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Aug. 15, 2017, 10 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: www.newswhip.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   August 15, 2017

The Associated Press sends its stories off to more than 14,000 member newsrooms around the world, where they’re repackaged and shared from those newsrooms’ own social channels. But the relative success of those stories on Facebook hasn’t always been clear.

Articles from the AP got around 34.7 million engagements across Facebook in July, and 31.3 million engagements in June, according to analysis by NewsWhip, based on its syndication metrics tool developed with the AP (the AP is an investor in NewsWhip). (For this survey, engagement was defined as likes, reactions, comments, and shares. An AP article was defined as any English-language text story with more than 60 percent AP content.)

The Daily Mail, which topped NewsWhip’s rankings of publishers on Facebook in July, saw 27.1 million engagements. HuffPost, the top NewsWhip publisher on Facebook in June, saw 29.6 million engagements. NewsWhip’s engagement numbers for its top publishers rankings include engagement on syndicated AP stories: For instance, Fox News gets “a substantial amount of engagement” on Facebook from AP stories it runs, according to AP global news manager Mark Davies, and it was a NewsWhip top 10 Facebook publisher in July.

Other findings from Davies’s writeup for NewsWhip about the survey:

The team at NewsWhip’s Dublin HQ analyzed the interactions on over 1.2 million articles identified as AP copy in both June and July…

To benchmark the results, we also used NewsWhip Analytics to examine the most engaged authors on a number of AP member websites sites that credit AP directly. The results show the Associated Press byline regularly ranking in the Top 5 most-engaged authors on those sites.

Looking at NewsWhip’s breakdown of the top 200 AP stories each month, U.S. politics played a key role. Political debate and partisan viewpoints are driving a high number of comments, shares and reactions across mainstream, right and left-leaning sites. High-profile court cases, celebrity news and classic ‘odd’ stories also performed strongly, with some stories delivering over 150,000 engagements for individual sites.

This mirrors results from AP’s own Facebook page, where political stories and content with a strong emotional ‘trigger’ continue to drive the highest engagement.

“The engagement customers are getting around agency content is something we haven’t been able to measure in the past. Our stories went out in a great big firehose,” Davies said. “We have our own consumer-facing website and mobile app, but we don’t use analytics perhaps the way a normal publisher would — to optimize for clicks and concurrents. We’re looking at making sure our approaches work well for our customers and not just on our own site.”

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