, photo galleries and full-screen images, along with support for Android wearables and the Apple Watch.
Richard Porter, Digital and Editorial Director for BBC Global News Ltd, says, “Smart and discerning audiences are increasingly demanding tailored news at the swipe of a screen, and our mission is to ensure they always have instant access to the stories that matter to them most. The launch of the new app is the latest development in a steady stream of innovative BBC News initiatives which have completely redefined the digital experience across apps, mobile, desktop and social.”
The BBC claims it set a new standard when it launched its first news app in 2010. Since then, it reports that there has been a huge shift in demand for news on handheld devices. Today, more than 50 per cent of users consume BBC News on mobile and tablet, up from 12 per cent in 2012. The BBC News app is one of the most popular in the world, with over 40m downloads since it launched, and users in around 200 countries and territories globally. The international version has seen tremendous growth over the past 18 months, with page views up 44 per cent to nearly half a billion per month.