Instagrammable Data: Using Visuals to Showcase More Than Numbers on AJ Labs Instagram Page

Mathias-Felipe de-Lima-Santos, Arwa Kooli


News outlets are increasingly developing formats dedicated to capturing audience attention in social platforms. Meanwhile, the use of data-driven storytelling is becoming increasingly integrated into the ever-complex business models of news outlets, generating more impact and visibility. Previous studies have focused on studying these two effects separately. To fill this literature gap, this study identifies and analyzes the use of data journalism on social media content of AJ Labs, the team dedicated to producing data-driven and interactive stories for the Al Jazeera news network. Drawing upon a mixed-method approach, this study examines the use and characteristics of data stories on Instagram. Results suggest that there is reliance on producing visual content that covers topics such as politics and violence. In general, AJ Labs relies on the use of reproducible formats and produces its own unique data. To conclude, we suggest potential ways to improve the use of Instagram to tell data stories.


data journalism, Instagram, data visualization, social media platforms, visual storytelling, Al Jazeera

Full Text: