Why would a successful Instagram business launch a print newspaper?

The popular Instagram account Overheard LA made the unorthodox decision to launch a small print newspaper.

April 18, 2019

The popular “Overheard LA” Instagram account has grown from a tiny hobby project to a massive, recognizable brand with 1.2m followers and 7 spinoffs since it launched in 2015. 

Now, according to The New York Times, the brand is so successful that it is expanding to new formats — starting with a print newspaper.

The Overheard Post

Why take a successful social media business and expand to newspaper?

Overheard’s founder, Jesse Margolis, says he doesn’t want the brand to be “siloed” on a single platform like Instagram. 

For Margolis, newspapers are a great place to start. Distributing newspapers across LA is great marketing, and the newspaper format is a great match for the brand; The Overheard Post will feature millennial weather reports and obituaries for plastic straws.

The limits of the ’Gram

Overheard’s unorthodox expansion plan highlights the challenge of building a stable, well-rounded business.

As an Instagram-only brand, Overheard already employs 5 staff members and several freelancers. But in order to keep the brand growing, Margolis has chosen to take his humor offline.

“I’m old enough to remember when everyone was offline scrambling to establish a presence online,” Margolis told the NYT. “And now I started something online. And I’m trying to establish its presence offline.”

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