Tag Archives: Facebook

Top 20 most clicked news stories on Facebook in 2011

Facebook has this afternoon released its own list of the top news stories of 2011.

Yesterday Journalism.co.uk published a list of top 10 Facebook stories. We looked at total numbers of shares, likes and comments (you can find the source data at this link)

Today’s list differs as it is based on the number of clicks each article received after being posted, liked or shared.

It is interesting to compare the “most clicked” and “most shared, liked and commented” lists. Note that recent stories such as the Sun’s “tatt-poo” story did not feature in yesterday’s list as it was published too recently to appear in the Searchmetrics data.

The number of clicks the Guardian has received has no doubt been influenced by its new Facebook app launched on 22 September. Last week Facebook reported the app was delivering an additional one million clicks a day for the Guardian.

Here is Facebook’s list of top news stories published by UK news outlets, which was released at the Le Web conference taking place in Paris.

1. BBC: The World at Seven Billion

2. The Sun: Tatt-poo for cheating

3. The Guardian: The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

4. BBC: Amy Winehouse: Tributes paid to dead singer

5. BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo

6. The Guardian: Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it

7. The Guardian: The meaning of 9/11’s most controversial photo

8.  Daily Mail: Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat
after suspected ‘drug overdose’

9. BBC: Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg

10. BBC: ‘Brinicle’ ice finger of death filmed in Antarctic

11.  Daily Mail: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra

12. The Sun: Frankie Cocozza kicked off X Factor

13. BBC: Japan earthquake: Footage of moment tsunami hit

14. BBC: Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama

15. The Guardian: Osama bin Laden corpse photo is fake

16. BBC: Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east

17.  BBC: Speed-of-light results under scrutiny at Cern

18. BBC: Arrest over video of ‘racist rant’ on Croydon to Wimbledon

19. Daily Mail: Loyal to the end: Heart-breaking photo shows Navy SEAL’s devoted dog guarding his coffin

20. BBC: LIVE: Osama Bin Laden dead

Top 10 Facebook news stories of 2011

Facebook last week published a list of the most shared articles on Facebook in 2011. That list included only US publishers – so we decided to create a list of the most shared, liked and commented articles from UK news outlets.

This list is based on data from SEO and social data tool Searchmetrics.

As with the US list, stories range from hard news to quirky (or “cute”, as Facebook describes them). Interestingly, the two top stories are newsgames, where the reader is invited to participate using gaming mechanics. (It’s worth mentioning here that there will be a session on newsgames and gaming mechanics at our news:rewired conference for journalists, for which the agenda is here.) The list also includes online video (another news:rewired topic).

The top 10 most shared, commented and liked Facebook news articles of 2011:

1. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 339,149 (shares, comments and likes)

2. Guardian: Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? = 219,023

3. Mail Online: Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’ = 190,498

4. BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo = 167,754

5. BBC: Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east = 159,023

6. BBC: Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden = 149,509

7. BBC: Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama = 146,244

8. BBC: Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg = 146,182

9. Mail Online: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra = 145,413

10. BBC: London rioters: ‘Showing the rich we do what we want’ = 131,839


Top 10 most shared news articles on Facebook in 2011

1. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 147,000

2. Guardian: Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? = 65,820

3. BBC: Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east = 60,238

4. BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo = 54,800

5. BBC: Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg = 44,700

6. BBC: Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama = 38,891

7. BBC: Speed-of-light results under scrutiny at Cern = 36,700

8. BBC: London rioters: ‘Showing the rich we do what we want’ = 36,500

9. Mail Online: Meet the blind Great Dane in need of a home (but you’ll need to make space for HER huge guide dog) = 34,600

10. BBC: Amy Winehouse: Tributes paid to dead singer = 31,400


Top 10 most ‘liked’ articles on Facebook

1. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 75,619

2. Mail Online: The 9/11 rescue dogs: Portraits of the last surviving animals who scoured Ground Zero one decade on = 62,458

3. BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo = 61,306

4. BBC: Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg = 51,618

5. BBC: Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama = 49,882

6. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 47,449

7. Mail Online – Beauty in every grain: For the first time remarkable photographs reveal hidden charms of ordinary SAND = 43,760

