Eight hundred million people access Instagram each month. Almost 11% of them, 86 million, follow National Geographic. Only 13 other accounts have a higher share of the app’s audience, and no other media outlet can claim a spot among the top 25 accounts as of February 2018.
In some respects, Instagram is tailormade to feature work from the 130-year-old photojournalistic publication, which routinely includes breathtaking nature photos. National Geographic’s most popular image of 2017, depicting an indigenous Amazonian Awá child balancing a pet monkey on his head, earned nearly 2 million likes.
The brand notched similar triumph last year with its Snapchat Discover page. National Geographic’s senior director of Snapchat, Stephanie Atlas, told Marketing Dive that the brand gained 1 million subscribers per month for three consecutive months by using Discover. The brand’s Snapchat Discover page has also increased the amount of daily active users fourfold and doubled its completion rate, a measure of users who view an entire series of snaps that comprise a Snapchat Discover story.