These were the top publishers on Facebook in February 2022

March 17, 2022

Written by Benedict Nicholson

While The Daily Wire maintained its place at the top of the Facebook rankings in February 2022, The Daily Mail significantly closed the gap on the conservative publisher. 

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 took the top spot once more, but saw a slight dip in engagement compared to January
  • The Daily Wire also had the top article, with a story on Elon Musk and Ukraine 
  • No article had more than a million engagements, and only two had more than 500k

Let’s look at the data.

The top publishers on Facebook in February 2022

The Daily Wire was once again the top publisher on Facebook this month, though the race was significantly closer than it has been.

Chart showing the top publishers on Facebook in February 2022, ranked by engagement

In our January rankings, it was well ahead of the competition, having 36 million engagements compared to the 19 million of its closest rival — the BBC. This time around, the conservative publisher’s engagements remained around the same, actually dropping a little, while others around it, including The Daily Mail, saw a significant rise in engagement to close that gap.

The rest of the top ten looked similar to last month, with British publishers making up three of the top five. Legit maintained its streak in the top ten, marking the third month in a row for the Nigerian publisher. 

But let’s take a look at the content that drove the success for these publishers.

For The Daily Wire, the coverage had a typically political slant. The publisher’s top story was about Elon Musk’s Starlink being used in Ukraine and the entrepreneur being praised for his actions there. This article received 624k engagements, and was one of two similar articles to appear in the top five, with the other receiving 423k interactions. Their other top articles were about Whoopi Goldberg’s suspension (461k), India Arie pulling her music from Spotify (404k), and the Canadian trucker protests (386k).

The Daily Mail’s top content was unusually uniform for the British publisher, with three of the top articles being about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These included a piece on a man blowing himself up with a bridge to stop a Russian advance (398k), Elon Musk switching on the Starlink network in Ukraine (277k), and Anonymous hacking into Russian sites (271k). The other top stories were about an SAS dog handler that saved a dog (308k), and Facebook’s stock price dropping by almost a quarter (250k).

The BBC’s coverage was broad among its top articles, with no two being about the same thing. The publisher’s top five were about Novak Djokovic being willing to miss tournaments rather than be vaccinated (340k), the Queen testing positive for Covid (233k), the RSPCA removing a football player’s cats (205k), a boy who died after falling in a well in Morocco (183k), and updates from Ukraine (170k).

But what about the top articles overall? 

The top articles on Facebook in February 2022

Breaking tradition somewhat, The Daily Wire also had the top article as well as being the top publisher, which doesn’t often happen. Their article on Elon Musk’s actions in Ukraine was one of only three articles to receive more than 500k engagements.

Table showing the top articles on Facebook in February 2022, ranked by engagement

The other two both came from NBC News, with articles about a potential cure for HIV (616k), and a missing girl found under stairs in New York, having been missing since 2019 (550k).

Other top articles that we haven’t already touched on included Sadio Mane’s AFCON triumph, Megan Rapinoe being dropped from the USWNT, and Biden nominating Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

The top 25 publishers

The chart below shows the top 25 publishers for February, including the number of articles published.

The top 25 publishers on Facebook in February 2022, ranked by engagement

British publications performed well once again, with even some local outlets making it into the top 25. 

Sports coverage has also seen a bit of a resurgence, as shown by Sportsbrief just missing out on the top ten. 

If you’d like more in-depth coverage of what is being shared on Facebook, including native content, then check out our most recent report on the platform.

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