8. Mail Online: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra = 42799

9. Mail Online: Cheeky monkey! Macaque borrows photographer’s camera to take hilarious self-portraits

10. The Sun: Frankie Cocozza 
kicked off X Factor


Top 10 most commented news articles on Facebook in 2011

1. Mail Online: Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’ = 127,396

2. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 116,530

3. BBC: Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden = 108,258

4. Guardian: Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? = 105,754

5. BBC: London rioters: ‘Showing the rich we do what we want’ = 73,350

6. BBC: Amy Winehouse: Tributes paid to dead singer = 72,313

7. Mail Online: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra = 71,514

8. BBC: Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east = 68,830

9. Independent: US preacher warns end of the world is nigh: 21 May, around 6pm, to be precise = 67,388

10. BBC: Speed-of-light results under scrutiny at Cern = 59,824

Data was gathered using Searchmetrics and downloaded for analysis on 6 December. The news outlets included were: BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Mail Online, the Sun, the Mirror. You can see the downloaded Facebook data here.

Guardian’s Facebook app delivering 1m extra hits a day

The Guardian’s Facebook app is generating almost a million extra page impressions per day, according to figures released by the news outlet and by Facebook.

Two months on from its launch at Facebook’s f8 conference in London the app has been installed by over four million users.

The news outlet also believes that the app is engaging a younger audience, as over half (56.7 per cent) of the app’s users are 24 and under and 16.7 per cent are 17 and under.

Andrew Miller, chief executive officer of Guardian Media Group, said in a statement:

As well as increasing traffic, the app is making our journalism visible to new audiences. Over half of the app’s users are 24 and under – traditionally a very hard-to-reach demographic for news organisations

The Independent, the other UK-based news outlet to launch a Facebook app following f8 on 22 September, is reporting that it has more than one million monthly active users connecting their Facebook accounts.

The integration has bumped up older articles that have gone viral through social distribution, according to the Facebook post detailing the statistics.

The news organisation found that many of the “most shared” and “most viewed” stories on the site have been from the late 1990s, “a result of the increased social virality”.

The Guardian and Independent both took a different approach when building their Facebook apps. The Guardian focused on the reading experience within Facebook, the shared reading experience for the Independent takes place on the news site.

Yahoo! News, which like the Independent integrated the app into its site, has reported that 10 million people are using the app, with Yahoo! News experiencing a 600 per cent increase in traffic coming from Facebook as a result.

People who connect to Facebook on Yahoo! read more articles than the average user, the Facebook post states.

Like the Guardian, the Washington Post built a social reader app for Facebook as a companion for its website with the social sharing taking place within Facebook. It has drawn more than 3.5 million monthly active users so far. The Facebook post states that the social reader is growing, especially among international audiences and younger readers, with 83 per cent of readers under 35 years old.

According to Facebook, the statistics released last night show that the apps do five things:

1. Show recommendations to increase engagement. Keep people engaged by prominently showing friends’ recent activity on your main pages and pages with high exit rates. When no social content is available, surface personalised recommendations based on users’ interests on Facebook and clearly explain why you’re showing each recommendation.

2. Create compelling objects. Maximise the click through rates of your stories by specifying Open Graph tags for all your articles and including compelling images, titles and descriptions. Avoid misleading images or titles to prevent your app from being marked as spam, which will negatively impact your app’s distribution in news feed.

3. Leverage your existing user base. If you have an existing site, be sure to make connecting a prominent option for existing users. And if people are already sharing your content on Facebook, consider sending referral traffic from Facebook into a flow that makes it easy for people to have a social experience on your site.

4. Make the benefits of sharing clear. Open Graph apps are designed for people that want to share. In your app, you should clearly explain how your app works and the benefits of adding your app to their timeline. Choose an approach that makes the most sense for your users, whether that’s an informative dialog, in-line marketing messaging, house ad inventory, and/or a learn more page.

5.  Keep users in control. As we’ve previously highlighted, people are more active when they are in control. In addition to the privacy controls on Facebook, we encourage you to build controls into your app that fit how people use your app.

Tool of the week for journalists – Playground, to monitor social media analytics

Tool of the week: Playground, by PeopleBrowsr.

