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BBC rules out creating Twitter and Facebook rival

BBC - not planning its own social network
BBC - not planning its own social network

The BBC has ruled out launching its own social network to compete with the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

The integration of social networking tools into the iPlayer has been a big success for the BBC, but it has not decided to use its clout to bring a UK rival to the table.

"BBC Online will not launch its own social network," stated the BBC as it outlined a raft of cutbacks and changes to its online offering.

iPlayer - staying social

It was the third iteration of the iPlayer that brought social-networking tools to the service.

The use of Facebook and Twitter helped to bring more social integration to the iPlayer - so if your friends 'Like' something they have watched, it can be recommended for you to view.

The company has been asked to severely cut back the money it is spending on online, with some 200 websites set to close or be integrated into other sites by 2013/14. This has led to the BBC prioritsing just what it should do online - with social-networking being ruled out.

Erik Huggers, who recently announced he would be leaving the BBC for Intel, said about the cuts: "We're not here to launch our own social network.

"We're not in trade press business and will not publish local listings. We're not trying to do a Wikipedia here. We will aggregate well but will refer to other resources on the web.

"When it comes to video on demand, we will link out but will not be providing the technology [for rival services].

"And we will not invest in online sports rights."

The BBC has long been criticised by other broadcasters and newspapers for treading on their toes in the online sector, so Huggers' speech today will alleviate some of that animosity - unfortunately, though, hundreds of jobs will be lost in the process.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the Managing Editor - App Store UK at Apple. He is a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere has been and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.