The Biggest Facebook Publishers of April 2014

We’re back with our full rankings and analysis of the biggest Facebook publishers of last month.

Thanks to the social data mine that is Spike, we have yet another comprehensive look at the sites that are performing strongest on Facebook. And  the findings are as interesting as ever.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from compiling these monthly reports, it’s that few newsrooms’ social strategies so far seem completely immune to suffering the odd knock. The New York Times saw this in March, when they fell out of the top ten for the first time. A good few weeks for competitors, less viral hits than usual and any other number of factors can lead to surprising results every month. April was no different.

Top Facebook Publishers, April 2014

If we rank the top ten publishers by their total share count (above), there seem to be few surprises. BuzzFeed again dominate, followed by the Huffington Post and other familiar names.

However, BuzzFeed’s total interactions took the largest drop we’ve seen in a while, falling from almost 47.5m in March to just over 39m last month. They had five of the 20 biggest Facebook stories in April, compared to 12 in March. Having said that however, they’re still comfortably ahead of their nearest rivals in terms of overall engagement, the Huffington Post.

The New York Times rejoined the top ten at number nine, after a sub-par March saw them fall to 14th. Their lavish magazine feature marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide was one of the 50 most popular stories on Facebook in April, with over 300,000 total interactions.

Just above them were the Guardian, who also regained top ten status in April. Making room for these sites in the top ten were Upworthy, CNN and the Mail Online.

We’re still seeing steady overall interaction growth. The first seven publishers all received over 10m interactions, whereas only four publishers reached that height in March. And there’s still intense competition between publishers at the top – Fox News had an impressive 3m extra interactions in April, yet still fell from third spot to fifth overall.

Here’s a quick look at how this month’s top ten did compared to March:

There’s another notable further down the list – a decent 500K surge for Time, from 3m to 3.5m. In March, Time redesigned their site to be more mobile-friendly, with an endless scroll feature and a ‘decentralised’ homepage. Based on the first two months of data available to us since the new site went live, the move seems to be working in terms of upping social engagement rates. No doubt other publishers will be watching how things develop for Time with keen interest. We have a theory at NewsWhip that publishers who optimise their content for mobile audience will reap increased social engagement.

Check out the top 25 publishers and their stats below. We’ll be back with April’s biggest Twitter publishers and more social data insights on the blog soon, so don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @NewsWhip.

How do we know all this stuff?

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, and there’s a free trial for new users.


‘Total FB Interactions’ = 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.

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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