With just two months left in 2018, we take a look at the top publishers on Facebook.
October was a busy month, in the lead up to several key events such as today’s U.S. primary elections and the election in Brazil.
Twitter launched an events page for the U.S. midterm elections that surfaced disinformation almost immediately after launch, and hoaxes were rampant on WhatsApp ahead of the Brazilian election.
Even LinkedIn has become a channel for hyperpartisan memes, while Gab was shut down for providing a place for radicalization.
Still, it’s not all bad: 69 percent of all U.S. Americans who say they’ve lost trust in the media believe that it can still be restored.
So how did the top content for the month shake out? We used our database to take a look.
A few points to note from October’s rankings:
- CNN and the New York Times reclaimed the top two spots
- Viral publishers UNILAD and the LAD bible both dropped out of the top ten
- Two partisan publishers, the Daily Wire and Breitbart, rose into the top ten this month
Onto the data.
The top publishers
Our rankings come from NewsWhip Analytics. The analysis examines English-language content from publishers, ranked by Facebook likes, shares, and comments to their web content. We do not combine network publishers with their local outlets or other subsidiary domains.
Additionally, these rankings do not include media natively uploaded to a Facebook Page, such as a Facebook video.
CNN and the New York Times rose from #4 and #5 in September to #1 and #2 this month. Fox News retained its #3 spot.
Whereas in the past few months, we have seen the LAD bible and UNILAD lead our charts, the viral publishers fell to #13 and #17 in October. Despite this, both publishers still had the two of the highest average engagements per article of the top 25 sites.
Along with those two, the “mindfulness/positivity” sites like Higher Perspectives, are also absent from the top 25 this month. In fact, all of the top 25 publishers were well-known outlets.
Gains, gains, gains
All of October’s publishers in the top ten saw considerable gains from last month. This generally ranged from 3 million to 10 million additional engagements than September’s numbers.
CNN and the New York Times both saw 1.5x the engagements as they did last month.
As mentioned earlier, the Daily Wire and Breitbart both saw significant gains this month. The Daily Wire drove almost 12 million more Facebook interactions than last month.
In fact, the Daily Wire saw the highest average of Facebook engagements per post among the top publishers, at 22,321 interactions. In comparison, CNN saw an average of 6,100 and an average of 5,581 for the New York Times.
A loud month on social
With what’s said to be the most expensive U.S. midterm elections ever, it makes sense that many of the top stories were political.
Of the top stories for the month, 13 of the top 20 were related to U.S. political issues.
Most of these stories had to do with the current Trump administration: the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s thoughts on ending birthright and changing the definition of transgender, and the recent violent acts of domestic terrorists.
Both CNN and the New York Times, which claimed the top spots this month, saw their top stories come from coverage of these issues.
Still, there was room for soft news and other content within the top content. For the soft news, we noted a few trends.
1. Pop culture, especially what’s on Netflix, and anything to do with Harry Potter performed well
2. Animal-focused content drove engagements, like the article about a $300 cow cuddling session
3. Holiday content is starting to stack up engagements, with people sharing articles focused on interesting products and gift ideas.
Beyond these themes, stories about a Facebook scam, celebrities, and Canada’s legalization of cannabis appeared multiple times in the top 100 stories.
When we once again looked at the top 1000 stories and ranked them by the highest percentage of shares and highest percentage of comments, we noticed some interesting trends.
Despite falling out of the top ten, UNILAD and LAD bible both still had the stories with the highest percentage of comments in October.
The two publishers have figured out a way to encourage comments by creating stories that are actionable, relevant, and prompt an agreement or disagreement.
When it came to shares, cautionary content drove the highest percentage of shares for October. Seven of the top 10 storries with the highest share percentage, were about a Facebook hoax.
The top publishers of October
Below are the top 25 sites in October, ranked by total Facebook engagements on stories published that month.
These numbers count all Facebook engagement on these sites’ links in October, including shares from publisher pages, copy-and-paste shares, and use of Facebook sharing buttons on the websites themselves. The numbers do not include engagement on live or native videos.
Check out our Content Creation Guide for Fall, for the latest tactics for your social publishing.