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WWD went in like a lamb and has grown into an Internet lion.
This past September, the Web team managed to “break” Twitter with the volume of tweets posted halfway through the second annual Fashion’s Night Out. After an hour and several panic attacks by the staff, who still had hundreds of tweets to post, a quick call to Twitter restored the social medium.
But WWD wasn’t always so technologically savvy. WWD.com underwent a massive overhaul in 2008, resulting in a more user-friendly experience, improved round-the-clock fashion news coverage and an emphasis on social media—as a tool for engaging readers.
When Twitter was starting to build momentum, WWD created an account using the handle @womensweardaily, never expecting it to become such an integral part of the publication. Two years and nearly 1.7 million followers later—coupled with a Facebook page boasting almost 68,000 “likes”—WWD is deeply entrenched in the social-media swirl.
A social-media beat was added to regular coverage, including larger page-one features, and the weekly column Social Studies was created to cover social-media-related news and updates pertaining to the fashion industry.
The spring 2011 fashion week season marked the biggest use of social media so far. In an exclusive partnership with Twitter, WWD reporters used iPhones to capture runway looks in real time, e-mailing them to the Web team for posting so followers could view immediately. The “official fashion week tweeter” was hired for the sole purpose of managing Twitter, tweeting and uploading Twitpics sometimes more than 100 times per day.
Next stop: the WWD iPad application. There’s no turning back now.