Facebook’s efforts to cozy up to media organizations appear to be timely, as Internet users who arrive at the 26 news websites analyzed in a new study from Pew Research Center via directly typing in those sites’ URLs or via bookmarks spend far more time on those sites, view more pages, and return more times per month.
BuzzFeed had a strong month in January in terms of engagement on Facebook among media sites, with more than 9.5 million shares and over 40 million combined interactions, according to the latest figures from NewsWhip.
Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” who shared the stories of her battles with breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with the public, shared another fact about her personal life in a post on Facebook, coming out and mentioning her “longtime girlfriend, Amber.”
Facebook’s redesigned like and share buttons helped contribute to a 47.44 percent rise in referrals driven by the social network to publishers in November, and Facebook saw its share of referrals skyrocket by 169.88 percent between November 2012 and October 2013, according to an analysis of more than 200,000 publishers reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors, by Shareaholic.
Facebook constantly tweaks its News Feed algorithm, which determines the posts users see in the most-trafficked section of the social network, and Digiday reported that its latest tweak was a favorable one for publishers.
Facebook has begun to promote its own events — such as the exclusive premiere of the video for “Gorilla” from Bruno Mars on the social network, and retired soccer superstar David Beckham’s digital book signing and question-and-answer session on Facebook Digital Stadium — with notifications that are sent only to users who like the corresponding Facebook pages.
Facebook has introduced several new features in recent weeks aimed at aiding the media industry, including Stories to Share, and the public feed application-programming interface and keyword insights API, but the 1,500 or so online publishers tracked by NewsWhip’s Spike content-discovery tool were already well on their way to a content explosion on the social network, with the top 20 publishers seeing a staggering increase in social interactions (likes, comments, shares) of 288 percent between September 2012 and September 2013.