The Biggest Facebook Publishers of January 2014


As Facebook turns 10, we look at who’s having the most success in using the biggest social network in the world to put their content in front of eyeballs.

Here are the top 10 Facebook publishers of last month, based on their share count. The data is from our content discovery platform Spike.

Top Facebook Publishers, January 2014It’s been another amazing month for BuzzFeed. In December, they overtook the Huffington Post to become the biggest Facebook publisher. They further consolidated that position last month, with over 9.5m shares of content published that month and over 17.6m likes. Their most impressive stat is the number of comments their output attracted last month – over 13m. That was enough to drive their monthly Facebook interaction count (likes + shares + comments) over the 40m mark, a figure we’ve never recorded before.

These BuzzFeed stats are all the more interesting in light of the news that Facebook trumped Google for traffic referrals to the site and its extended network over the last two years.

It wasn’t just BuzzFeed who saw a rise in Facebook activity last month however – the Huffington Post had an increase of over 2m shares, while Fox News saw a 1m lift in their total likes. It’s hard to point to the exact reasons for these rises, but recent tweaks to Facebook’s timeline, which sees ‘suggested articles’ pop up whenever you click on a story – may go some way to explaining.

Another big story of the month has been the phenomenal success of Viral Nova, who were added to our Spike database in December. The site rank third overall in our top Facebook publishers chart for January – ahead of the likes of CNN, the New York Times and even Upworthy. Their January success had a lot to do with some key posts – their Life Hacks Guide was shared over 660,000 times during the month alone, making it the most shared piece of content across the web last month. We’ve charted the Facebook rise of virally-optimised sites such as Viral Nova and the Independent Journal Review (who also had a very strong January) in detail, and we’ll go further into their success on this blog next week.

Meanwhile, one notable absence from last month’s top 10 is Upworthy, who were consistently in third place overall at the end of 2013, well ahead of CNN, NBC, the New York Times and others. In fact, their total Facebook interactions almost halved, from 10,771,244 to 5,697,857. They ended January in 11th place in terms of Facebook shares, and even further down when Likes and Comments are combined.

There are some equally interesting changes outside the top ten. As ever, data for the top 25 are below – feel free to download and make your own analysis. Separate breakdowns for Twitter and LinkedIn are also on the way.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Let us know on Twitter, @newswhip.

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 BBC, the Huffington Post and News Corp). If you want to get ahead of trending content in your niche, 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 spike@newswhip.com and we’ll work with you to make sure we have all your content covered. 


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 liam.corcoran@newswhip.com.

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