These were the top publishers on Facebook in November 2021

December 14, 2021

Written by Benedict Nicholson

As we get closer to closing out the year, it’s time for our penultimate rankings of 2021, looking back at last month to determine the top publishers and content on Facebook in November 2021.

As always, we used our API and NewsWhip Spike 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 are some of the key takeaways for this month: 

  • The Daily Wire remained top, with significantly more engagement than our last rankings for September 2021
  • The overall engagement levels for the top ten publishers were up slightly 
  • No single article saw more than a million engagements 

Let’s look a little deeper at the data.

Top publishers on Facebook in November 2021

Regular readers of these rankings will notice a familiar shape to the top publishers, with the Daily Wire once again coming in top, comfortably ahead of those around it.

Chart showing the top publishers on Facebook ranked by engagement

The conservative publisher had 39 million engagements in the month of November, well up from the 27 million or so it had in September. This rise in engagement was true for many of the top publishers, with the BBC and the Daily Mail both also having significantly more engagements than they did the previous month, rising from 18 million each last time to 21 and 23 million respectively.

The top ten overall retained a similar shape to previous months, though the New York Times dropping out of the list is somewhat noteworthy.

In terms of the top articles for each of the top publishers, there was considerable variance among the top three. 

For The Daily Wire, the culture war dominated as always, with three of its top articles about Kyle Rittenhouse and two about vaccine mandates. The most engaged with of these was a piece about Rittenhouse being found not guilty by a jury, which had 735.2k engagements. There were then pieces on comments from a Harvard professor saying he should sue the media (634k) and on potential defamation lawsuits being prepared (565k) that made up the remainder of the top three. On vaccine mandates, the top stories were both about them being blocked by federal courts (558k and 408k respectively).

The Daily Mail saw a real mix of stories among its top five, with news and sports dominating. The top piece, with 300k engagements, was about missing toddler Cleo Smith being found alive in Australia after having gone missing. Other top stories included Malala’s graduation (232k), a man killing his daughter’s boyfriend after ‘finding out he sold her’ (184k), photos of Brazilian players traveling to the UK (152k), and questions about Manchester United’s tactics (121k).

The BBC was more focused on international news than it sometimes is, at least among the top stories, and healthcare dominated its coverage. The top piece was on Britney Spears being released from her conservatorship (311k), but pieces on an HPV vaccine (221k), a Covid pill getting approval (217k), and the Omicron variant (186k) all saw substantial engagement. The final piece in the top five for the BBC was about a golden bible being found near York, which had 183k engagements.

But how did these compare to the top articles overall? 

Top articles on Facebook in November 2021

In November, none of the top articles had more than a million engagements, and only one had more than 750k. While this is not unheard of, it is a relative lull in engagements for articles compared to earlier this year and last year especially.

Chart detailing the top articles on Facebook in November 2021, ranked by engagement

The top article came from NPR, and had 759k engagements, reporting on the conviction of three men for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery last year. 

Legal decisions featured prominently, as the Arbery and Rittenhouse decisions were four of the top five stories overall, with two each respectively.

Other stories of note included the elections in Virginia, where Republicans overperformed compared to expectations.

Top 25 publishers

The below is a list of the top 25 publishers for the month of November.

Chart showing the top 25 publishers on Facebook, ranked by engagement

There are no huge surprises, but the New York Times and Reuters have dropped out of the top ten since our last analysis. The top 25 tend to be a mix of mainstream and conservative, and that trend continued here.

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