Last night, we reached a major milestone on the NPR Facebook page: we surpassed one million fans.
Our last big milestone - 500,000 fans - occurred on October 9 of last year, so we've doubled in size in just over nine months. Perhaps even more impressive is the short-term growth we've experienced in the last two months, with nearly 250,000 fans coming aboard in that time alone.
Why the sudden jump in members? There are probably several factors at play. In early June, our overnight colleagues at Morning Edition began posting updates while the rest of us were asleep. These posts likely caught the attention of a whole new crowd of Facebook users - as well as their friends, since any time they'd comment, like or share one of our overnight stories, it would appear in their Facebook feeds. And since we're consistent about posting 8-10 stories the rest of each weekday, it creates lots of opportunities for new users to be exposed to our stories when their friends engage our content. Meanwhile, it's also possible that the Facebook algorithm for placing our stories on users' homepages has been working in our favor as we've grown in size.
Whatever the exact cause, we're thrilled that we've reached this milestone. Thanks to everyone who's joined our Facebook page over the last two and a half years. Anyone taking bets when we'll reach two million fans? :-)
Andy Carvin is Senior Strategist at NPR. You can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/andycarvin and on Twitter as @acarvin.