bbc drop

The BBC has partnered with Kenyan messaging startup Ongair to launch Drop, an app offering BBC news content tailored for smartphone and social media power users.

The idea for BBC Drop came from a hackathon held by the BBC’s Connected Studio, where African techies brainstormed on new ways to reach young Africans through social and digital media.

The BBC Connected Studio works with the digital sector – established players and startups in the technology sector – to search for new and innovative ideas with the potential to scale across the continent of Africa and beyond.

Ongair is one such player making big waves, offering instant messaging and email solutions for companies to interact with their clients. In late December, the Kenyan startup secured funding to expand into Asia.

The Drop app asks users for a few favourite topics and social media preferences, and it continues to learn what they like and dislike from what they swipe on screen. Users can also incorporate their own social feeds.

The app collects news content using aggregation and tagging by the BBC Juicer, which takes in news sources from across the globe and automatically tags specific topics.

A pilot version of the Drop app is available on BBC Taster, where other apps that the BBC is cooking up are also available.

Connected Studio is looking for Nigerian digital companies to collaborate on projects. The call for idea submissions is open until midnight on 15 February 2016.

Ideas will be selected for a funded pilot based on success criteria set out in the invitation to tender. Find out more and get involved here.

Eric Mugendi Author

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox