When you think about Facebook, you’re not picturing large-scale publications sharing important news but rather memes, friendly banter, and photos of friends on vacation.
But in case you forgot, Facebook does have its fair share of big-time publishers. Or, better said, those publishers are active on Facebook, and they’re sharing news all the time.
In this article, I’ll talk about the cream of the crop, the publishers with the most engagement on the platform.
I’m using research dated January 2033, so the data should still be relatively relevant today, in March. Take a look at the chart below:
|Publications||Number of Interactions||Number of Articles Published|
|dailymail.co.uk||19,162,195 million interactions||53,633|
|mirror.co.uk||14,783,548 million interactions||11,952|
|people.com||7,143,108 million interactions||3,572|
|bbc.co.uk||6,980,313 million interactions||19,843|
|foxnews.com||6,148,338 million interactions||8,949|
|metro.co.uk||6,056,400 million interactions||8,446|
|manchestereveningnews.co.uk||5,754,601 million interactions||5,158|
|cnn.com||5,236,973 million interactions||3,949|
|football.london||4,825,005 million interactions||2,530|
|today.com||4,227,486 million interactions||1,682|
|theguardian.com||4,178,841 million interactions||7,199|
|nytimes.com||4,028,920 million interactions||4,156|
|cbsnews.com||3,972,496 million interactions||19,239|
|manutd.com||3,951,502 million interactions||631|
|standard.co.uk||3,715,482 million interactions||6,840|
|nbcnews.com||3,687,099 million interactions||2,430|
|dailywire.com||3,580,770 million interactions||1,360|
|breitbart.com||3,350,118 million interactions||6,339|
|washingtonpost.com||3,296,263 million interactions||6,899|
|nbcsports.com||2,973,381 million interactions||2,174|
|thesun.co.uk||2,813,762 million interactions||15,498|
|westernjournal.com||2,604,143 million interactions||1,285|
|tmz.com||2,508,570 million interactions||949|
|npr.org||2,487,757 million interactions||1,993|
|variety.com||2,420,546 million interactions||1,950|
The reason I’ve only included UK and US publications is that these are the largest ones on Facebook, and most everyone uses the “.com” internet domain.
There’s an interesting fact to be gleaned from a comparison between a publication’s engagement (user interactions) and its number of articles. Let’s take the Daily Mail, for instance.
In January 2023, it published a total of 53,633 articles, and it had a total of 19,162,195 user interactions. These include likes, comments, shares, and so on.
The Mirror is second on the list, with 11,952 articles published and a grand total of 14,783,548 user interactions. It has 77.7% fewer articles published than the Daily Mail and 22.8% fewer user interactions.
It seems to me that the number of articles doesn’t directly correlate with user engagement. And that’s fair if you think about it.
Perhaps Daily Mail is writing on a lot of topics that simply don’t receive much engagement. Otherwise, it would have many more user interactions.
On the other hand, The Mirror writes much fewer articles, yet their user interactions, although fewer than the Daily Mail, are not as few as we’d expect. This means that:
- The Mirror’s articles tend to be more engaging, on average
- The Mirror doesn’t write on topics it deems uninteresting
The truth is that it could be any number of things, from the writing style, tonality of the article, interpretation, bias, and so on.
Another example is The Sun, which had 15,498 articles published in January 2023, yet a measly 2,813,762 user interactions. It had 29.7% more articles published than The Mirror but over 81% fewer user interactions during that month.
Clearly, The Sun doesn’t have such a big following, and they can’t get their engagement up even though they’re pumping articles like crazy.
But why can’t they get enough user interactions on Facebook? It can’t be solely because the others are hogging all the attention.
There’s also another important fact that I haven’t mentioned, though – some publications are simply more popular than others.
They have many more readers that follow them closely. That will heavily skewer the stats in favor of some publications.
While it is possible for a smaller publication to amass more followers over time, it’s a tough journey when you’re competing against behemoths such as The Daily Mail and The Daily Wire.
By comparison, The Daily Mail was founded in 1896, The Sun in 1964, and The Daily Wire in 2015. For all reasons, The Sun should have more following on Facebook, considering they’ve been around for so long.
The Daily Wire seems like a phenomenon. It was launched only 8 years ago, and it’s already at the top of Facebook’s engagement. Well, it used to be, at least.
Most Popular Articles on Facebook – January 2023
We’ve talked about the most popular publications on Facebook but what about the most engaging and popular articles? For the same month, of course.
