The top Facebook video publishers of summer

July 20, 2017

Written by NewsWhip

As we head deeper into summer, what are the top videos on Facebook? We use our database of the world’s social metrics to find out. 

At NewsWhip, we believe it’s vital to keep a pulse on what’s getting audiences buzzing on social. The science behind virality is an evolving oneThat’s why we’re such data nerds — we’re obsessed with seeing spikes and dips in the data, and how people react to new and favored formats, like video.

Facebook isn’t backing away from video anytime soon either. The platform recently announced its plans for a standalone app just for video creation, and is developing out its own recognisable video stars. Video continues to be the format to master.

We used NewsWhip Analytics to examine the top video trends of June, diving into:

  • The top engaging news publishers of Facebook Video and Facebook Live
  • The most engaging Facebook videos and Facebook Live videos of news publishers
  • The content trends of these top videos

Let’s take a look at summer’s top news-focused publishers of video content.

The Top Facebook Video Publishers of June

NowThis rocketed from third place in April to first place for June. The digital native displaced the Daily Mail, which was our top publisher of Facebook video in April. NowThis continues to set a high bar for native journalism video and its 13.1 million engagements in June prove it.

ABC News remains in second place, as it did in April. Other legacy publishers from both the U.S. and U.K. are doing well with video this summer, with CNN, Fox News, BBC News, and Daily Mail featuring in the top ten.

After NowThis, the top publishers mainly hover between 7 million and 9 million engagements, showing that there is a tight race for these engagements.

The digital native and relative newcomer ATTN: saw some of the biggest averages for general news publishers. Both ATTN: Video and ATTN: drove more than 172,000 average engagements per video.

Let take a look at the top videos from news-focused Facebook Pages.

Interestingly, six of these videos were not from our top ten publishers. ATTN: Video had the most engaging news-focused video in June, one of Arnold Schwarzenegger addressing Donald Trump.

The interesting trend here is how prevalent positive news stories are in our top ten. CBS News, NowThis, and Humankind all saw substantial engagements for human interest stories that focused in on acts of kindness.

Some serious news videos did make the top ten, such as AJ+’s video of the Philando Castile police footage, and Channel 4 News sharing the story of a hate crime victim being attacked with acid. While politics weren’t rampant in the top ten, these videos speak to tangential issues that are politically relevant right now, such as race and police brutality.

Other top stories had to do with quirky news bites that were out of the ordinary. For example, one of the videos was about beer yoga and another showcased an accessible water park.

How did these publishers’ strategy vary across Facebook video and Facebook Live video?

Fox News saw the most engagements on its Live videos out of these publishers. While 22 percent of its videos in June were Facebook Live videos, the Page saw 25 percent of all video engagements just on its Live videos. This number changes significantly if we look at comments. Over half — 52 percent — of its video comments were on Live videos.

The top news publishers of Facebook Live

So who were the top publishers of Facebook Live video? Again, let’s use NewsWhip Analytics to look at the top publishers.

Right away, we can see that Fox News had more than double the engagements of our first runner-up. Political content often has a provocative effect on social media, and so this abundance of engagements could be tied to Fox News’ political reporting.

As we’ve seen in our previous analyses this year, local publishers have some serious momentum with Facebook Live video. With their tight focus on one region, they are poised to reach a specific locality with breaking news. RT UK, for example, saw its top Facebook Live video come from a devastating fire in London. 

ITV News, Daily Mail and BBC News all featured in the top ten in June as well. Again, their top videos were focused on the fire in a London apartment building.

CNN, though not in our top ten here, drove the highest average engagements per Live video for a general news publisher. CNN’s Live videos typically saw an average of 24,471 likes, shares, comments and reactions per video.

If we take a look at the top Live videos, we see a complete shift from April. In April, happier stories drove the most engagements, such as April the giraffe giving birth. June’s most engaging videos were dominated by breaking news, primarily in England, as the videos served as a digital meeting ground for people to get more information and share their feelings about the events.

Again, politics didn’t feature as heavily, though acts of terrorism did. Only one of these Live videos, from ABC15 Arizona about a beer truck rolling over, could be considered “soft news”.

What other trends did we notice?

Certain niches continue to do well with video content. The Dodo sees phenomenal engagement, far surpassing any of the other publishers we looked at. Its videos drove more than 49.3 million likes, shares, comments, and reactions in June alone.

Food publishers also continue to captivate. Tasty, Food Network, and Delish each saw more than 15 million engagements on their video content in June. Publishers like Cosmopolitan, HERB, and Bleacher Report also ranked in our top 20.

Niche publishers are able to reach a highly focused, highly impassioned audience. In today’s age of social distribution, publishers can reach a more engaged audience through concentrated beats. This way, publishers are tapping into an already impassioned audience, one that’s more likely to engage. Combine that with the emphasis on Facebook video, and niches publishers are doubly ahead of the game right now.

What to know

What can we take away from the trends of the top video publishers this summer?

  1. For non-Live videos, human interest stories are doing well
  2. Showing viewers something quirky and out-of-the-ordinary also drives engagements
  3. Videos on passionate subjects, like human rights or social injustice can also provoke strong reactions
  4. For Live video, breaking news creates a virtual meeting ground for viewers
  5. Niche publishers continue to see heightened engagements, so experiment with a tight focus

As we continue through summer, we’ll keep an eye on the top videos and which publishers are innovating further and further with the format. In the meantime, reach out to us on Twitter about the video trends you’ve seen. Or, take a look on NewsWhip Analytics, to find the top videos across any Facebook Page right now.  

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