The state of Facebook publishing in 2019

March 15, 2019

Written by Benedict Nicholson
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It’s been just over a year since Facebook announced their algorithm change, shaking up the world of social and Facebook publishing. We looked at the data to see what’s changed.

To do this, we looked into how content is being shared and interacted with on Facebook since the start of the year, and compared it with previous years.

In 2018, engagements to web content fell off fairly significantly compared to the previous year, though that trend appears to be reversing in 2019 so far.

We explored web and native content on Facebook, to see which publishers are thriving and what content is successful so far this year.

In our latest report, which you can download here, we covered:

  • Insights into the types of web content that are performing well on Facebook
  • Which publishers are driving the conversation through comments
  • What formats are driving the most engagement natively on Facebook
  • How people use the reaction buttons on the most engaged posts

Facebook publishing engagement by year

Engagements dropped significantly between 2017 and 2018, but they appear to have recovered at the start of this year.

2019 has thus far had the highest weekly engagement for eight of the ten weeks in the start of this year, as compared to the same time period in the previous year.

What is most striking here is the difference between 2019 and the previous year, with content consistently receiving at least 50 percent higher engagement for the week than the corresponding week in 2018.

This is not merely a function of an increase in the number of posts, with roughly the same number of posts for the period in each of the three years we looked at.

The top article types on Facebook

We also did an analysis of the types of content that made up the very top stories, dividing the top hundred stories into various subgroups.

Unsurprisingly, politics dominated, and comprised 36 of the top hundred stories.

The second most frequently appearing group was what might be termed soft or viral news, normally something quirky involving parenting or animals. These stories were responsible for 17 percent of the top hundred stories.

Death announcements and obituaries were the third, with eleven of the top hundred stories. Luke Perry’s death was a particular contributor to this number, as the majority in the top hundred concerned his death.

For science, most of the storied focused either on environmental news or the curing of diseases, with climate change and HIV being cured in a second patient two themes that drove a lot of attention in this category.

Almost all of the six economic stories that featured were about taxation, either on a personal or corporate level.

That just about does it for our preview of this report, but you can get the full report, with many more insights like this on Facebook publishing, by clicking here. If you’d like to see how you could build a report like this, request a demo of NewsWhip.

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Benedict Nicholson

In addition to leading the NewsWhip Research Center in New York, Benedict Nicholson manages partnerships with internationally recognized media outlets furthering data journalism, which includes NewsWhip’s Data for Democracy program. Benedict also facilitates consultations with communicators from the top 10 public relations agencies across America and Europe and with Fortune 500 brands to discuss consumer engagement trends and effective media monitoring. Email Benedict via

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