NY Times for Instagram

Posted by Melissa S.
Photo by Torrenegra. No changes were made.

Photo by Torrenegra. No changes were made.

The New York Times admits it has fallen behind in the digital age. With decreasing traffic to its website and smartphone app, the brand struggles to connect with the next generation of readers. Last April, Buzzfeed released The New York Times’ internal report containing plans to develop and grow a younger audience. However, the report is 96 pages long, meaning the brand should start by learning the internet’s retention rate.

The report states:

“We are falling behind in a second critical area: the art and science of getting our journalism to readers. We have always cared about the reach and impact of our work, but we haven’t done enough to crack that code in the digital era.”

A newsroom strategy team was created, and Instagram has been their engagement tool of choice. Beautifully crafted native content is divided among eight New York Times-managed accounts, including video, food, fashion and travel.

The video account provides 15-second video teasers for the print publication’s “36 Hours” travel feature. From the high-energy streets of a Seoul market to the front row of a 72-year-old Singaporean street performer, Instagram followers are exposed to a new discovery.

And that’s exactly the brand’s plan. Its proposed progression of discovery, promotion and connection is expected to build awareness and a loyal readership to The New York Times title. Do you think their plan will work? Is Instagram a good choice for attracting readership?


7 responses to “NY Times for Instagram

  1. Very well said! I think Instagram could work well for The New York Times because that is a popular form of social media for young adults. I think their biggest problem will be reaching out and gaining followers, especially because this content wont be limited to just one account. If their content is truly interesting, I’d follow them. I think it could be an opportunity for more intellectually stimulating content to be on Instagram.

  2. I think this is pretty cool! It’s definitely appealing to a younger audience, because I think Instagram is something that most older generations are not on yet, unlike other forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. I just did a search for some of these accounts on Instagram and they all look pretty cool. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

  3. I’m a little nervous about The New York Times using Instagram, just because people still don’t use the video feature very often. I also don’t know many people that follow businesses on Instagram, whereas people do follow them on Twitter or Facebook. It will be interesting to see what happens, especially because as Lauren said, Instagram has a much younger crowd.

  4. I think the idea is great for the Times, but I have to wonder if it will increase their readership at all. My guess would be that new followers on Instagram are coming for the pictures and videos and are less likely to head over to their website to read a few articles, even less so to pick up a physical copy.

    That being said, though, I think the premise sounds super interesting, and I’ll have to check it out for myself, at the very least.

  5. Pingback: “New York Times” Redesign | Media Editing

  6. emily.vanschmus

    I think this will absolutely increase readership, mostly because of the eight different accounts. I’m obsessed with weddings, and last week I followed HuffPostWeddings on Instagram, an account managed by Huffington Post. I’ve already read more content in this past week than I would have had I not followed their account on Instagram. I think a lot of people have an idea in their head about what the Times might write about (and then they don’t read it because they assume they’ll be bored), and this is an excellent way to show consumers that they have a wide variety of coverage.

  7. Molly Lamoureux

    I’m with Beth on this one. People use Instagram for social, celebrity, and fluff purposes. If we want news, we’re going to go online to a news site or check their FB/Twitter pages.

    However, I think it is smart of them to cover all of their bases. On the off chance that there’s a few thousand people who will follow this account, then that’s a few thousand more people that they’re reaching out to. I doubt that this idea will take off soaring, but I’d like to see where the account is at in a few years (and where Instagram is with hard news in a few years.)

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