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Maybe publisher cooperation is a path forward for news, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of public media
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July 26, 2019, 11:38 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: go.newswhip.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   July 26, 2019

It’s not easy to get Facebook strategy straight when the only constant for publishers at the company is change, and a new report from social media analytics tracking company NewsWhip underlines that. The report, which covers April through June, shows a Facebook that looks different for publishers than it did between January and March. Here are some of the main differences that NewsWhip is seeing just since its last quarterly report:

— FoxNews.com still reigns in terms of web engagement, but “where before Fox News was at least ten percent ahead of its rivals, it is now separated from NBC by fewer than a million engagements for the whole of the second quarter of 2019.”

The Washington Post broke onto the list (it wasn’t there in the first quarter). Breitbart and NPR dropped off.

— Engagement is just one measure of success, though; NewsWhip notes that “Total engagements is a useful metric, but it can skew towards the outlets that simply put out a lot more content than everybody else, so we also looked at the publishers who had the most articles in the top 10,000 stories, which does a better job at showing who is performing highly at the leading edge of their content.”

— The most popular content for the most recent quarter is slightly less political and divisive than it was in the first three months of the year. Between January and March 2019, the most-commented-on story was a debunked story about New York legalizing abortion up to the day of birth and the list also contained a handful of other false stories. In contrast, the most-commented story list for the last three months has more men’s fashion. (Snopes rates that flag story as a “mixture” of true and false, by the way.)

Overall, “soft/general interest” stories have made up 39 percent of the top-100 stories so far in 2019, NewsWhip says.

— Native video is back; live video is dying out. From the report:

Whereas in March we saw photos make up almost half the top posts, while Native Video make up around 40 percent, this time we saw a dramatic increase in the number of Native Videos in the top 10,000 posts.

For Q2, 5,506, or 55 percent of the top posts were actually Native Videos, while there were about 1,000 fewer photos that made it to the top.

Links were also more than cut in half among the top posts, dropping from 1,052 to 475. This shows that although web content is doing well on Facebook as we saw previously, this isn’t necessarily coming from Facebook Pages sharing that content, and that that web content is finding engagement in other ways.

Once again, Live Video barely featured, making up only 70 of the top posts.

You can download the full report here.

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