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Why Has The BBC News App Become So Bad?

Posted on 17th April 2022

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Regular readers of this blog have probably noticed that one of my main news sources is the BBC. Just lately, however, the BBC app has become so bad as to be virtually unusable, not just on my mobile phone (not the latest model), but also on Sheryl's modern phone.

  1. There has always been a problem with the occasional articles which are not proper app content, but instead are web-pages. On the app, this means that if you work through the list of articles by opening one, and then swiping left to open the next, these web-pages will not open; you have to go back to the top-level summary list, and click the web-page item to open it. This is annoying, but I have learned to work around this limitation.
  2. There were lots of problems with the plug-in used to play video content, which necessitated many software updates, after which most of the bugs were fixed (after several months).
  3. There are, however, problems with the handling of video advertisements, which play before the actual video that you wanted to see starts, and which the BBC seems unable to repair:
  1. Often, the video player plays multiple advertisement soundtracks at once, and even if it decides to play the same advertisement many times at once, they are unsynchronised, which is really annoying,
  2. Recently there has been no advertising video, only one or more soundtracks,
  3. While you are waiting for the long (usually 20 seconds or more) advertising video to finish (no skip option) the screen usually locks.
  1. The latest bug is a performance issue, pure and simple - the summary list of articles,and the individual articles, take forever to load (10 to 15 minutes).

The BBC is a large corporation, with a large budget. The fact that they have advertisements on their App shows that they are generating revenue from the App. Why, then, do they have so many problems with the App? Their poor quality is driving readers and advertisers away, and is thus costing them money.