How Die Zeit is experimenting with its re-launched Instagram channel

Three months after overhauling its Instagram account, the news organisation is one of the few German publishers using the platform to engage with younger audiences.

Although Die Zeit’s Instagram page has been running for a while, its relaunch at the end of March has seen it steadily grow by over 50 per cent in the last three months, to 22,100 followers.

Götz Hamann, journalist at Die Zeit, explained the outlet previously had no strategy on the platform, so it decided to scrap its multiple accounts to create a joint presence between weekly newspaper Die Zeit and Zeit Online.

With one core account, @Zeit, the print and online arms of the news organisation have been able to experiment with new storytelling formats, while giving staff an opportunity to collaborate and combine their skills.

“We have completely separate teams for Die Zeit and Zeit Online, and usually only work together on a project basis where it is needed – but this is working wonderfully,” he told Journalism.co.uk, explaining the team have been producing a range of new material to engage audiences on the platform, from animated drawings to explainer videos.

“We wanted to use Instagram as a platform for visual storytelling and as a laboratory for new formats like super slow-mo’s and new ways to engage audiences with photography.”

Firstly, the team developed a model of storytelling that would see a series of individual posts relating to a topic in the news, one which they could explore over a series of weeks or months.

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