News Content Dominates Facebook Discussion, Reveals Facebook's Own Data into Most Shared Posts on Its Platform

A key element to maximize reach and response on Facebook is understanding what generates engagement on the platform, however, the company is not overly forthcoming with Facebook’s usage insights. This can make it challenging to determine what is getting the most traction with users.

Over the past years, Kevin Roose, a journalist at the NY Times, has sought to shed some light on this by posting listings of the most shared Facebook posts on Twitter. The new listings tweeted out by Roose are based on data from Facebook’s CrowdTangle analytics dashboard.

However, those listings have not exactly painted a positive image of how the social media platform facilitates some particular elements. The company decided to step in this week, and clarify some key points about lists shared by Roose, which many people have used to criticize Facebook’s negative, divisive impact.

According to Head of News Feed at Facebook, John Hegeman, there are some important things that need to be considered about Roose’s lists. Hegeman stated that while some link posts get a lot of engagement, likes, or comments, this content is a small percentage of what most users see on Facebook’s platform.

Facebook’s head of News Feed explained that while the information used by Roose to source his lists is accurate, the information does not take into account the entire scope of how users see content on Facebook, as it only measures interactions on Facebook posts from publisher Pages, and does not factors in shares between Facebook users.

Hegeman stated that posts from these Facebook Pages do not represent the most-viewed news stories on the platform. He explained that CrowdTangle calculates interactions and not impressions. Facebook Pages in these listings see high engagement because followers are passionate, however, it should not be confused with what is most popular on the platform. So, Hegeman states that these posts might perform well as compared to other Pages, however, this is only an element of the broader engagement puzzle.

Hegeman posted some comparative examples of Roose’s lists and the actual most popular content on Facebook on selected days. The actual lists include a mix of news from mainstream outlets, GIFs, and other pop culture posts. Hegeman’s lists indicate that news stories dominate Facebook discussion followed by listicles along with celebrity gossip and comedy content, two of which are GIFs.

Nearly 12 of the news posts included in Hegeman’s list were overly political, while others looked at local crimes and updates about the coronavirus. In terms of considering how marketers can utilize the insight in their approach, listicles and humorous content should be on their radar.

Facebook has become a key news source for many people, and therefore, the content displayed by the platform can definitely influence opinions.

Read next: Facebook is forming new internal teams that will determine whether its algorithms are racially unbiased or not
Previous Post Next Post