In our latest Facebook rankings, we look at the performance of the biggest sites and stories on Facebook for September 2014, and analyse the most impressive new performers. 

We’ve consulted Spike’s extensive social database, and have come up with new analysis and data for another month of social publishing activity.
This month:

  • Leaders the Huffington Post have almost 53.5m total interactions.
  • BuzzFeed (2nd) put daylight between themselves and Fox News (3rd).
  • breaks into the overall top ten for the first time, with 11.2m interactions.
  • BBC News, the New York Times and the Guardian all make strong gains.

Here are September’s biggest Facebook publishers, ranked by shares only:
september facebook top ten
Since August, a number of names we haven’t seen in a while have ascended into the top ten, ranked by shares. The BBC will be happy with their volume of Facebook shares, landing back into the top 25 in terms of overall engagements for the first time in months (see below).
The Huffington Post had a slight fall-off on August’s figures, but remain comfortably in number one spot.
BuzzFeed put some daylight between themselves and Fox News, who got within record closeness in August.
It was another good month for quiz specialists PlayBuzz. What’s particularly interesting about PlayBuzz’s performance is their high ratio of Facebook shares. The site managed to get over 7.5 million shares, second only to the Huffington Post in terms of shares alone. This indicates that much of PlayBuzz’s most popular content prompts an instant share from readers – usually a quiz result that has resonated with the quiz-taker. In total, they managed to grow their overall interactions from 11.9m in August, to 20.6m last month. Seven of the ten biggest Facebook stories of last month (likes + shares + comments) were PlayBuzz quizzes.
Another site that will be happy with their September performance is Bleacher Report, which jumped from 10.4m to 13.8m in a month. That puts them in their highest position yet, at number 6, becoming the first stand-alone sports site to reach such a high position.
Others that increased their position included the Guardian (up to 8, from 9), ABS-CBN News (up three places to seventh overall) and, a newcomer to the top 25.
Meanwhile, September crowns an amazing run of form for the Mirror, who we identified doing really well over the summer months. They shot up the ranks right to number nine overall (see table below), increasing their total interactions by almost 4m in a single month.

The Mirror are the first ‘legacy’ media outlet that we’ve seen break into the top ten in a long time.

One of their biggest stories of the month was a piece titled “Giant spiders set to invade UK homes this autumn, warn experts,” a story that was always going to provoke some curious engagement from (frightened) UK readers. That piece alone had over 314,000 interactions in September alone.

 A bit down the list, the New York Times broke the 10m interaction mark for the first time, while the Conservative Tribune also made notable gains.
Looking at the big Facebook content of the month, there were noticeably less listicles than usual at the very top of the chart, although that could be an indication of the biggest stories doing unusually well. Check out PlayBuzz’s high-performing blockbusters here (click to enlarge):
playbuzz september

A problem persists with our coverage of ABC News content – due to a Facebook glitch, we get the same share scores for many of their stories, rendering their ranking inaccurate. We’ve removed them from the rankings for accuracy, but they remain a very prominent publisher on Facebook. They also do well on Twitter, where we do have data for them.

We’ll be back with the biggest Twitter publishers list on the blog, later in the week.

How do we know all this?

We compiled our data using Spike, which tracks the content that people are sharing and engaging with in real time. It’s used by some of the world’s leading digital newsrooms and content creators. We’ve just added a one month view to show the biggest stories of the last 30 days – there’s a free trial for new users.

NewsWhip gathers its data from Spike, our professional platform that monitors the social distribution of news. While we strive for complete coverage, sometimes we will miss some content for some publishers. If it looks to you like we’re missing something or have our numbers wrong, drop us a line.

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