BBC Blogs - College of Journalism - How BBC Ebola WhatsApp service is battling virus and finding great stories

ERResearch's bookmarks 2016-08-19


In mid-September, just a couple of weeks after we originally had the idea, the BBC’s Ebola WhatsApp information service was born - the first ‘lifeline’ humanitarian service to be launched inside the app. It was as a dual-language offering, in English and French, so we could maximise the potential audience that could benefit.

So how has the project gone? We’d initially anticipated running the account for about six weeks and reviewing the situation just before Christmas. When it came to it, the case to continue was still strong - particularly with the Christmas and New Year holiday period meaning many more people would be travelling in the region.

At the time of writing the service is still running and we have more than 19,000 subscribers. Most of these (probably 80-90%) are from West Africa, which we can tell from the mobile phone numbers. The biggest subscriber group is in Sierra Leone, followed by Nigeria and Ghana. We also have a number of subscribers in Liberia, Guinea, Mali, and further across Africa in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.


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Date tagged:

08/19/2016, 05:54

Date published:

08/19/2016, 01:54