growth hacking

67 tweets & 1,030,000 followers: Meet @EarthPix !

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(Note: All figures are given as of Feb. 28th, 2014)

Meet Xavier (17 y/o Australian) and his associate Kyle (19 y/o American), they run wildly popular Twitter accounts, among which @HistoryInPics (1.14 M followers) and @EarthPics (1.03 M followers): They share beautiful pictures on Twitter.

“(On average) @HistoryInPics tweet gets retweeted more than 1,600 times and favorited 1,800 times”

The Atlantic

The Atlantic interviewed those two in January 2014, Xavier runs SwiftLab, apparently has a dozen employees focusing on Growth Hacking for clients including “several Fortune 500 companies”.  So far, the press has mostly been concern with photography copyright issues.

It’s an interesting debate, but I would rather concentrate on the fantastic growth of those two 1+ million followers accounts, here is what I know:


According to Status People, @EarthPix has 8% fake followers, @HistoryInPics has 12% fake followers. which is fine considering they are both 1+ million (check out this article for reference points).

@EarthPix has been gradually growing for a year, yet it only lists 72 tweets, the oldest dated 22 Feb. 2014. I’ve been unable to find whether prior tweets, even though the account was open in Feb. 2013, I’m unsure whether they started from scratch and/or deleted some/all prior tweets.

@HistoryInPics has helped @EarthPix growth by RT his publication on Feb. 22, 23, 25. It also happened the other way around (History sharing Earth’s pics).

As Xavier (the owner) puts it in an interview, to grow a page: “Share them on established pages, and after 50,000 – 100,000 followers they’ve gained enough momentum to become ‘viral’ without further promotion.”

Here is a 3-month analysis of both accounts Twitter follower Growth according to

Tumblr & Instagram

@EarthPix links to a Tumblr active April-September 2013 (about 90 Post, approx. 10/15 “Notes” by post). Also, @EarthPix has an active Instagram boasting 550,000+ followers and 1690 images, most of them stunning landscapes or baby animals started on Feb. 7th 2013, that’s about 5 images per day on average (they joined Twitter on Feb. 5th, 2013).

@HistoryInPics is also on Instagram but is inactive since July 2013 with only 28 posts.


Interestingly, their presence on Facebook is minimal. HistoryinPics has been cross posting on Facebook since April 2013 has a mere 2,346 Likes. I haven’t found significant EarthPix presence on Facebook. It’s surprising, since The Atlantic reported Xavier and Kyle are pretty good at playing with Facebook since they sold the page “Long Romantic Walk To The Fridge” that had 10+ million likes. Are they currently nurturing other Facebook Pages linking to our two accounts? Could be.

 My Two cents:

As Xavier Di Petta said to The Altantic: “”We normally identify trends (or create them haha). We then turn them into a Twitter account”.

They are crafting audiences from scratch, banking on trends and sustaining medium term efforts. Seems like the formula has been successful:

– High Quality material (raising copyright questions), either hard to find or shockingly beautiful (including landscape, celebrities or cute pets). Links are almost all “picture-only”, with no other links (this avoids driving people off the page).

– Leverage existing accounts/assets to promote new ones, on Twitter or Cross platform (eg. Instagram to Twitter for EarthPix)

> Audience building, especially legit’ ones, is going to be huge. Creating taste-making communities through popular topics still create a lot of interest, those accounts are likely to be sold and/or monetize shortly. I’m also surprise they don’t have a (visible) foothold on Google+ or Pinterest, they are both visual-friendly medias.

> I’m dead curious to see how they grew both accounts from 0 to 100,000, it would be brilliant to have more information on this. Should you have any, do email me !

What do you think?

Rodolphe (@rdutel)