Spirit has been working with the BBC R&D team to produce an innovative new interactive documentary called ‘Instagramification’ for the BBC’s Taster Platform using the BBC’s StoryFormer software.

‘Instagramification’ can be watched here:



As our tech continues to learn more about us and understand our behaviours and preferences, how will this information feed into the content we consume?

We are extremely proud to have worked with the BBC’s R&D team to create Instagramification, a personalised, interactive documentary exploring the good, the bad and the ugly of the world’s fastest-growing social media platform. This is our third commission from BBC R&D, following on from our projects School Run 360 and The Lion Whisperer in 360.

As pioneers in the digital space, we were excited by the possibility of creating an original documentary pilot using the BBC’s newly developed tool for authoring responsive stories, StoryFormer. The tool allowed us to create parallel narratives and intuitive content-branching, easily customisable by the viewer according to their preferences.

How does it work?

For the purposes of the pilot, viewers are asked to complete a short questionnaire before watching the documentary (although we may imagine that in the future, this information will already have been gathered by our devices).

The data collected in this questionnaire goes on to generate a personalised storyline that aligns with the viewer’s stated preferences. There are also moments of interactivity in the documentary, where viewers are asked to make a decision about what they’d like to see next. The primary distinguishing facet of the storyline is whether the viewer chooses to be ‘entertained’ or ‘informed’. This decision dictates the presenter of the documentary and the tone of voice in which the story is told.

Why should I watch it?

Instagramification provides a fascinating ‘warts and all’ look at the world of Instagram, exploring its top trends, its biggest players, its effects on mental health, and even its potential impact on the outcome of elections. But more than this, Instagramification tests a technology that may well come to shape how we consume content in the years to come.

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