Facebook Pages: Which News Sites Get the Most Engagement?

Now that the improved Facebook Pages have been around for a while I wanted to check the level of engagement that major news sites are achieving with them.

Most news sites have an official Facebook Page now, with the typical approach being to add a daily stream of links to new content while promoting site features, apps, feeds, etc. in the sidebars and subpages. Some news sites are supplementing content links with direct questions and comments to users, but this does not appear to be happening in any significant volume.

Using a sampling of 15 16 news sites, I captured the total number of fans on their Facebook Pages as of today. To judge user engagement and activity, I also calculated the average number of “likes” and comments that the last 10 updates/links to each page received.

Number of FansAverage likes
(last 10 updates)
Average comments
(last 10 updates)
CNN601,843566.6757.8
NPR489,413513.5212.5
New York Times472,277334.8193.5
Fox News234,5981820.21192.7
Economist159,119104.043.6
Time73,50360.123.4
Huffington Post41,36785.651.5
Newsweek29,26127.129.8
Washington Post28,67321.735.0
The Guardian8,20020.817.5
ABC News7,4828.411.4
USA Today3,9966.711.0
LA Times3,68211.36.3
BBC News3,52721.39.7
Chicago Tribune2,8721.21.9
The Daily Telegraph228N/AN/A

CNN currently has the most fans, with The New York Times not too far beyond. Fox News and The Economist have crossed six figures, after which the figures start dropping quickly.

Fox News is strongly ahead in terms of fan engagement and activity – their like and comment numbers are significantly greater than any of the other sites. This is not surprising based on the reactions that Fox News reporting tends to generate from both sides of the political fence.

A couple of notes: The Guardian’s page has only 4 updates total, so their averages are based on a smaller selection. The Daily Telegraph has N/A for likes and comments because they do not appear to posting any updates or links at this time.

UPDATE:
After seeing Matt Gallivan’s comment I added NPR to the table today. They are indeed #2 in terms of total fans (among the group of news sites that I looked at). Their fan engagement figures also rank high.

Comments

  1. Thanks for doing this legwork! Interesting numbers. I do feel compelled to mention that NPR would be #2 on your list in terms of fans, however (disclosure: I work there as an audience research analyst). Not sure how far back you went to calculate engagement numbers, but I think the numbers would be similar to the Times’.

  2. Thanks for pointing that out Matt. I just added NPR to the table.

  3. Interesting insight.

  4. Thanks for running the numbers Adam! This will be interesting to watch over time. Best!

  5. Was MSNBC included in the numbers?

  6. Therese Byrne says:

    I also suggest you add a GlobalPost, a Web 2.0 For-Profit Approach to World News.

  7. Thanks for the suggestion Therese. As of today GlobalPost has 1,892 fans and based on their last 10 updates, they are averaging 2.3 likes and 2 comments per update.

    Mike, I should have included MSNBC in the original group. Since it’s been over a month putting their current figures in the table won’t make for an accurate comparison, but I’ll include them in the next full update. In the meantime, as of today MSNBC has 8,447 fans and based on their last 10 updates they are averaging 6.3 likes and 16 comments per update.

  8. Forbes, where I work as managing editor, has been actively posting on our fan page for about six months:
    http://www.facebook.com/forbes

    and we now have 4,682 fans, which would put us in the middle of the pack.

    The interaction level is from two to six likes and comments on recent posts. Thanks for putting together this comparison. We are always interested in best practices.

  9. Thanks for the information Carl. I’ll be sure to include Forbes in the next round.

  10. I may be wrong,but i think the Ed Show is bringing more african american to viewing his news show.He puts the news right,it’s not no swinging around the roses thing like fox is and the hardball news segment is doing his thing.It is the truth that people want to hear not bashing obama.You have three fox news stations bashing this man for every thing he do. We want to about jobs,what is happen to our millitary and plan is going to put our people back to work. I wish you would let MSNBC NEWS know they have the right format.Go msnbc Ed Show with Hardball knocking it out of the park.

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