Instagram is becoming more of a platform for news and information than simply images, and it’s working for a lot of magazines.
Nearly all of the 40 major news, lifestyle and fashion magazines have seen followers grow on Instagram so far this year — most growing only on Instagram, in fact. Among Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (which is wholly owned by Facebook), follower growth on the latter was 6.3 percent for all magazines during the second quarter, according to a new report from MPA-The Association of Magazine Media. The report was compiled using data from CrowdTangle, a social monitoring platform also owned by Facebook. MPA-AMM calculates using “likes” on Facebook content, not group or page followers, in an effort to better show real engagement
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Some of the titles that saw significant Instagram growth seem natural, given glamorous cover subjects or the focus on design that translate well to social media. Condé Nast’s Architectural Digest grew 7 percent last quarter to 4.3 million followers, as did Vogue, reaching 23.8 million followers and even Vanity Fair rose by 5 percent to 4.7 million followers. Hearst’s O the Oprah Magazine grew 16 percent to just under 700,000 followers and Elle increased by 5 percent to 4.3 million followers. Meredith’s Entertainment Weekly (which recently became a monthly) grew 10 percent to 1.6 million followers and People rose by 6 percent to roughly 6.4 million followers. None of these titles saw growth at all in Facebook likes or Twitter followers.
But news magazines, too, grew significantly on Instagram, according to the report. New York Magazine increased Instagram followers 6 percent to 1.5 million followers; Scientific American grew by 6 percent to 140,100 followers; The Atlantic increased by 23 percent to 246,000 followers; The Economist rose by 13 percent to 3.5 million followers; The Nation grew by 5 percent to 16,500 followers, and The New Yorker climbed by 6 percent to 3.4 million followers. While Twitter and Facebook still hold the majority of these sites’ social audience, and further growth would be expected, The Nation and Scientific American saw negligible 1 percent growth on Twitter during the last quarter.
Even on a broader scale, Facebook and Twitter audiences for magazines grew hardly at all. For 100 magazines, Facebook likes on content and followers on Twitter grew less than 1 percent. Followers on Instagram increased 6.3 percent, overall. And this is outsized growth given the number of users on each platform. As of this year, Instagram hit one billion monthly active users, Facebook hit 2.4 billion monthly active users and Twitter has 326 million monthly active users.
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