These were the top publishers on Facebook in May 2022

June 9, 2022

Written by Benedict Nicholson

The Daily Mail marked a third straight month at the top of the publisher rankings in May, as mainstay at the top of the charts The Daily Wire fell to fifth place. 

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 Mail remained at the top of the rankings, but grew its interactions to 40 million
  • The Daily Wire fell to fifth place, the lowest it has been in almost two years
  • Nigeria’s Legit rose into the top three for the first time, coming in second

Let’s look at the rest of the top ten.

The top publishers on Facebook in May 2022

As the chart below shows, The Daily Mail was comfortably ahead of its competitors in May, with almost double the level of engagement of any other publisher on Facebook.

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

Legit, which has risen up the rankings in recent months, reached its highest ever ranking in May, with its 22 million engagements. The Mirror rounded out the top three, showing consistent levels of performance over the last few months.

The Daily Wire fell to fifth, with a significant drop in engagements compared to April, falling from 23 million to around 15 million month over month. Other notable inclusions were Kenyan publisher Tuko and Philippine site ABS-CBN, which climbed the rankings thanks to the country’s election, in which Ferdinand Marcos’s son Bongbong was swept to the presidency. 

Let’s look at some of the content that helped put those publishers at the top of the list. 

For The Daily Mail, Russia was a major focus, with three of the top five stories focused on the country in some way. These included the top article for the publisher, which was Elon Musk claiming he was being threatened for opening up Starlink access in Ukraine (463k). There was also a story about a new profile picture app that shared data with Moscow (404k), and a Belgian Malinois that allegedly switched sides in the conflict (396k). The tragic shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was also a major focus for the Daily Mail’s audience, with a piece featuring live updates (332k), and a teacher’s husband dying of a heart attack in the days that followed (320k) being widely shared with sympathetic thoughts and messages.

For Legit, in the publisher’s first appearance in the top three, its most engaged articles were generally human interest stories focused on Nigerian individuals. Their top article was about a man who rode a bike from London to Lagos in 39 days (183k). There were also pieces about a viral mum selling water (152k), a Kizz Daniel concert at London’s O2 (137k), a woman celebrating five years in the Nigerian navy (136k), and a student breaking down in tears after his parents missed his graduation ceremony (133k).

The Mirror’s top stories were once again all focused on soccer, with news from across Europe performing well for the British publisher. Story highlights included Marcelo leaving Real Madrid (135k), Sadio Mane on his contract situation with Liverpool (129k), Reece and Lauren James vying for an FA Cup (102k), speculation about Kylian Mbappe’s future (101k), and Chelsea targeting Lautaro Martinez to replace Romelu Lukaku (97k). 

Let’s look at the top articles of the month overall. 

The top articles on Facebook in May 2022

The shooting in Uvalde and the leaked Supreme Court decision about Roe vs. Wade being overturned were the dominant narratives of the month, and were shared and engaged with widely as people expressed anger and consternation at the news.

Chart showing the top 15 articles on Facebook in May 2022, ranked by engagement

Ray Liotta’s death at 67 was also one of the narratives that took up a lot of space on the internet in May, with people sharing their memories of the ‘Goodfellas’ actor. The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial was also an ongoing storyline throughout the month as the trial developed. 

Outside of news about public figures, the other big stories were about equal pay for the US men’s and women’s soccer teams, and early research that claimed to have pinpointed the cause of SIDS, though the study’s findings are only preliminary.

The top 25 publishers in May 2022

The chart below shows the top 25 publishers on Facebook in May, along with the number of articles they published.

The top 25 publishes on Facebook inn May 2022, ranked by engagement

The biggest trend this month is the success of publishers from around the world. A lot of this was driven by the Philippine election, but seven of the top 25 English-language publishers — more than a quarter of the total — are from outside the US and UK, with three from Asia and four from Africa. 

We recently launched our first Reddit rankings, which showcase a different side of the internet to what’s on Facebook. Check them out on the blog here.


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