What is it? A social analytics platform which contains over 1,000 days of tweets (all 70 billion of them), Facebook activity and blog posts.

How is it of use to journalists? “Journalists can easily develop real-time insights into any story from Playground,” PeopleBrowsr UK CEO Andrew Grill explains.

Complex keyword searches can be divided by user influence, geolocation, sentiment, and virtual communities of people with shared interests and affinities.

These features – and many more – let reporters and researchers easily drill down to find the people and content driving the conversation on social networks on any subject.

Playground lets you use the data the way you want to use it. You can either export the graphs and tables that the site produces automatically or export the results in a CSV file to create your own visualisations, which could potentially make it the next favourite tool of data journalists.

Grill added:

The recent launch of our fully transparent Kred influencer platform will make it faster and easier for journalists to find key influencers in a particular community.

You can give Playground a try for the first 14 days before signing up for one of their subscriptions ($19 a month for students and journalists, $149 for organisations and companies).

Jodee Rich, the founder of PeopleBrowsr, gave an inspiring speech at the Strata Summit in September on how a TV ratings system such as Nielsen could soon be replaced by social media data thanks to the advanced online analytics that PeopleBrowsr offers.


Playground’s development is based on feedback from its community of users, which has been very responsive. Ideas can be sent to contact[@]peoplebrowsr.com or by tweeting @peoplebrowsr.

Rippla, a site to monitor the social media ‘ripples’ of news stories, launches

Rippla has today launched as a site to track how news stories are shared via social media.

Take a look at the home screen and you will see stories generating the most shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and bit.ly.

The site has been created by journalist and political blogger Sunny Hundal who told Journalism.co.uk Rippla “scrapes news feeds from the UK’s 10 biggest news sites and then ranks them by popularity across social networks. It measures how many ‘ripples’ they’ve created.

The second great feature of this site is the widget, which allows you to enter the URL of a news story from your site and see the social media “ripples” it has created.

Hundal said he created the site for two reasons:

First, I want to track how well media organisations do on social media. The site updates and collects the data every hour.

Second, the longer term aim is to provide people an opportunity to consume content based on what their peers are sharing / reading, rather than simply based on what the newspaper front-page offers. As you know, patterns of media consumption are changing and we think this is the way its all heading.

The site will be in beta for some time while bugs are fixed and functionality is added.

Media release: StumbleUpon is most important content sharing site for Mail Online

This Mail Online article was the most shared, the Searchmetrics study found

Fifteen times more links to Mail Online articles are shared worldwide via StumbleUpon than on Twitter, according to a study by Searchmetrics.

During the six month period analysed, just over half (50.78 per cent) of links to Mail Online articles were shared on StumbleUpon, with Facebook activity (likes, shares and comments) accounting for 45.87 per cent and links on Twitter just 3.21 per cent.

More than half (56.77 per cent) of the Guardian’s social links came from Facebook, with StumbleUpon accounting for 31.35 per cent and Twitter 10.98 per cent, according to the study.

In a release, Dr Horst Joepen, CEO of Searchmetrics said:

Some people we have shown this data to have been surprised at the volume of links generated for UK newspapers on the StumbleUpon social bookmarking site. This is a very popular site globally and the links could have been generated throughout the world from English speakers who use StumbleUpon.

The most frequently shared content on the Mail Online was said to be an article (with images) about the earthquake in Japan which had been shared 392,521 times on the monitored social sites. The Guardian’s most frequently shared content was reportedly a humorous quiz discussing quotes from Muammar Gaddafi and Charlie Sheen.

The Mail Online’s top three most frequently shared articles:

1. The big pictures: The moment Japan’s cataclysmic tsunami engulfed a nation = 392,521 links

2. Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’  = 253,561 links

3. Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra =

252,650 links

The Guardian’s top three most frequently shared articles:

1. Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? = 363,938 links

2. Detroit in ruins = 210,468 links

3. Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media = 187,987 links

The Mail Online and the Guardian are the most visible UK newspaper websites on social networks such as Facebook, StumbleUpon and Twitter, according to a separate 10-week study by Searchmetrics, which analysed how often content from 12 leading newspaper sites was shared on six popular social networking and bookmarking sites.

