BuzzFeed Back On Top – The Biggest Facebook Publishers of December 2013

It’s time for NewsWhip’s monthly social publishers rankings – first we’re looking at the biggest publishers on Facebook during December.

When we left you last, the Huffington Post ruled the roost on Facebook, while BuzzFeed was battling to hold off upstart Upworthy for second spot.

What a change a month makes. We’ve consulted Spike’s database, and here are the top 10 Facebook publishers for last month, ranked by Shares of stories published during December only:

Top Facebook Publishers, December 2013After December, it’s BuzzFeed who sit comfortably on top of the table, trailed by the Huffington Post. BuzzFeed had roughly 750,000 more shares on Facebook during December than the HuffPo, enough to launch them to the top for the first time since August. This changes illustrates the varying popularity of content from month to month for these enormous social publishers – the Huffington Post seemed untouchable with a healthy Facebook surplus on November 30.

Similarly, we were also marvelling at the aggressive growth of Upworthy last month. The viral site seemed poised to overtake BuzzFeed in terms of Shares and Likes after November. However, BuzzFeed’s extra strong December (on the back of their new traffic record in November) launches them well out of range – for another month at least.

Further down the December top 10, some publishers, particularly the New York Times, managed a substantial lift in their Share numbers, while others saw slight declines (BBC, the Daily Mail). It was a stellar month for Fox News, who leaped from 13th to 10th, with an extra 400,000 or so shares of their content.

New Players

Two interesting additions to December’s leaders’ board come in the form of Viral Nova* and the Independent Journal Review. In particular, Viral Nova performed incredibly strongly – we were tracking them for only part of they month, but they still managed to hit 7th in the Facebook rankings, ahead of the likes of The Guardian and Mashable. Meanwhile the IJR, a conservative alternative to Upworthy, managed to slide into the top 50 at number 42. We’ll be watching these two publishers with particular interest in January’s table.

Our figures for these ranking are based on Facebook Shares only. See the chart below for a full breakdown of the Facebook statistics, complete with figures for Comments and Likes (or ‘Recommends’). Feel free to download the entire thing and come up with different angles.

We’ll be back soon with a December data breakdown for Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

We compiled our data using Spike, which tracks the content that people are sharing and engaging with in real time. It’s used by some of the world’s leading digital newsrooms (including the Guardian, the Huffington Post and ABC News). If you’re curious, there’s a free trial for new users.

‘Total FB’ = Likes (or Recommends), Comments and Shares combined.

These figures are for English language sites only. If our statistics are important for you, drop us a line at and we’ll work with you to make sure we have all your content covered. 

*We have counts for only part of Viral Nova content for December – which makes its high position all the more impressive.

Liam Corcoran

Liam Corcoran is Head of Communications at NewsWhip. His analysis and opinions on news, publishing and social media are regularly featured by the likes of AdWeek, BBC, Business Insider, Digiday, Huffington Post, Mashable and Wall St Journal. Email Liam via

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