This is How Facebook Newsfeed Changes Affected Publishers in Jan-Feb 2018

How are the US and European news publishers affected by the Facebook Newsfeed change, announced by Mark Zuckerberg in January 2018?

1. Downwards Trend is Happening*

Facebook Engagement, Trend for News Publishers in US, UK, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and the Nordics normalised on scale between 1 and -1).

2. Biggest Publishers Suffer the Most

There has been lot of discussion about viral pages getting killed after the Newsfeed change. The best known case is that of Little Things — a feel-good stories page relying entirely on Facebook, and optimised to the fullest to perform well on Facebook.

Naturally, also the news publishers worry about the Newsfeed change. For the time being, however, it feels safe to say that news publishers’ standing has been much more stable than that of publishers relying mainly on Facebook.

Our data shows that in most countries in the US and Europe, the biggest news publishers have suffered the most. Usually this means tabloids. In many countries, news pages have remained relatively stable, and mid-sized news publishers have even grown.

United States

United Sates’ biggest publishers went up after school shootings, but Fox News did not reach the December levels.

United Kingdom

The tabloid Daily Mail dropped the most. Also other pages went down.

Germany

The major tabloid Bild went down, but news publishers, rooting from traditional newspapers and broadcasters — SPIEGEL ONLINE, Tagesschau and WELT — grew.

Spain

Spain is not a tabloid country, but we can see similar development regarding to the most clicked news content La Gran Epoca and PlayGround. Daily newspapers,El Paìs and Diario Público, grew.

3. Mid-Sized Publishers Go Up

As we can see in the charts above, the biggest pages have dropped: Fox News in US and Daily Mail in UK, the heavily Facebook-relying sites La Gran Epoca and PlayGound in Spain, and the biggest tabloid Bild in Germany.

However, the general news sites are up. In the US, ATTN: (26%), CNN (18%) and Huffington Post (16%) grew. In the UK, Channel 4 News (+40%) grew. In Germany, the growers were traditional dailies Tagesschau.de, SPIEGEL ONLINE and WELT. Also in Spain, publishers that were originally print dailies (El Pais and Diario Público) grew.

Most Nordics changes are pointing in the same direction, but Norway makes an exception — this shows that there are big country-specific differences.

4. There Are Big Country-Specific Differences

Norway

Norwegian Broadcaster News, TV 2 Nyhetene, and biggest tabloid, VG, did not show signs of suffering.

Both the biggest tabloid VG (Verdens Gang) and the biggest General News broadcaster page, TV 2 News, went up dramatically during the Winter Olympics, where Norway won several medals.

Unlike the biggest US news page that went down despite of a major news event (Florida school shootings), Norways’ biggest news pages did not show any signs of suffering from Newsfeed changes.

5. Important News Events Still Clearly Mean Growth

As we have seen, this was verified especially regarding to Norway and United States.

Key Takeaways:

  • Engagement has dropped drastically for some publishers, but not all. Usually the biggest sufferers have been the biggest publishers. This means often tabloid publishers in countries that have tabloids (e.g. UK, Germany and most Nordics)
  • There are quite big country-specific differences.
  • Despite the general downwards trend, many mid-sized General News publishers went up.
  • News reach continues to grow during major news events.

*Data: EzyInsights’ Facebook engagement data on 15–25 biggest news and tabloid publishers in US, UK, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Engagement means sum of Facebook reactions, shares and comments that the publishers’ page has picked up per day. This analysis looks at the date range between 10.12.2017 and 26.2.2018, in order to compare December levels with February levels (after the Newsfeed change announcement on 11th January). For trends for the whole 2017 regarding general news, viral news and controversial news, please see https://ezyinsights.com/facebook-news-feed-changes-dont-panic-weve and https://medium.com/@varpurantala/ezyinsights-facebooks-biggest-news-pages-plummeted-in-2017-after-huge-rise-around-us-election-edf5824522bc