It’s the first thing Kate Lewis, the chief content officer of Hearst Magazines, looks at in the morning; same for Jessica Pels, the new editor in chief of Cosmopolitan; Martha Stewart was an earlier adopter, never mind she kept calling it “The Instagram”; Laura Brown, editor in chief of InStyle, sees it as a modern version of a magazine, and there were more than a few people (not the woman who kept showing off her BlackBerry, but plenty) in the audience scrolling through it during a full day of panels ostensibly aimed at discussing and advising them on magazines.
Funnily enough, Facebook, which owns Instagram, was a sponsor of the event through its new journalism project. And both platforms were subject to their own panels. The first was soft, with Instagram’s news partnerships manager asking Pels, Negar Mohammad of Vogue and Daria Bernardoni of the Italian outlet Freeda to describe “an Instagram success story” for their brand. Each editor did, in turn, revealing just how much they’ve grown to use and depend on the platform to drive clicks and reader engagement. Pels noted that her just-released first cover of Cosmopolitan was actually designed based on the magazine’s most successful Instagram posts. The result is, as Pels wanted, a cover “that looks like it was designed for Instagram.”