Who are the top publishers on Facebook in Europe? In the second part of our series, we looked at the data from Spain, France, and Portugal to find out.

As regular readers of the blog will know, we publish a monthly ranking of the top web publishers on Facebook. We’ve noted that these can be a little America-focused, so we decided to expand our horizons and look at European publishers to get more of a sense of what’s working outside of the American continent.

After our Irish, German, and U.K rankings last time, this time we’re looking at Spain, France, and Portugal.
Some of the trends we spotted in our previous analysis included political content and satirical websites, with the latter particularly strong in Germany and Ireland, so we’ll be looking to see if those trends are replicated here.

Let’s start with the Spanish publishers. 

The biggest Spanish publishers on Facebook in June 2018 

Of the European publishers, the Spanish publishers had the highest engagement on Facebook, after U.K. publishers.

El Pais was the most successful of these, with more than 7 million engagements to its web content on Facebook. This was well ahead of its competitors in the top ten, who all found themselves bunched between 2 million and 4 million engagements for the month.

El Pais’ content was principally driven by hard news, and the publisher did appear three times in the top ten stories overall, with its international coverage doing particularly well.

Stories about the Mexican election, and the Argentinian parliament, alongside one about a transplant that helped with cancer treatment, were the top engaging pieces for the publisher. Beyond El Pais, most of the stories in the top ten did not come from the top publishers. 

When we look at average content for the same publishers, the picture changes a little, with Publico averaging the highest number of interactions per post, at 1,152. This is just ahead of the chasing competition of El País and La Vanguardia, who had also topped the table for total engagements.

This shows that Publico’s content was performing remarkably well, and that Publico was held back in total engagements by the amount that they were posting compared to other publishers, rather than the number of engagements those posts were generating on average.

At the opposite end of this, ABC came eighth in the average engagement table despite coming in third for total engagements.

One publisher we did not include in this list but is worthy of at least a mention was the Spanish branch of Russia Today. It’s based in Russia, it didn’t make the ranking as a Spanish publisher, but its Spanish language posts do drive a considerable amount of engagement in the country, with over 3 million engagements there.

So that’s Spain, let’s move on to its Iberian neighbor.

The biggest publishers on Facebook from Portugal in June 2018 

The biggest publishers in the Portuguese may well be ones you’ve never heard of, but they did drive significant engagement.

Although the majority of well-known Portuguese language publications, such as O Globo, are based in Brazil, that is not to say that there is not also a lot of content being engaged with from Portugal itself, despite the relatively small size of the country.

The top publisher for the country in terms of total engagements was Sapo by some distance, with 3.7 million engagements more than double that of its nearest competitor Jornal de Noticias. The majority of the top ten besides Sapo are fairly well grouped between 1.2 million and 1.8 million engagements.

Interestingly, where we saw satire doing well in other countries, the niche publications that are successful in Portugal are sports publishers, with O Jogo and A Bola, two soccer focused publications, both featuring in the top ten.

Sorting by average engagements for these publishers, as is often the case, shuffles the pack somewhat. Sapo falls all the way to eighth, implying that much of its success is down to the sheer amount of content published.

O Publico, languishing at sixth in the table for total engagements, is highest in the list for average engagements per post with 385.

The biggest French publishers on Facebook in June 2018

For French publishers, we can see an obvious split between the top four and the rest for total engagements. BFMTV, 20 Minutes, France TV Info, and Le Parisien all clearing 4.5 million engagements easily with nothing else breaking the 3 million mark.

BFMTV was the most successful of all with more than 6 million engagements. Once again, as we saw with Portugal, sport features here with the appearance of Foot Mercato.

What is also interesting, and even more obvious when we look at the average engagement metric, is the runaway success of Ayoye Monde, a website dedicated to half-truths and sensational content filled with clickbait headlines.

This is mostly not something that has been prevalent in this analysis. Though these types of sites crop up a good deal in the U.S, we have only seen them occasionally in the European countries.

That Ayoye Monde is so far ahead of its competitors for engagements per post is definitely noteworthy. It has almost 4x the engagements of its nearest competitors, 20 Minutes and Le Parisien.

Engagements across Europe 

Just before we close, here’s a look at the top publisher from each country to see how their total engagements compare.

As we can see, the Daily Mail is well ahead of all of the others, with more engagements than the other five combined.

Beyond that, Spain and France were the two top performers, outperforming Germany, Ireland, and Portugal fairly significantly.

Obviously, this is partially explained by the relative population sizes, but that does not work for Germany. There, it is much more to do with the levels of proliferation of Facebook compared to in other countries.

Want to see which stories in particular stood out for these publishers? Take a tour of NewsWhip Analytics.

Benedict Nicholson

Benedict Nicholson is the Managing Editor at NewsWhip. An Englishman in New York, he is interested in the intersection of PR, brands, and journalism, and the trends and innovation around that.

Email Benedict via benedict.nicholson@newswhip.com.

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