Mail Online came out on top, with links to its pages being shared 2,908,779 times a week on average. The Guardian came second with an average 2,587,258 links being shared on social sites every week.

The Searchmetrics study monitored links shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Google+ over a period of 10 weeks.

Average social links per week of UK newspaper websites

Seachmetrics’ CEO Joepen added:

Social news – that is news and articles that are shared or recommended by your friends and followers on social sites – is potentially an important source of traffic for online news sites.

It’s worth noting that search engines, such as Google and Bing are starting to include popularity on social networks as a factor when judging the quality of web pages and how they should be ranked in search listings. So it’s important for news and other web sites to build and monitor visibility on social sites if they want to rank highly and attract visitors via search.

The data for the study was taken from the global social media database which Searchmetrics operates to power its online software tools.

Mashable: How to work out the best time to post on your Facebook page

Social media optimisation (SMO) has joined search engine optimisation (SEO) as a term that journalists and news sites need to read up on.

SMO – as the name suggests – is all about how to work out when to time your tweets and Facebook posts so they get the most attention.

Mashable has an interesting post by Jeff Widman, the co-founder of PageLever, a Facebook analytics tool, which can help you work out how often and when to post news stories on Facebook:

I get asked all the time, “How frequently should I post on my Facebook page? When is the best time to post?”

Answer: Post whenever the most recent status update for your page stops showing up in your fans’ news feeds.

If you post often, you will see an immediate spike in news feed impressions, but it’s generally not worth the cost in lost fans. When your fans see two status updates from you in their news feeds, they’ll likely get annoyed, and will consequently unsubscribe or un-fan.

He goes on to explain the exceptions to the rule and how to calculate the lifetime of a post.

The full article on how to time your Facebook posts to reach the most fans is on Mashable.

You can also become a fan of Journalism.co.uk here on Facebook.

Guardian predicts 1m installs of Facebook app in first month

The Guardian expects this weekend will see the millionth person install its new Facebook app, exactly a month since it was launched.

The app, which allows Facebook users to see what their friends are reading after a single sign-in when they agree to share their viewing habits, was launched on 22 September at the London leg of Facebook’s F8 conference.

Content sales and marketing director at the Guardian Chris Lawson gave the prediction at the newspaper’s Media Guardian Changing Advertising Summit 2011, which is underway in London.

Less than two weeks after launch, on 5 October, the Guardian reported 129,000 app installs generating over 600,000 story reads.

That figure is likely to grow significantly when the Guardian release up-to-date statistics, which it plans to do in the next few days.

‘If this then that’: ten recipes for journalists

If this then that – or ifttt – is a tool that allows you to connect various other tools together to create rules or tasks. It allows you to connect 17 channels, including SMS, Facebook, WordPress and Dropbox, offering 1040 possible task combinations.

The most popular ‘recipe’, a task designed and shared by others, will give you an idea of how ifttt works. This recipe allows you to connect your Facebook and Dropbox accounts so that when someone tags you in a photo on Facebook, the photo will be added to your Dropbox folder (cloud storage allowing you to access your files on different devices).

Here are ten ifttt recipes for journalists:

1. When you receive an email from a key contact or your editor, you receive an SMS

You no doubt receive scores of emails but there are some senders that are more important to hear from than others. This recipe allows you to set up a key contact, such as a source or your editor, and receive a SMS whenever that person emails you.

2. When you post a link to Delicious, add to Dropbox

If you use Delicious to bookmark interesting stories, this recipe allows you to also save the links to Dropbox. For example, I am interested in new smartphone apps so have set up a connection so that any Delicious bookmark that I tag “app” is posted to a folder in my Dropbox account.

3. Post Google+ posts to your Facebook page

Google+ adds additional responsibility for anyone in the newsroom tasked with managing social media.

It is widely recognised that non-automated posts are best when it comes to Facebook and Google+. This recipe allows you to write a link post in Google+ and automatically post the link to your site’s Facebook page. You can also create a rule to post status updates.

