NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, SOCIAL STAR: The Association of Magazine Media is plumbing the depths of social media and, using a ranking system, how it relates to 166 magazine brands across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. According to the MPA, the number of page “likes” and followers for magazines on Instagram is growing at a quicker rate at titles devoted to fashion, beauty and travel. Conversely, general interest magazines are grabbing more “likes” and followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

In a report that incorporates SocialFlow data measuring August through Oct. 31, the top 10 magazines in terms of “likes” and followers across all four combined networks are National Geographic (with 56.2 million, the winner by far), Time (20.1 million), Playboy (18.7 million), The Economist (18.3 million), Vogue (16.8 million), People (12.5 million), Elle (9.6 million), Glamour (9 million), Cosmopolitan (8.7 million) and Forbes (8.6 million).

This story first appeared in the November 17, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

On Instagram, National Geographic came in first again — in fact, it dominated all social categories — pulling 8.6 million followers. Vogue came in second with 2.9 million, followed by Playboy (1.6 million), GQ (1.2 million), National Geographic Traveler (just under 1.2 million), Teen Vogue (878,687), Time (830,661), Vanity Fair (696,001), InStyle (664,852) and Seventeen (610,528).

Facebook’s top 10 were National Geographic (32.6 million “likes”), Playboy (6.8 million), Time (6.8 million), Vogue (6.1 million), Cosmopolitan (5.6 million), People (4.9 million), The Economist (4.7 million), Teen Vogue (4.6 million), Muscle & Fitness (4.6 million) and Glamour (4.1 million).

Twitter’s top 10 was a bit different: National Geographic (7.6 million followers), Time (6.4 million), The Economist (6.3 million), People (5.8 million), Vogue (4.7 million), Forbes (3.9 million), The New Yorker (3.8 million), Wired (3.6 million), Entertainment Weekly (3.2 million) and InStyle (2.8 million).

The MPA said that, as of Oct. 31, the social-network share of total magazine “likes” and followers is still heavily skewed toward Facebook (49.8 percent). Twitter makes up 21.6 percent, with Google+ hitting 18.5 percent and Instagram and Pinterest equaling 5.1 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

While all this is well and good, it should be noted that clicking the “like” or “follow” button doesn’t translate into readership — in fact, it’s hard to say what it means, exactly. In terms of dollars, “likes” and followers have yet to extend to advertising spend in either the digital or print form, but the MPA already knows that.

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