BBC Future Media Event Part 2: The first ‘safe’ social network?


The first installment of our two-part blog on last week’s BBC Future Media Event looked at the developing technology of Perceptive Media and what this might hold for the communications industry. In this second follow-up blog, we look at two key areas of interest arising from discussions with the CBBC and Digital Sport teams, starting with the launch of what the Beeb is calling the first ‘safe, real-world’ social network…

CBBC launches the first ‘safe’ social network for children

Children under the age of five have never known a world without the iPhone and so naturally demand that their technology is slick, quick and ahead of the times.  The CBBC website hosts around 1,700 games and is available on a host of different devices. In a move that breaks ground in the online social space, it is soon to launch what it is calling the first ‘real world’, safe social network for kids. Allowing children to connect with their friends online in a space named ‘Vs’, the new CBBC hosted network ensures that children trade user names in the playground rather than digitally, so it’s completely transparent as to whom they are connecting with. The development has not only benefited children and their parents; investing locally, the Beeb has awarded independent developer contracts for a number of its upcoming digital projects in pitch processes that include over 300 agencies. An example of which is Manchester-based Young , responsible for developing the new Cbeebies ‘Music Mash-Up’ game-app.

BBC Sport: Mobile browsers first

The success story of the night came from the digital sport team. Ten million people per day watched the 2012 Olympics on the BBC Sport website, which typically receives 6 million hits per day. Seven-hundred thousand people watched Bradley Wiggins race for gold on their mobile and athletes and journalists utilised the ground-breaking live stream technology to watch team mates compete while keeping abreast of all events.

Head of the sports team, Chris Condron, explained the importance of first optimising the site’s mobile browser, which receives more traffic than the Apple and Android sport apps combined. A device’s market share is the key factor in building the critical mass that warrants a bespoke app development, bringing to light the need for a fully optimised mobile browser on all devices. This is especially significant when you consider 2014’s packed sporting calendar, including World Cup, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

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