To do this you need to set up an RSS feed of your Google+ account. Copy your Google+ ID, which is the long number in the URL of your Google+ profile, and paste it on the end of http://plu.sr/feed.php?plusr=. My Google+ feed is therefore http://plu.sr/feed.php?plusr=107031542976965456407, for example.

4. Create an Evernote every time you star an item in Google Reader

If you use Google Reader as your RSS feed reader and want a quick way of saving key articles to Evernote, this is a solution.

5. Post to Instapaper (or Read It Later) every time you star an article in Google Reader

If you use Instapaper to read articles later this is a quick way of posting from Google Reader.

6. Post a ‘favourite’ tweet (with links) to Instapaper (or Dropbox or Evernote)

When you come across a tweet with a link and want to save it for later you may well click star to make it a favourite. This recipe allows you to save those favourite tweets and post the linked articles to Instapaper. Alternatively, you can also set this up to save to Dropbox of Evernote.

7. Add favourite Flickr photos to Dropbox

If you post stories you write online, you may well use Flickr images with creative commons licences. Flickr allows you to indicate favourite images that you come across and may want to use at a later date. This recipe saves those images to Dropbox. Alternatively, you can set this up to save favourites to Evernote.

8. Send me an email (or SMS) to remind me about a daily meeting, weekly or monthly task.

If you have a daily or weekly meeting or task to carry out, ifttt can enable you to create reminder.

9. Send me an email (or SMS) every time a certain person tweets

Twitter is a great source for journalists but it is easy to miss a tweet from a key contact. Perhaps the key source is a person or company that only occasionally tweets and when they do you want to be alerted immediately. This recipe allows you to receive an email when an individual tweets. You can also set a rule to receive an SMS.

10. Send me an email every time a keyword is mentioned in an RSS feed

This is a recipe I suggested in a recent Journalism.co.uk tip of the day. It is a way you can set up an alert when a keyword is mentioned by a particular news provider.

If you are a journalist and have a favourite ifttt recipe, share it in the comments session below.

Hearsay, a non-Facebook way of social news sharing

If you like the sound of Facebook’s new Open Graph news sharing concept, which allows readers to tell their friends what they are reading, but want to share away from the social network, meet Hearsay, which has today (September 29) launched in public beta.

You can sign up by connecting with Facebook, Twitter or by registering and then start to follow people and news sources, such as the Guardian, Mail Online and Telegraph. Once you click-through to a news item from Hearsay others will learn that you have read that article. You also have the option of sharing news on Twitter and Facebook (though bear in mind the tweet will just be the URL of the article with a “via @HearsayNews” message).

John Duncan, Hearsay’s co-founder and CEO who is a former managing editor and general manager of the Observer, describes the social news reader concept as providing others with a more accurate description of your news reading habits than provided by a Twitter stream, for example.

On Twitter and Facebook you tend to share what you think other people will be interested in. On Hearsay you share what you are interested in, what you were interested enough to actually read.

Duncan, who last year was a Knight Fellow at Stanford in the US, met a group of post-grads and together they formed the San Fransisco-based start-up, first working on the concept of social news game which then developed into a social news reader.

So how did they react to last week’s news from Facebook’s #f8 conference that the social media giant was launching its Open Graph single opt-in news reader?

Co-founder and CTO Kevin Montag said they see it as a “flattering endorsement of our vision of the future of social news”.

The more people get used to it on Facebook, the better. Facebook’s problem is that people’s news graph is not the same as their social graph. Can I really rebuild my news graph on Facebook? Do I even want to?  We think there’s plenty of room for us to build something that’s huge and news specific.

Duncan put it another way.

We think that Facebook is a bad place for [social news sharing]. Why do I care what my Aunt Mabel read on Yahoo News? But we think that it helps us get across the idea that passively sharing everything you read isn’t so scary – when you know you’re doing it.

The former journalist told Journalism.co.uk that Hearsay last week held talks with the Guardian, one of two UK news sites to launch a new-style Facebook Open Graph app last week.

And as with the Guardian and the Independent Facebook apps, Hearsay users can opt-out of sharing any article.

If Hearsay is successful in attracting enough users then as with the Facebook apps this news reader could be an important social traffic driver and other news sites will no doubt be keen to sign up as recognised sources.