BBC Nairobi hackathon to develop World Service chat app


BBC Connected Studio is holding a hackathon in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi next month as it looks to develop a chat app to extend the reach of the BBC World Service to young audiences in Africa.

The Nairobi hackathon – which will be based around social platforms, specifically the use of chat apps, to reach young audiences – takes place on February 3-4, with a short evening briefing on January 29.

Winning innovative ideas will be eligible for a funded pilot of up to GBP25,000 (US$38,000).

“The aim of this event is to generate ideas, develop them, and test a pilot service that will extend BBC World Service reach in Kenya, as our audiences become increasingly connected to digital media through mobile phones,” BBC Connected Studio said.

“The focus is on young mobile phone users in urban and rural areas who do not currently have access to BBC content that is relevant to them, and capitalising on the popularity of social media and chat apps to help accomplish this.”

Developed solutions should target young mobile phone users in urban and rural areas who might not currently access BBC content that is relevant to them.

“This audience has high mobile phone use, not just for calls and staying in touch with their social networks, but for other aspects of their lives such as banking. Feature phones are leading in the current market, though the affordable smartphone is on the horizon. We also need to consider those already accessing the BBC through analogue devices and how we encourage them to move their consumption to mobile devices,” BBC Connected Studio said.

“As people use their mobile devices in more aspects of their daily lives, their expectations are changing. They want content that is relevant to them, which will keep them up-to-date and well informed, and help them to develop new skills, remain healthy and be successful – it should be consumable on-demand and at low or no cost.”

Developers interested in applying can do so here.

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