BBC3 to go online only
BBC headquarters lit up at night in London, November 2012Getty Images

BBC3, the youth-dedicated TV channel, will go off-air and switch to an online-only platform. The move will be made permanent on 16 February, when BBC3's online station goes live and the channel will be available on computers, smartphones and tablets.

BBC3 announced that it will introduce a variety of new shows and programmes, which can be accessed via the BBC iPlayer. The station has partnered with Idris Elba's Green Door Pictures to create new shows and showcase new talent online.

BBC3 boss Damian Kavanagh said: "BBC Three is a badge of quality and shorthand for content that will stimulate emotions and provoke reactions. It's the same award-winning programmes freed from the constraints of linear TV, and because we're freed from the schedule we can use whatever format and platform is most appropriate."

He added that the station would be focusing on creating social media-popular content like short videos, blogs and picture-focused stories. The station intends to maintain a visible presence on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and YouTube.

The move comes close on the heels of major government funding cuts. The BBC Trust, however, claimed that the move is reflective of shifts in consumer behaviour and the decision to switch BBC3 to an online-only platform has been made with the intention of attracting more youngsters. The new target audience for the station will be those aged between 16 and 34 years, the Guardian reported.

Various stalwarts of the cinema industry have championed BBC, despite the recent flack the station received regarding its switchover. It recently posted a video which starred top British actors and directors, standing in defense of BBC against budget cuts. Sir Ian McKellan, Dame Judy Dench, Daniel Radcliffe, Naomie Harris, James Corden and Danny Boyle were among those who featured in the video and spoke about how BBC influenced their lives. The video was posted as part of the station's The Great BBC Campaign.

BBC TV and Radio One will be conducting trials to keep audiences informed about developments of BBC3's switchover. The channel will remain up and running for an additional six weeks, following the switchover

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