These are the 21 news-media brands that gained the most TikTok followers in the last year, including Bustle, Complex, and NowThis

  • New data from Conviva ranks the news-media brands that added the most TikTok followers last year. 
  • Fast-growing TikTok accounts in the category include Bustle, Complex, and NowThis.
  • The news-media brands listed added 306,305 followers on average in the past year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

News publishers are increasingly jumping on TikTok to bring their content to new and younger audiences. Recently published research has found the biggest publishers on the platform have added hundreds of thousands of followers to their TikTok accounts over the past year.

Bustle and Complex Networks added the most followers among news-media accounts on TikTok between February 2020 and February 2021, according to analysis of the category by Conviva. (The video-analytics firm recently released a wider study, looking at the performance of 900 brand accounts across TikTok.)

Bustle, which only launched its TikTok account in January 2020, now has more than 2.6 million followers on the video-sharing app. The women’s focused digital publication shares predominantly fashion, beauty, and lifestyle advice and inspiration on the account. 

Wesley Bonner, Bustle’s vice president of marketing and audience development, told Insider that influencer partnerships have played a big role in its strategy. He said such partnerships helped the brand consistently land on TikTok’s For You Page – the app’s algorithmically-driven landing page that shows users videos based on their interests.

“Part of our early success was our ability to identify and partner with amazing content creators on paid co-marketing partnerships, paid video executions on our channels, and branded content partnerships,” said Bonner.

Youth culture media title Complex added 2.2 million TikTok followers over the period analyzed and its total follower account now stands at 4.7 million. Recent content from Complex includes “Film facts you didn’t know about ‘Wolf of Wall Street'” and the account has also re-shared popular memes. 

Still think about this video sometimes 🤣 #funny #wholesome #breakfree

 

Group Nine Media’s NowThis (adding 2.5 million followers) and its politics account NowThisPolitics (2 million followers) were the third- and fourth-largest growing digital news media accounts on TikTok in the ranking. Other fast-growing news media accounts included Insider (2.2 million followers), FamousBirthdays (2.2 million followers), and Bustle Digital Group’s NylonMag (1.3 million followers).

NylonMag is one of the top news media accounts that only started posting in the last year. Nylon has been pushing digital content since the magazine stopped its print edition in 2017. The account features collaborations with a range of creators such as New York hairstylist @mattloveshair (609k followers) and popular British makeup artist Abby Roberts (16 million followers).

Overall, the news and media industry was the sixth fastest-growing category on TikTok last year, according to Conviva. On average, news and media accounts grew their followers by 306,605 last year. The fastest growing categories were sports media, pro sports leagues, and TV and entertainment. 

Michael Metzler, digital marketing manager at Conviva, told Insider that posting regularly and maintaining a consistent theme is key to TikTok success. The top 20 news and media accounts on TikTok posted 890 videos on average in the last year, Conviva found.

“News organizations on TikTok have really been able to tap into their own unique content style to explain key articles to a younger audience — news organizations on TikTok have really been able to tap into their own unique content style to explain key articles to a younger audience,” Metzler said. “There is a different voice to news on TikTok that hasn’t been conveyed in videos on other platforms.”

Metzler said that news and media accounts are also finding success outside of posting to the video feed, such as Yahoo News, which utilizes the live-streaming function on its account.

“Now that TikTok promotes and highlights live content in its [For You Page] this can be a growth hack for those who utilize it right,” Metzler added.

Here are the top 21 digital news media accounts that gained the most followers between February 2020 and February 2021, and how often they posted. 

  1. Bustle: added 2.6 million TikTok followers, 2,525 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  2. Complex: added 2.2 million TikTok followers, 1,465 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  3. NowThis: added 1,912,300 TikTok followers, 542 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  4. NowThisPolitics: added 1,878,800 TikTok followers, 543 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  5. Insider: added 1,777,800 TikTok followers, 429 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  6. FamousBirthdays: added 1,369,200 TikTok followers, 1,923 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  7. NylonMag: added 1.3 million TikTok followers, 2,670 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  8. IGN: added 1,213,400 TikTok followers, 460 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021.
  9. TastemadeJapan: added 1.2 million TikTok followers, 1,831 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  10. YoungHollywood: added 1.2 million TikTok followers, 941 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  11. Tastemade: added 1.2 million TikTokfollowers, 777 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  12. Dailymail: added 1,141,800 TikTok followers, 411 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  13. Genius: added 1.1 million TikTok followers, 96 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  14. YahooNews: added 1.1 million TikTok followers, 1,075 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  15. XXL: added 1.1 million TikTok followers, 766 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  16. CBSNews: added 822,200 TikTok followers, 947 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  17. BuzzFeed: added 777,500 TikTok followers, 901 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  18. Selfmagazine: added 651,900 TikTok followers, 189 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  19. USAToday: added 544,400 TikTok followers, 510 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  20. NBCNews: added 511,100 TikTok followers, 247 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021. 
  21. WashingtonPost: added 491,300 TikTok followers, 508 videos posted between February 2020 and February 2021.

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