Here they are:
|Article Title & Publisher||User Interactions|
|people.com – Lisa Marie Presley, Daughter of Elvis and Priscilla, Dead at 54: ‘The Most Strong and Loving Woman’||529,089|
|variety.com – David Crosby, Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash Co-Founder, Dies at 81||347,918|
|rumble.com – NHL Star Refuses to Wear Rainbow “Pride” Jersey for Warm-Ups, Stands Up to Media||342,918|
|trendingpoliticsnews.com – BREAKING: Elon Musk Exposes Adam Schiff for Colluding With Twitter||329,327|
|ketv.com – Chris Stapleton to Sing National Anthem at This Year’s Super Bowl||285,547|
|tmz.com – Lisa Marie Preston Dead at 54||244,994|
|cbsnews.com – Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin Collapses on Field After Making Tackle||205,222|
|megaphone.org.uk – Protect the Right to Strike!||180,063|
|wlbt.com – Jackson Woman Honored on 100th Birthday by State, Local, and National Officials||178,997|
|roadandtrack.com – Pro Rally Driver and Hoonigan Founder Ken Block Killed in Snowmobile Accident||143,330|
|11alive.com – US Army Veteran from West Texas Asks for 100 cards for Her 100th Birthday||133,891|
|11alive.com – Spookane Woman celebrates 105th Birthday||131,469|
|live5news.com – Charleston Woman Celebrates 100th Birthday||129,339|
|live5news.com – Summerville Man Celebrates 106th Birthday||129,265|
|mirror.co.uk – Ronaldo Joins Real Madrid in Saudi Arabia to Leave Stars Gushing Over “Idol”||126,309|
DailyMail is not even in the top 15 of the most popular articles during January 2023, which means that they didn’t have a single very popular article during that month.
Instead, they relied on numbers to make up their overwhelming user interactions (19,162,195 million interactions).
So, among the most popular headlines were related to famous deaths, political stuff, and people’s 100+ age celebrations. Quite the things you’d expect, really.
You don’t see The Daily Mail or The Daily Wire in the list above, though. BBC is also missing, and so is Fox News. People, the third most popular publisher on Facebook, also has the most popular articles in January 2023.
Clearly, they’re putting out the good articles, and they only had 3,572 articles published in January 2023. The magazine was founded in 1974, and it’s still going strong.
Why Is the Daily Mail so Popular?
Way back when, the Daily Wire used to be Facebook’s top dog, the apex publisher that garnered the most attention. But then everything changed in 2022 when the Daily Mail overtook the Daily Wire.
The reason? The Daily Mail started covering the Ukraine war very intensely, which naturally prompted a lot of attention coming its way.
Benedict Nicholson of the NewsWhip had this to say about The Daily Mail’s ascension: “The content that was most engaged was much more uniform than it often is, with all of their top five stories touching on the invasion of Ukraine in some way or another“.
The publisher also seemed to capitalize on that aspect and hasn’t let go of the lead since it was still in the top Facebook publishers in January 2023.
Chris Lawrence, head of DailyMail.com, said that “We’ve been growing for a number of months – this isn’t something that’s just happened overnight and we’ve been trying to grow out offering across multiple verticals.[…] We spent a long time trying to work out what the right cadence was with years and years of experimenting. But we eventually came to the conclusion that it doesn’t really make a lot of difference. If you’re putting out good content then it tends to perform well.“
Words to live by… The Daily Mail is publishing around 1,700 articles per day at this moment, but Lawrence said that their success on Facebook isn’t solely attributed to volume. Quality matters too, even more so than volume.
Whether The Daily Mail keeps its leading position or not remains to be seen. They might lose it in the near future since the popular trend among publications is pretty volatile on Facebook.
One month a publication is vastly outstripping all the others in terms of engagement, and the other month it’s not even in the top 5.
The Daily Mail vs. The Daily Wire on Facebook
If you didn’t know, The Daily Mail and The Daily Wire have been at each other’s throats over Facebook supremacy since the days of old.
I could only find some limited data about their contest on Facebook, starting in 2021 and ending in 2022, when The Daily Mail overtook the Wire.
Here’s how it went down:
|Period||The Daily Mail Number of Facebook Engagements||The Daily Wire Number of Facebook Interactions|
|January 2021||52,634,215 million||76,854,254 million|
|February 2021||36,704,338 million||67,486,454 million|
|March 2021||39,466,123 million||58,371,914 million|
|April 2021||42,772,728 million||74,907,673 million|
|May 2021||38,899,519 million||70,936,681 million|
|June 2021||30,433,153 million||59,422,477 million|
|August 2021||24,660,715 million||42,306,971 million|
|September 2021||18,271,702 million||29,938,883 million|
|November 2021||23,111,663 million||39,071,689 million|
|December 2021||28,477,602 million||35,769,858 million|
|January 2022||17,609,531 million||36,593,826 million|
|February 2022||29,800,389 million||34,474,105 million|
|March 2022||32,667,753 million||25,857,102 million|
Back in January 2021, both The Daily Mail and The Daily Wire suffered a drastic reduction in Facebook user interactions, with The Daily Mail going down by 30% in interactions and The Daily Wire going down by 12%.
The downtrend continued, however, in the following months, but The Daily Wire clearly got the short end of the stick. From January 2021 to March 2022, Facebook interactions went down by 66%.
The Daily Mail only went down by 37.9% from January 2021 to March 2023, which clearly worked out in their favor for them.
How the trends of these two publications will continue, I can’t say. However, it’s entirely possible that The Daily Mail will continue its dominance by capitalizing on the Russia-Ukraine war and publishing even more articles daily.
In any case, that’s about all I can say about these topics. I hope you’ve learned something new, and see you at the next one!