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15/01/2016 | 22:07 GMT+7

Which Publishers Are Winning On Facebook? HuffPo & BuzzFeed Take The Lead

A Newswhip report analyzed the top English-speaking Facebook publishers in December, finding a pretty large change in results from our last report. It seems that most older sites with established followings won the engagement race this time around. This kept Huffington Post and BuzzFeed in the lead, with a Facebook engagement total (encompassing Likes, shares, and comments) of 32.4 million and 26.4 million respectively.

Interestingly enough, traditional media sites seemed to build traction. The New York Times, defined as a "hard news site,” came in 5th place among shares in December, and the Washington Post has also debuted on the top 10 for most shares.

Newswhip 2015 Publisher Sharing Data

What are the most popular topics?

December saw a large variety of activity surrounding the topics of gun control, climate change, and the refugee crisis. A New York Times highlight on increased gun control, for example, drew nearly 370,000 interactions. Similarly, political topics brought heated discussions, with a piece entitled "All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More than Others” driving 106,000 comments on Facebook alone.

Other stories that typically drive attention relate to breaking news, especially on sites like the BBC. Its top performing stories announced the death of Motorhead guitarist Lemmy, a Scotland bridge closure due to weather, and an unveiling of an "anti-pee wall” in London.

But their largest story was a quiz called "How Dark is Your Personality?” and had more than 250,000 engagements. Yes, most people do like to talk about themselves and this post by the BCC gave readers an opportunity to do so.

The Washington Post saw environment-related stories drive heavy interaction; a piece on toxic water in Michigan drove 46,000 shares and a polar storm article saw 37,000 shares.

Video is building traction too; The Daily Mail has been experimenting heavily with the medium and found that it has had a pretty big reach.

What about Instant Articles?

Are Instant Articles making an impact on the numbers we’re seeing? It’s still too early to tell, but the article speculates that Instant Articles are seeing "higher-than-average” levels of engagement. In time, we should be coming out with reporting that should indicate whether Instant Articles are winners (our guess) or losers.

For the full engagement report, see the data below:

Newswhip Facebook December 2015 Engagement Data

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