BBC updating iOS news app with personalized feeds, most-read stories, local news & more

The British Broadcasting Corporation has announced that its BBC News iPhone and iPad apps are being updated, with a lot more video, local news, ‘most popular’ links and–most interestingly of all–users able to add their own personalized news feeds.

In addition to pre-existing sections – including Top Stories, UK and Politics – users will be able to add specialised feeds of their choice, for example: Apps, Taylor Swift, Genetics, and Oban.

A new ‘My news’ section allows users to enter keywords which will be matched against tags entered by journalists to populate the personalized feed.

The BBC says that the UK version of both iOS and Android apps will be rolled out this week, with global editions to follow.

The Beeb and its fans tend to be somewhat conservative, with protests every time it changes something, so this time it’s taking a preemptive strike, aiming to soothe the likely objections.

“We know we have got a very large number of people who used the existing app and they really like it,” said Robin Pembrooke, general manager of news products at BBC Future Media.

“It will be a big change for a number of people, so we are trying to provide a warning up front. We’ve got easy guides on how to use the new app, and there’s in-app tips to help people use it.”

The current versions of the iPhone and iPad apps are free downloads in iTunes, then watch out for the updates.