Facebook has long been considered a top news resource for many Americans. However, the content created by news publishers comprises only a small fraction of what Facebook users actually see in their news feeds, according to Facebook’s Widely Viewed Content Report.
The report, which was created to provide a complete picture regarding what content Facebook users see in their news feeds, found that the majority (57 percent) of the content people see on Facebook are posts from friends and people they follow. Less than a quarter (19.3 percent) of the content people see comes from posts belonging to groups that user has joined, 14.3 percent comes from posts belonging to pages that user follows and eight percent comes from unconnected posts.
|Source of news feed content view in the United States.|
In total, only about a tenth (9.5 percent) of all news feed content views in the U.S. involved content that wasn’t shared by friends, joined groups or followed pages. And as it turns out, news publishers' content accounts for only a tiny fraction of that share: The top 20 domains to appear in Facebook users’ news feed accounted for about 1.9 percent of all news feed content views in the U.S. during 2021’s first quarter. And while news publishers are well represented among the top websites commonly seen by Facebook users, the news outlets in that list—cnn.com, nbcnews.com, dailymail.co.uk and cbsnews.com, among others—accounted for only about 0.3 percent of all news feed content views in the U.S. during that period.
In other words, even though these top domains get a lot of page views, there are so many pages and so much content on Facebook’s news feed that these sites still account for only a small fraction of what people see in their news feeds.
According to Facebook’s report, the top news publisher content views went to ABC News (88.1 million), The Daily Mail (86.5 million), NBC News (83.1 million), CNN (82.8 million) and CBS News (77.1 million).
No news site appeared in the list of top ten domains. Sites that received the most news feed views among Facebook users included YouTube (181.3 million), Amazon (134.6 million), Unicef (134.4 million), GoFundMe (124.8 million), Twitter (116.1 million), TikTok (110.7 million) and Spotify (93 million).
Facebook Widely Viewed Content Report analyzed News Feed of public content views among U.S. Facebook users between April 1 and June 30 (referred to as “Q2 2021”).