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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Around the World with CNN

Winner in Instagram Story


CNN has one of the largest and most engaged U.S. news accounts. With over 6.8M followers, we use Instagram stories to bring our audience around the world and on the ground with reporters, producers and storytellers.

Strategy and Execution

Almost daily, we bring our global audience on a journey with our journalists, giving them on the ground access to our storytelling. From Antarctica to Saudi Arabia, we give our followers a personal and authentic window to the world's most important stories. We want our followers to feel like they are on the ground with our journalists, experiencing the story with them.

We do this for a few reasons. For starters, it brings our massive global audience directly to a story in a way that's authentic and native to the Instagram platform. It's also mobile and interactive. By telling global stories in a vertical and interactive format, we are communicating and informing the next generation of news consumers in a way that is engaging and meaningful. Have a question? Ask a CNN expert. Want to see something in particular during the Oscars Red Carpet? Let us know. We use stories to not only bring our audience to the story, but interact and listen to them as well.

Over 60% of our Instagram audience is under the age of 35. Because of that, it's critically important we tell stories that resonate with younger audiences, to not only build that audience but continue engaging that audience.

We understand that our Instagram audience is different than our TV audience. We strategically use reporters, producers and cameraman that understand and use the platform to relate and connect with our younger audience.

We also host Instagram takeovers. During the national school walkout protesting gun violence, we had students from Parkland High School takeover our account, to document first-hand how their day of protest was evolving. We also had Parkland students take over our account on their first day returning back to school after the tragic shooting.

With that said, we also strategically cover stories that young people are passionate about: gun control, climate change, immigration reform, human rights and civil rights. Earlier this year, we did an Instagram story in Saudi Arabia, featuring women who were able to legally drive for the first time. During March for our Lives, we had a story that traveled the marches throughout the U.S., from DC to LA, featuring over 11 different cities and over 11 correspondents out in the field, covering the movement on the ground.

By doing all of this, we've grown, and will continue to grow, the percentage of young people following @CNN for news and information. We've built a habit and expectation with our audience, where our account is the destination for on the ground and authentic, mobile and interactive storytelling.

We hope you find time to enjoy and watch our submitted sizzle reel that showcases our year in Instagram stories.


Our Instagram stories average 250,000 views, with our most successful stories averaging about 330,000 views. Looking at Crowdtangle interaction data over the last 6 months, CNN surpasses the interaction rates among our competitive set on the platform. Stories have also helped grow our global audience to 6.8M, a gain of nearly 2M followers in a year. We also use stories to build our younger audience on the platform, growing our percentage of followers under the age of 35 to 60%.


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