The Biggest Facebook Publishers of February 2014


It’s time for our monthly social rankings – who’s ahead, who’s dropped off, and who’s new? 

Here are the top 10 Facebook publishers of last month, ranked by total shares of articles published during February:

February Facebook Top 10

As you can see, BuzzFeed simply grow and grow. Just last month we were marvelling at their breaking of the 40m mark for combined Facebook interactions. In February, they went further again to break the 50m mark – despite it being a shorter month.

For the second month in a row, BuzzFeed’s biggest stories were again quizzes. Scanning through their biggest stories of the month, there’s little else in the way of competition. Quizzes have completely eclipsed listicles, at least for now.

The gap between BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post has never been as great, while the fall-off to the rest of the top ten is even bigger. Many publishers, including the Guardian and the New York Times did very well, with increases in share counts, despite February being the shortest month of the year.

However, it wasn’t enough to match the sheer volume of BuzzFeed’s shares.

Last month, there was plenty of speculation regarding Upworthy and the effect of Facebook’s algorithm change on its traffic and an apparent drop-off in traffic and shares when compared to November 2013.

At a SXSW panel in Austin last week, site co-founder Eli Pariser said he wasn’t worried about the potential effect that Facebook’s algorithm changes might have on Upworthy’s share levels.

Our February stats seem to lend this more credence. Upworthy had a stronger February, with around 2m extra Facebook engagements when compared to January. Meanwhile, Viral Nova, who hit a dizzying high of third place overall last month, fell back slightly to come in seventh place overall, two spots below Upworthy. If anything, the flux seen in the positions of these two sites shows the changing nature of the publisher rankings, month on month.

Further down the list, there were strong gains for publishers including Elite Daily and the Washington Post, but most did not match or improve on their overall figures for January.

As ever, feel free to download and play around with our data to see what conclusions you come to yourself. We’ll be back with Twitter and LinkedIn analysis soon.

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.

NewsWhip gathers its data from Spike, our professional platform that monitors the social distribution of news. While we strive for complete coverage, sometimes we will miss some content for some publishers. If it looks to you like we’re missing something or have our numbers wrong, drop us a line.

NB: For February 2014 we had coverage of Metro.co.uk for only 2 weeks of the month.

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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