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Facebook traffic to publishers down sharply so far this year

by: Nancy Yoshihara |

Digiday’s Lucia Moses reports that desktop and mobile referral traffic to the top 30 Facebook publishers fell 32% from January to October based on data from the distribution analytics company SimpleReach.

The downward shift was tracked separately by SimilarWeb, which studied 50 of the largest publishers between January and September. Among its findings, which include only desktop use: The Huffington Post’s Facebook traffic fell 60.1%, while Fox News’ dropped 48.2% and BuzzFeed’s Facebook visits fell 40.8%, writes Moses.

The cause of the decline is unclear. Moses points to a number of factors that could be contributing to the decline: More publishers are putting their stories and videos directly on Facebook (which encourages the move with its new Instant Articles), and more users are sharing articles by text or email instead of social media.

“Another theory for the decline is that a recent Facebook algorithm change favored more user content in the feed at the expense of publishers content,” writes Moses. Facebook denied in a statement to Digiday that it is sending less traffic to publishers. To see the full statement, check out Moses’ article.


Nancy Yoshihara

Nancy Yoshihara is content manager at KDMC and its website with a focus on News for Digital Innovators and Tools, Tips
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