While many publishers use social media as a megaphone to broadcast their stories and drive traffic to their sites, WIRED employs it as a tool to enlighten our audience with unique, beautifully designed information. Our goal isn't to pull you into the WIRED world, but to bring the WIRED world to you: where you want it, when you want it, in ways you haven't seen it.
Many outlets covered the 2017 eclipse on social media, publishing photos and linking back to their stories on the event. WIRED did that too, but we took our coverage to new heights—literally. WIRED's social media director signed up to skydive during the point of totality, and our social team created an exclusive Instagram Story documenting her journey, from suiting up to the moment of the eclipse itself. This allowed our Instagram followers to virtually accompany her on a unique voyage and see a truly novel view of a well-documented event.
We also take this platform-specific approach to our Snapchat Discover channel, which WIRED launched this year. Twice a week, our in-house Snapchat team carefully cuts, chops, and blends WIRED stories to create original animations and stand-alone graphics that engage and inform our Snap subscribers.
On Facebook, WIRED routinely livestreams exclusive videos, like our weekly how-to series, "How Tuesday;" dispatches from events like TED and the Apple product launch; and behind-the-scenes looks into unusual subcultures, like when we rode along with race car drivers who explained the mechanics of drifting.
And when we do decide that a megaphone approach works best, we try to use our perch responsibly. Like we did on the last day the Federal Trade Commission allowed the public to comment on net neutrality. As a tech-focused publication, WIRED felt obligated to articulate the stakes of upending net neutrality, so we used Twitter to lay out our case in support of it and explain how our audience can make their voice heard. We turned it into a Twitter Moment, which Twitter featured on its Explore page. We also tapped the editor of each of WIRED's verticals to share a statement about why net neutrality is important to them, which we edited into an Instagram Story and social video.
In 2017, WIRED hit all-time highs across social platforms, totaling more than 13.7 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But maintaining existing platforms was just part of the job—WIRED launched its first Snapchat Discover channel in May, and started preparation for an early 2018 launch on reddit. The team recently partnered with Google as a launch publisher on AMP Stories, a new vertical storytelling format. AMP Stories went live for the first time in February 2018.
WIRED is constantly searching for ways to reach readers on platforms new and old, and 2017's success set the stage for even more social-first storytelling in 2018.
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