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BBC’s Instagramification is a ‘personalised, data-driven documentary’


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Unfortunately only people within the UK can watch Instagramification, a new pilot documentary by British public-service broadcaster the BBC about “the good, the bad and the ugly of the world’s fastest growing social network” (yep, Instagram). But even if you can’t watch it, the concept is interesting: the Beeb is pitching this as a ‘personalised, data-driven documentary’ – “Each viewer experiences the documentary based on a combination of their mood, personal preferences and the choices they make, seeing a slightly different version of the story assembled just for them,” according to BBC R&D Development Producer Nick Hanson.

The documentary uses the broadcaster’s existing ‘StoryFormer’ tool for creating branching narrative. In this case, the ‘data’ comes from a survey that viewers complete before watching, which is then used to guide their route through the documentary’s modular content. Hanson pointed out that in the future, a survey might not be needed. “Instead, data could be taken from your past interactions with the BBC. This might be from the programmes you watch on iPlayer or the radio stations, podcasts and music you listen to on BBC Sounds,” he said. “By building up a profile of each viewer, not only can we can recommend the type of content they might like, but also how they might experience that content.” There’s more detail on the project here.

Stuart Dredge

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