Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok: Reaching our young audience | DW's facts and figures | DW | 30.08.2021
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Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok: Reaching our young audience

Owing to the comparatively high proportion of young people in most DW target regions, DW has increasingly designed its programs to meet their interests across key digital platforms.

Previously seen as disengaged in socio-political matters, the narrative of young people has shifted in the last years as many take to online platforms and to the streets to champion crucial causes such as climate action or racial justice. Nowadays they form one of DW's most important target groups.

DW has responded swiftly to the shift in news consumption and the demographics of the consumers, creating content tailored to their needs and interests: in their languages and on various digital platforms.

Infografik Young audience es on Instagram EN

Instagram official

With over 300,000 followers on Instagram, the Arabic-language talk show JaafarTalk (@dw_jaafartalk) gives young people a platform to talk about issues that break taboos and open minds. The Kiswahili-language service (@dw_kiswahili) shares news and information with its more than 770,000 followers across East Africa. DW's German-language offerings are directed at German speakers abroad and to those who teach or want to learn German. Through the account @dw_deutschlernen, over 640,000 users enjoy learning German through images, stories and short videos. And for our Turkish-speaking audience, DW and its partners BBC, France 24 and VOA takes an unbiased look at social issues in Turkey via the account +90 (@plus90_official) with 119,000 followers on Instagram.

Through its diverse collaborations, DW's videos reached an average of almost 90 million views per month between January and June 2021 on Instagram alone. Popular topics were innovation, problem-solving, the environment, the automotive industry, and COVID-19.

Infografik Strong growth for Berlin Fresh

TikTok: More than a dancing and lip-syncing app

Living and studying in Germany, LGBTQ and women's rights, German quirks and perks and traveling in Europe: DW's first TikTok channel @dw_berlinfresh offers insights into European life to a young audience. The target group is 14 to 24 years old – a determining factor in the topics chosen and in the people who present them, says Johanna Rüdiger, Head of Social Media Strategy, Main Department Culture and Lifestyle. The team behind dw_berlinfresh consists of editors Hannah Hummel, Enrique Anarte and Hallie Rawlinson.

The account is growing steadily and reached an average of 1.24 million views per month between February and June 2021. The video "how to get paid for an student exchange in Europe" was viewed more than 700,000 times. Once mostly a dancing and lip-syncing app, Tik Tok has quickly evolved into a platform for alternative voices and critical thinking.  In the comment section of @dw_berlinfresh, users share their experiences and ideas and debate with one another. For the DW team, live streams have also been a useful tool to find out what matters most to users.

Rüdiger is convinced that it is the lively exchange with users that makes the account popular. The TikTok algorithm is different from the algorithm of other social media platforms like for instance Instagram. "It is not status-based. There is no guaranteed reach, no guaranteed number of views. This means that we have to prove ourselves every day." With around 90k followers (August 2021), @dw_berlinfresh faces this challenge anew every day.

The account @dwnews_lagos is a pilot project by DW News aimed at young audiences with an interest in political and social news. It focuses on local and regional news, providing key factual and useful information in a fun way. For example, after the Twitter ban in Nigeria, one video explored what VPNs are, reaching over 100 k views. Content for the account is produced in Nigeria and reaches individuals primarily in the country, but also in Kenya, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and the United States.


The TikTok account DW News Lagos was launched in May 2021. The local team consists of Flourish Chukwurah, Favour Ubanyi and Victor Panwal.


"According to a paper by the University of Oregon, around 90 percent of Arab youths use some form of social media, in comparison to the global population use of under 60 percent," says Dooa Soliman, DW Head of Online and Social Media, Arabic Service. Through DW's partners in the Arab-speaking world, DW reached an average of 21,3 million views per month on Snapchat between January and June 2021.


EINSCHRÄNKUNG DW Personenfoto | Corporate Communications | Carla Hagemann

Carla Hagemann

Corporate Spokesperson and Head of Corporate Communications


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