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Facebook, Instagram Catching Up to Twitter in the Celebrity Arms Race

Because famous people are just like us: They like pictures and videos, too.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

When actor Tyrese Gibson accidentally all-but-confirmed the Apple-Beats deal a couple of weeks ago, he did it by posting a video to Facebook.

The clip didn’t stay up, but Facebook can still count it as a win: The company has been spending a lot of time trying to convince famous people to use its platform when they want to share with lots of people. And here was one sharing something that lots of people wanted to see.

The better news for Facebook is that this seems to be happening more often, and that is helping the network gain ground on Twitter, which has been the dominant platform for celebrities with digital messages they want to spread.

You can draw that conclusion after looking at data from WhoSay, a startup that’s supposed to help famous people manage, and eventually profit from, their social media postings.

Here’s a chart that shows the different platforms WhoSay’s users have been posting on over the past two years. Note that Twitter remains the dominant platform, but that its use appears to be trending down a bit. Facebook, meanwhile is on the rise — as are TenCent and Instagram.

It’s possible that Facebook’s rise has something to do with its efforts to court and reward celebrities for posting there. But it’s more likely that this has more to do with the kinds of things celebrities post.

If they’re just typing up a message, without adding pictures or videos, then Twitter’s share looks largely unchanged over the last two years, WhoSay says:

But when they have images and/or moving pictures to share, then Facebook looks nearly as attractive as Twitter. And so does Instagram, which means Mark Zuckerberg is doing very well, famous people-wise:

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