NASA’s social media presence, which has grown massively over the past decade and now has millions of followers, was honoured Tuesday as part of the 2019 Webby Awards.
“Social media has become NASA’s primary way of connecting with the public,” said Bettina Inclán, NASA’s associate administrator for Communications. “It lets us reach out directly to people and share the excitement of exploration across all of NASA’s programs. More importantly, it fosters conversation and builds shared goals, which will be essential as the agency drives forward to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024.”
#MarsLanding beat #cybermonday
NASA’s Mars InSight mission won a social media People’s Voice Award for Education & Discovery. After landing on Mars in November 2018, the mission generated more than one million social media posts from members of the public. The hashtag #MarsLanding even trended higher than #cybermonday on the Monday after Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday.
Two other agency digital properties received the People’s Voice award in their categories: NASA.gov, the agency’s primary website, won its 11th People’s Voice award in Government & Civil Innovation; and the Solar System Exploration site won its third People’s Voice award in the Science category.
Black Hole got 3,4 million likes
The agency’s reach on social media extends beyond its own programs. When the Event Horizon Telescope released the first image of a black hole on April 10, NASA’s follow up post on Instagram received 3.4 million likes and 33,500 comments. Social media also lets NASA join conversations about pop culture, leading to online interactions, such as those with singer Ariana Grande and Marvel Studios.
This year’s Webbys are the second and third for NASA’s overall social media presence, having won both the Webby and People’s Voice award in 2017.
Established in 1996, The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. This year there were more than 13,000 entries, and more than 3 million votes were cast for the People’s Voice awards.