By Melinda Billingsley
The newspaper industry may be declining, but its number of Twitter followers is not. Among top newspapers in Latin America, Venezuelan and Colombian publications claim the most Twitter followers, according to our recent survey, which included a sample of leading newspapers across the region.
Despite a recent change of ownership at El Universal, the dismissal of staff, and measures taken by the Venezuelan government restricting Twitter photos earlier this year, the newspaper recently surpassed 3 million followers, a number that will likely continue to grow. In the past month alone, El Universal has gained nearly 75,000 new followers.
In the number two spot, Colombia’s El Tiempo has also demonstrated massive growth in its online following. Since last month, the newspaper’s Twitter account gained 146,782 new followers, which amounts to a more than a 5 percent increase.
El Tiempo’s six-figure follower surge represents more followers than some Latin American newspapers have altogether. Another top Colombian newspaper, El Epectador, ranks No. 6 in our sample with 2.12 million followers.
But in Venezuela, El Universal isn’t the country’s only Twitter giant. El Nacional and Últimas Noticias ranked third and fifth, respectively, among Latin American newspapers with the most Twitter followers, while Mexico’s El Universal takes fourth place, trailing Últimas Noticias by less than five thousand followers.
El Universal of Mexico totals 2.28 million followers, which marks a notable increase from the 480,147 El Universal followers that the Knight Center reported in 2011.
While our Oct. 6 survey did not cover all newspapers in the region, the top Latin American newspapers with the largest number of followers on Twitter ranked accordingly:
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.