The top US and UK publishers on Facebook in January 2023

February 9, 2023

Written by Benedict Nicholson

New year, same blog! Well, sort of. If you’re reading this you may be familiar with the regular series we do looking at the top publishers on Facebook every month, but starting with this blog we’re going to be changing it up a bit, isolating geographies more to get a fuller picture of regional trends around the world. 

For our monthly blog we’re going to limit our searches to UK and US publications, so going forward these rankings will only reflect the top publications from those two countries. We’ll then also be doing regular check-ins with the regions and countries we’ve seen have such great success around the world, from Singapore to France to Spain and Nigeria. 

Of course, that means these rankings will look a little different this time around, but they should stabilize going forward. 

That said, here are some of the key takeaways from this month. 

  • The Daily Mail sits firmly on top of the chart, with it and The Mirror having far more engagement than any other publication
  • The top content was around celebrity deaths, with Lisa Marie Presley’s in particular causing high levels of engagement
  • Six of the top ten were British publications

The top publishers on Facebook in January 2023 

The Daily Mail once again found itself at the top of our rankings, establishing itself as the leader in Anglo-American content, also increasing the number of engagements it received since we last checked in in November 2022.

Graph showing the top publishers on Facebook in January 2023 from the UK and US, ranked by engagement

While this ranking obviously does not include the likes of Nigeria’s Legit due to the geographical limitations, the rest of the rankings do have a similar flavor to what we saw at the end of 2022 for British and American publications. 

The Daily Mail and The Mirror were both significantly ahead of the chasing pack, with 19.2 million and 14.7 million engagements respectively — the only two publications to receive more than 10 million engagements.

Beyond those two, the competition was tighter, with People, the BBC, and Fox News all being fairly close together in terms of the amount of engagements they received. 

In terms of what was successful for each of the top three publishers, we saw a variety of driving forces at the beginning of 2023. 

The Daily Mail was less eclectic than it sometimes has been in the past, with a significant amount of its top stories coming from sports coverage, especially the aftermath of the World Cup. This included a Messi vs. Mbappe rivalry (95.5k), Emiliano Martinez buying a guard dog to protect his World Cup medal (93.6k), Cristiano Ronaldo meeting Roberto Martinez in Riyadh (81.5k), and Messi lifting a fake World Cup trophy in a record-breaking Instagram post (75k). The only top story for the publisher that wasn’t related to the World Cup was about an army dog being awarded the animal version of the Victoria Cross.

For The Mirror, the top stories were all soccer-focused. The top five that the publisher had in January were Ronaldo meeting his Madrid team mates in Saudi Arabia (126.3k), PSG losing a game without Messi (106.4k), Messi posting about Ronaldo after a friendly game (85.7k), Man Utd preparing an offer for Harry Kane (78.7k), and Ronaldo moving to Saudi Arabia (71.8k). 

People had the most different set of stories, with much more of a celebrity focus. The top stories for the publisher included reporting on the death of Lisa Marie Presley (529.1k), a puppy that found a home after 14 failed adoptions (90.3k), and Eddie Murphy joking about Will Smith at the Golden Globes (89.5k). There were also two stories about Shemar Moore’s baby which saw 72.5k and 71.4k engagements respectively.

But what about the top stories overall?

The top stories on Facebook in January 2023

The top story overall was one of the stories we have already highlighted from our top three publishers — People’s coverage of the death of Lisa Marie Presley.

Table showing the top articles on Facebook in January 2023 from the UK and US, ranked by engagement

Beyond that though, celebrity death remained a theme, with David Crosby’s passing also seeing high levels of engagement, specifically with Variety’s coverage of the musician’s death. 

There was also a notable level of local content included this time around, with several centurions celebrating 100+ years of life in towns around America. 

Other top stories included football news, such as the collapse of Damar Hamlin during a game and Chris Stapleton singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl this year. 

The top 25 publishers of January 2023 

Looking at the top 25, it’s noteworthy that some local publications are driving more public interest than some huge national organizations.

Table showing the top 25 publishers on Facebook in January 2023 from the UK and US, ranked by engagement

Particularly notable in this regard is the Manchester Evening News, whose soccer-driven success saw it place seventh in our rankings for January. Another interesting takeaway is that Variety only makes this list thanks to the huge engagement with its article on David Crosby, which drove well over ten percent of the publisher’s total interactions in January. 

If you’d like to keep up with what’s trending around the world, subscribe to the NewsWhip Daily for updates and insights.

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Benedict Nicholson

In addition to leading the NewsWhip Research Center in New York, Benedict Nicholson manages partnerships with internationally recognized media outlets furthering data journalism, which includes NewsWhip’s Data for Democracy program. Benedict also facilitates consultations with communicators from the top 10 public relations agencies across America and Europe and with Fortune 500 brands to discuss consumer engagement trends and effective media monitoring. Email Benedict via benedict.nicholson@newswhip.com.

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