Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The New York Times will be free for high school students (over the next three anxious months)
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 5, 2015, 12:08 p.m.
LINK: hacktext.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   February 5, 2015

Aram Zucker-Scharff, a content strategist with CFO Publishing, has a new piece about the results of a casual independent experiment he conducted on Facebook’s News Feed. His experiment — which he himself calls “not-so-scientific” — only lasted two weeks, and, as he notes, the analytics data he’s working with is less than perfectly accurate. But it might still be worthwhile to take a look at a few of his findings, particularly for people running Facebook pages for news organizations.

For example, he finds that getting users to click on links is much more important than getting users to like or comment when it comes to getting a post promoted:

With a significant amount of consistency, the count of people who clicked on articles was the most important measure for determining the continuing popularity of a post. Almost every post was clicked the day it was posted and the day after. If the number of clicks exceeded 25% of the previous day, it usually got clicks the day after. If they didn’t, it didn’t get any clicks the following day.

I had some pretty active comment threads over this period, with variety when it came to the number of different participants. As far as I can tell, the number of comments or commenters didn’t significantly matter when it came to a post’s popularity.

Zucker-Scharff also tried to find a correlation between the time a link was posted and how much traffic the story received from Facebook:

I saw absolutely no correlation between the popularity of an article and when I shared it.

Zucker-Scharff also found that the majority of reading and click on Facebook is done on mobile devices, which means publishers need to be thinking about how their stories look on mobile devices:

60% of clicks were from mobile users. 87% of those users were on Apple or Samsung devices.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The New York Times will be free for high school students (over the next three anxious months)
With teenagers stuck at home thanks to the coronavirus, the Times is offering access to its journalism — with the hope of converting some into regular readers and, eventually, subscribers
The Outline, an attempt to build a bolder kind of news site, appears to have met its end
A talented staff, good ideas, and some forward-thinking technology couldn’t overcome a muddled editorial vision — and the realities of how news sites make money in 2020.
“Engaged journalism” is taking us back to the “public journalism” debates of the 1990s
Plus new research into algorithmic polarization, computational news discovery, gender differences in political news, and more.