Heron, who gave a keynote speech at Journalism.co.uk's news:rewired conference in London last month, announced the move on Twitter.
"Excited to announce I'm joining @WSJ as director of social media and engagement," she wrote.
"The news is bittersweet, as I'll miss my colleagues at @nytimes, for which I have the utmost respect. But thrilled for challenges ahead."
Previously, Heron was the innovations editor for foreign and national security at the Washington Post, and a trends producer at ABC News.
In her news:rewired talk, she discussed how the New York Times taps into social networks for newsgathering, and uses social media for creative distribution and community engagement.