Determined to widen its reach, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced a partnership with BlackBerry to deliver news from its Hausa service to its users in Nigeria, offering five BBC Hausa news alerts daily via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
The new service is part of BBC’s move to use chat apps to deliver its content to, and engage with, a wider demography of users.
Each alert contains story links subscribers can share, along with their comments and story ideas.
Trushar Barot, assistant editor for the Social Media Hub at BBC News, said: “We had been speaking to BlackBerry for a few months about their plans to develop their BBM product. We were keen to try and find a BBC service that we felt would be a good fit to test the service.
“Many Nigerians use BBM, with consumption of news content on mobile phones also very high, so linking up with the BBC Hausa service felt like the right choice.”
BBC Hausa editor Mansur Liman said: “With over 96 per cent of the traffic to the bbchausa.com website coming to its mobile version, BBC Hausa has prioritised its mobile offer as our key platform to reach our audiences.
The launch of the BBC Hausa BBM in Nigeria – our biggest market – is a great development which will allow us to tap into new audiences, and also create a very simple, cheap and immediate way of connecting us with our users there.”
To subscribe, individuals are required to download the latest version of BBM available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry smartphones, and search for ‘BBC Hausa’ from the ‘Channels’ tab.
They can also connect via the BBM PIN: C00334DDD. Links to the BBC Hausa BBM channel will also be available via bbchausa.com and BBM.com/bbchausa.