Top English-language publishers — including BuzzFeed, Fox News, and The New York Times — have seen a dramatic decline in article sharing on Facebook, according to NewsWhip data:
- Fox News saw the steepest decline in article shares, falling 43% from January. Fox News, which heavily covers the US presidential election, could attribute the decline to the falling number of debates since January. Debates tend to generate viral social content for Fox News. There were three presidential primary debates in January, but only one in April.
- BuzzFeed saw a 40% drop in the number of articles shared on Facebook from January to April. The new media publisher counted only 3 million shares in April, down from nearly 5 million shares in January.
- The New York Times posted a 31% decline in article sharing on Facebook from January to April.
While the data does not mean that users aren’t reading content that they see on Facebook, it does mean that users aren’t extending the content to their network, which limits a publisher’s organic reach. This is concerning to publishers that are focusing heavily on distributing content on the platform in order to reach wide audiences.
Instant Articles, which near-instantaneously loads publishers’ articles on mobile, was introduced in part to promote engagement. But it seems to have done the reverse. Publishers are encountering more competition than ever before in gaining user attention in the News Feed.
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