Dubai-based pan-Arab broadcaster Al Aan TV has revamped its website to coincide with the onset of Ramadan. The newly released site features tighter integration with social media, an expanded network of regional reporters, and a new user interface.
According to the channel’s chief editor Samer Hamza, the new site coherently fuses two of Al Aan’s best assets, the human capital and the massive social media presence: “The expanded network of regional reporters builds on Al Aan’s reputation as a trusted provider of hard news, and provides its reporters with tighter integration with social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The social media links offer news consumers more opportunities to engage with the content, each other, and the reporters who developed the content,” says Hamza.
The channel’s deputy head of news, Rania Sayah, says the new website enables Al Aan to redefine the linear viewing experience: “We no longer think in terms of TV shows alone. We plan them as social conversations feeding from [and] back into social media. The TV content is only one component among many. This matches the way the modern audience consumes video content and engages with it. That is why the social features of our new web site are far more than convenience; they put us on the right track for audience-focused growth.”
The new site’s proprietary location-aware technology offers to serve more relevant content to users as they spend more time on the site, and its user interface sees new colors, and a more natural transition for the featured lifestyle content that will appeal to the more casual consumers of online information. Al Aan’s head of online, Hossein Jalali says: “The integration of social media with lifestyle content provides a more inviting interactive experience for younger web surfers. Internally, we have streamlined our workflows so as to be able to understand viewer interests better and respond to them quickly and effectively.”
In the background, the new website features a more scalable platform built on top of Amazon Web Services to position the Al Aan family of web properties for further growth. The next phase in the project will see a revamp of Al Aan’s mobile apps that will now all be based on the content management system that was built for the new web site.