These were the top publishers on Facebook in January 2022

February 8, 2022

Written by Benedict Nicholson

The Daily Wire saw its domination of the most engaged websites on Facebook continue into 2022 as we looked back at the top publishers and articles in January this year.

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 once again topped the charts, starting 2022 where it left off last year
  • Other publishers fell back again, having gained ground in December
  • Bob Saget’s death dominated the top stories of the month

Let’s look at the data. 

The top publishers of January 2022 on Facebook

The Daily Wire was once again the top publisher on Facebook last month, coming in significantly ahead of every one of its rivals, with roughly as many engagements as its two closest rivals combined.

Chart showing the top publishers of January 2022 on Facebook, ranked by engagement

This has largely been driven by the publisher’s remarkable consistency in terms of engagement. While other publications have fluctuated up and down in recent months, the Daily Wire has seen  engagement in the mid-30 million range for the majority of the last few months. This continued success has been reflected in the company’s financials, according to reporting from Axios, with the company hitting $100 million in 12-month revenue.

The rest of the top three was made up of British publications, with the BBC jumping from fourth to second, and the Daily Mail falling from second to third in the list. Nigeria’s Legit maintained its strong performance to take fifth place and disrupt the Anglo-American domination, but all of the above saw significantly fewer engagement than they did in January. 

In terms of the top articles, the Daily Wire was as political as ever, with vaccine content also playing a significant role for the conservative publisher. Its top article looked at Goldie Hawn saying that she tries to remain apolitical (454k), while it also had highly successful stories about Tucker Carlson going viral (377k), a judge blocking the federal vaccine mandate (372k), Ghislaine Maxwell “no longer fighting to protect” the names of eight ‘John Does’ (362k), and Joni Mitchell and others pulling their music from Spotify (355k).

The BBC’s top article about Meat Loaf’s death was significantly more engaged than any of its other top articles, clocking in at just under a million interactions. Other top stories for the publisher included Novak Djokovic’s visa to Australia being canceled (361k), Pope Francis commenting on choosing pets over kids (248k), Prince Andrew losing his titles (247k), and a tsunami warning in Tonga (201k).

The Daily Mail was as eclectic as ever in its mix of top stories, with its most engaged articles including the death of Bob Saget (335k), a Christian nurse who was told not to wear a crucifix (280k), a memorial to Kobe and Gianna Bryant (239k), twins born on different days (203k), and Meat Loaf’s death (149k). 

But how did these compare to the top articles overall?

The top articles of January 2022 on Facebook

None of the articles from the top three publishers saw more than a million engagements in January, but there were two pieces of web content that did. 

The first was TMZ’s reporting of the death of Bob Saget, and the second was the USPS’s announcement that they would send free Covid tests to people.

Chart showing the top articles of January 2022 on Facebook, ranked by engagement

Most of the stories dealt with death in some way or another, in a trend we’ve seen returning in the past few months, with the deaths of a number of widely beloved public figures, and this month that included Bob Saget, Meat Loaf, Howard Hesseman, and Sidney Poitier.

Notable exceptions included news about the killers of Ahmaud Arbery, a heart transplant patient being taken off the list for refusing to get vaccinated, and Mark Cuban opening an online pharmacy for generic drugs, which was the eighth biggest story of the month.

The top 25 publishers of January 2022

Below is a list of the top 25 publishers of the month, alongside the number of articles they have written.

Chart showing the top 25 publishers of January 2022 on Facebook, ranked by engagement

There were no huge surprises here, with the list maintaining a similar shape and level of engagement to what we have seen in previous months. A number of African publishers featured once again, and sports have begun to make somewhat of a resurgence, but the majority is about European and American news and politics.

If you’d like to read an interactive report on the top content on Facebook, check out our recent report on Q4 2021 on the platform.

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