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.
Free daily newsletter
- Tip: Check out these verification tools for social media newsgathering
- 5 key research findings on distributed content strategies from INMA
- Tip: Here's how to get started with Facebook Live successfully
- Two BBC local radio stations experiment with 24 hours of mobile journalism
- Don’t just shut the door: What publishers can do to combat ad-blocking