Engagement declines have slowed down

At Kaleida we’ve been expecting to see more declines in engagements for news on Facebook, but, so far, that’s not what’s happening.

Source: Kaleida Data, 2018

Since the announcement in January that Facebook is deprioritising news, engagements for news have remained surprisingly normal. The trend from the previous 6 months was a steady but considerable slope where the median engagements or the 50th percentile for articles that get shared on Facebook dropped between 25% and 50% depending on the publisher.

But the data indicates that everything just kind of stopped going down.

The chart above shows the median engagement patterns for several of the leading news orgs in the US and the UK that we track.

Publishers were informed in early January that Facebook would deprioritise the posts they make via their own brand Pages in their followers’ newsfeeds. But, so far, those promoted posts are showing normal patterns, too.

Source: Kaleida Data, 2018

While the median level has fallen from the overall average last year, the engagement levels are currently holding steady for promoted posts.

As we found in previous research, engagements on Facebook can be correlated with real referral traffic. And, as expected, the steady flow of engagements is bringing a steady flow of referral traffic. Of course, the volume is lower than it was 6 months ago, but the decline has slowed down.

Data from analytics provider Parse.ly shows the same pattern.

Source: Parse.ly

Some of our assumptions suggested that the trend line might push engagement declines into late Spring before a plateau. That’s not the pattern here, though these low levels aren’t particularly encouraging to news orgs, either. Better some than none, anyhow.

We’ve been working with publishers who want to understand more clearly what their relationship to the platforms looks like through different lenses. If that’s of interest to you, please get in touch. We’ll do what we can to help.

Contact: laura@kaleida.com or reach us on Twitter @kaleidnet.