Credit: BBC North West Tonight

The weather report has traditionally sat at the tail-end of the TV news bulletin.

But now one weatherman is using mobile journalism formats to deliver it for social media users any time of the day.

Owain Wyn Evans, senior weather presenter, BBC North West Tonight, can be seen on Twitter and Instagram Stories informing his followers with GIFS and selfie-style updates.

"The way people get the news is always changing," he said. "I'm interested in how people consume the news on social and where they're flocking off to - I want to try and be accessible."

The weather update is no different. Seven years ago Evans used the short-form video hosting service Vine to create six-second updates during his last position at BBC.

Now with BBC North West Tonight, the passion has developed into a fully-fledged side project that he posts before and after his TV segments, and he has full-backing from his employers.

"If anything they want me to do more experimentation," he explained.

"I found that the traditional video format just doesn't work online."

It has caught a lot of people's attention as it was always an attempt to stop the scrolling thumb of social media users.

"It doesn't use a lot of data and it starts loading almost instantly. I'm thinking 'what are people willing to watch until the end, what makes that accessible and makes them come back?'"

There are two styles of videos Evans posts: a selfie-update and a video with greenscreen graphics. His inventory includes a selfie-stick and LED lighting rig. He then edits the clips on his phone, using the app KineMaster to cut clips and two different GIF apps: GIF Shop and 5Seconds GIF.

At a time when audiences have smart speakers and mobile apps capable of providing them with the forecast, why does an informal social update still garner the attention? Presentation is one of the key drivers of its engagement.

"I camp it up and that's part of the way I present. It gets people's attention and it makes my videos stand out. They're personality-led pieces-to-camera," he explained.

"There's a cringe factor though, I try to be interesting and informative, but I don't want it to be cringe. That's the test."

Part of its engagement is also down to targetting 'sweet spots' throughout the day where social media users are most active: between 7 am and 7:30 am, between 6 pm and 7 pm, and between 10 pm to 11 pm.

Evans has recently taken to posting weather-related Instagram Stories around three times a week. Native features like Boomerang offer more GIF-like options to play around with, but the focus remains on short and snappy, 15-second clips.

While this can be a useful way of winning over new audiences, he accepts that social is not yet ready to overtake TV as the first port of call for weather updates.

"The TV forecast is still the winner," he said. "You cannot get the same level of detail in a GIF or a smart speaker.

"What I am trying to show is that there are audiences that want something different."

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