Who were the top publishers on Facebook in October 2019? What content drove the most engagement? We looked at the data to find out.

We’re getting towards the end of the year, and as we enter the final quarter, we took a look at the top publishers on Facebook for October 2019. 

A reminder on methodology, we use our API to gather these rankings, which you can read about on our developer hub. This analysis includes English-language content from publishers, ranked by Facebook likes, shares, and comments to their web content, ranked by domain. Additionally, these rankings do not include media natively uploaded to a Facebook Page, such as a Facebook video.

Here were some of the key takeaways from October:

  • The Daily Mail displaced Fox News to claim second place 
  • CNN remained at the top of the rankings for another month
  • Engagement was up across the board amongst the top 25 publishers

Let’s look at the data. 

The top publishers on Facebook in October 2019

In what is becoming a familiar theme, CNN was ranked in first place for October, marking the sixth month in a row that CNN has topped the list. Engagements rose compared to the previous month for the publisher, going up from 37 million in September to 48 million this month. 

The rise for the Daily Mail was even more dramatic, moving from 31 million to 48 million between last month and this one. In the end, the Daily Mail was less than one million engagements behind CNN in terms of its total engagement for the month. 

And while Fox rose in terms of engagements, from 33 million to 41 million, this increase was not as dramatic as its high-performing peers, allowing the Daily Mail to leapfrog Fox into second place for October.

Histogram showing the top ten publishers based on Facebook engagement

Rounding out the top ten were familiar faces such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Guardian. NBC News and ABC News both appeared in the top ten, having been in and out of the rankings for the last few months. 

In terms of the content that was successful for the top publishers, CNN had its usual mix of the political and the general. Its top article for the month was about the first all-woman spacewalk taking place in the middle of October, and variations on this article featured more than once for the publisher. Another persona that featured twice in their top ten pieces was Jimmy Carter, with an article marking his 95th birthday the top performing one about the former President. 

The Daily Mail featured a mix of viral stories and entertainment. Its top article, for example, which received more than 1.5 million engagements, featured a woman who wore 2.5kg worth of clothes for her flight to avoid paying excess baggage charges. There were also stories featuring movies and viral moments, and three of its stories received more than a million engagements. 

Fox only had one story that garnered more than a million engagements, and that was about Demario Davis’ headbands mentioning God seeing their sales skyrocket after he was fined by the NFL. 

But what about the top content more generally? 

The top articles on Facebook of October 2019

The top article of October had more than four million engagements, and was an amber alert for a missing child in Chicago. This is something we’ve seen before, especially with the Fox Chicago Page. 

Table showing the top fifteen most engaged articles on Facebook in October 2019

Beyond that, there were a number of articles that appeared from legacy publishers, which is not always the case in these rankings. ABC garnered more than 2 million engagements on an article about a 1.8 billion dollar autism funding bill, and they appeared again in the top fifteen thanks to an article about the House passing a bill to make animal cruelty a felony.

Meanwhile, CNN saw their aforementioned spacewalk article rank eighth with almost two million engagements. 

The top fifteen stories of the month were largely a mix of politics and more viral content, and all of the stories featured received more than 1.5 million engagements.

The top 25 publishers on Facebook in October

In the chart below you can find the top publishers on Facebook ranked by engagements to their web content. Also shown is the total number of articles that each website published on their platform.

Table showing the top 25 publishers based on Facebook engagement in October 2019

Some of the more significant movement came in the middle third of the table, with The Hill rising up a few spots, and The Mirror doing so also. 

October’s rankings contained no fewer than eight British publications in the top 25, which is a relatively high proportion. 

As noted above, engagement appears to have risen to the top publishers across the board, with the 25th ranked publisher this month having some 12 million engagements, as compared to 9.8 million engagements in September. 

To track the most engaged publishers in real time, check out NewsWhip Spike.