Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
How 7 news organizations are using Slack to work better and differently
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 9, 2012, 3:30 p.m.
Aisha Tyler in Badgley Mischka

The Wall Street Journal covers Fashion Week fashionably, finding uses for Pinterest and Instagram

The Journal has found the perfect story for two image-heavy social networks.

Aisha Tyler in Badgley Mischka

The incredible growth of Pinterest — the (invitation-only) social bulletin board dominated by young and female users — hasn’t gone unnoticed by news organizations. Like Tumblr before it, Pinterest offers the chance to reach massive, sharing-oriented new audiences — but also requires a different, more visual kind of editorial thinking. The Wall Street Journal is giving it an early try by looping in another booming young social app.

The Journal has deployed nine journalists to cover Fashion Week in New York, all armed with iPhones and Instagram accounts. They are encouraged to file constantly. (For fashion reporters, capturing photos is a form of note-taking.) Their tweets and images are automatically pulled into the Fashion Week section of the Journal’s website. The best ones are featured on Pinterest and re-posted on the Journal’s main Instagram account. The two social networks are perfect companions.

Wall Street Journal Instagram notePinterest is a “really fast-growing social network that a lot of people are super-excited about,” said WSJ social-media editor Emily Steel, who used to cover digital advertising and marketing for the paper — “a lot of people both in the digital media/marketing/tech world, but also consumers who are really into fashion and arts and crafts and food.” In other words, people who may not be big Journal readers.

I was embarrassed to tell Steel I didn’t know the Journal even covered fashion.

“One of the fashion reporters, Elizabeth Holmes — she’s super active on Twitter and Instagram and social media — and what she said is that she’s always gotten a really big boost in followers during Fashion Week, and that people will tell her that they didn’t realize that the Journal covered fashion,” Steel told me. “That’s also kind of the idea with Pinterest…It’s a cool way to expose the Journal’s content to some people who might not know about it.”

The Journal’s Fashion Week pinboard has attracted about 900 followers so far. The Instagram account, a few weeks old, is approaching 8,000 followers.

Steel said she took notice of Pinterest users sharing WSJ content among themselves. A few weeks ago the Journal started building out its own Pinterest boards — a board for hedcuts, those famous dot drawings of newsmakers; a board for historic WSJ front pages; a board for WSJ Magazine covers.

Sometimes it feels like social media moves as fast as fashion. At this time a year ago, Instagram was almost brand new but had already signed up more than a million users. Pinterest was barely on the radar.

Today Instagram has 15 million users and signs up a new user every second, according to the company. This month Pinterest reached 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, according to data obtained by TechCrunch, “crossing the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history.” Visitors spend an average of 98 minutes per month browsing that site.

Jeff Sonderman said “it’s time for journalists to pay attention to Pinterest,” with its loyal, distinct audience. Time, LIFE, Newsweek, PBS NewsHour, and Mashable are among the other news outlets dipping their toes in the water.

Photo of Aisha Tyler in Badgley Mischka by Elizabeth Holmes/The Wall Street Journal, via Instagram

POSTED     Feb. 9, 2012, 3:30 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
How 7 news organizations are using Slack to work better and differently
Here’s how Fusion, Vox, Quartz, Slate, the AP, The Times of London, and Thought Catalog are using Slack for workflow — and which features they wish the platform would add.
The New York Times built a robot to help make article tagging easier
Developed by the Times R&D lab, the Editor tool scans text to suggest article tags in real time. But the automatic tagging system won’t be moving into the newsroom soon.
Two out of two news organizations recommend user research
Here’s how ProPublica and The New York Times are pioneering user experience research within their organizations.
What to read next
1119
tweets
New Pew data: More Americans are getting news on Facebook and Twitter
A new study from the Pew Research Center and Knight Foundation finds that more Americans of all ages, races, genders, education levels, and incomes are using Twitter and Facebook to consume news.
701Newsonomics: The halving of America’s daily newsrooms
If you’re lucky enough to have the right deep-pocketed owner buy your paper and steady it, you’ve won the lottery. If you’re in a town whose paper is owned by the better chains, or committed local ownership, your loss will probably be mitigated. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.
551“Modern” homepage design increases pageviews and reader comprehension, study finds
A new report from the Engaging News Project shows that users prefer modular, image-heavy homepage designs.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Media Consortium
InvestigateWest
MSNBC
Windy Citizen
The Nation
Semana
Publish2
Investigative Reporting Workshop
The Bay Citizen
The Christian Science Monitor
The Ann Arbor Chronicle
Austin American-Statesman