NPR spreads itself across social media

When you click onto a website, specifically a news outlet, what attracts your eyes? Your answer was most likely, ‘the article with pictures or cool images’, right?

A smart online news platform knows how to use images to their own benefit. They use a combination of photography, graphics, GIFs, cartoons, etc.

Small words are not what draw us to clicking onto an article, and NPR knows that. NPR uses mainly photographs on their website, connecting multiple photographs to each story. Before clicking a story, each headline has a corresponding photograph– so you can see what you are about to click.

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Some photographs are larger than other– the larger images usually used for more headlining stories, as pictured below.



NPR also has a section on their website under Arts and Life called, The Picture Show: Photo Stories from NPR. Once you click into The Picture Show, you are offered an array of photo stories. A photo story, similar to flipping through a photo album, includes a series of photos and captions. A more effective option for more visual people, photo stories is just another form of innovative storytelling.


In addition to their own website, NPR also has active social media platforms. Popular among millennials, Instagram is a photo sharing social media platform. NPR posts to their Instagram account, that has over 600 million followers, almost everyday (sometimes twice!). Their posts not only include snip-it’s of the articles featured on their main website, but also contests, small photo stories, and cartoons.


A terrific example of NPR’s use of photo stories that will catch the mind of a millennial is a photograph featured on their Instagram account of a pig farmer. The photo is accompanied by a caption that includes a very brief synopsis of the story behind the photo, and includes a link to the full story on their website.


Through Instagram, a user will see the image, before reading the caption. Therefore NPR has to ensure that their photo-content is eye-catching and can really tell the entire story just thought one photo. The above example captures the story of Ryan Kress, the pig farmer, and will leave viewers curious.

Snapchat, another popular photo-messaging social platform, has begun featuring news outlets and other companies on their platform. Since over 100 million users use Snapchat daily, news outlets have decided to form these partnerships to reach their target audience. NPR was featured on Snapchat, and had a live feed going where Snapchat uses could tap onto the story at anytime and view all NPR content from that day!


NPR doesn’t have to worry about not catching anyone’s eye– their use of graphics, photography, and images truly work to their benefit in new and innovative ways.


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