Key Findings
  1. Local news on Facebook matters. Even after Facebook’s News Feed changes in 2018 engagements and Interaction Rates for local news publishers in Germany are showing upward trends.
  2. Total engagements from the publisher set are up by 31% while interactions on links have seen an increase of 33% year over year.
  3. Page followers on these German local news pages have been growing by 7% throughout the year.
  4. Facebook Live video has on average the highest Interaction Rates for German local news publishers, with photos ranking second.

This report spotlights the performance of 62 German local news publishers on Facebook from January 2018 – January 2019 based on public performance data from CrowdTangle (see our appendix section below for more information on the publisher sample).

2018 has been a year full of major developments for Facebook’s News Feed. At the beginning of 2018 Facebook announced that we will prioritize posts from friends and family. Additionally, Facebook updated our ranking to help ensure that news on Facebook is from trusted sources and that local news will be prioritized.

Facebook made a series of News Feed changes in 2018, which should be considered as a primer for this report. A timeline of these major News Feed changes in Germany are:

Jan. 11, 2018:  Bringing People Closer Together

Mar. 26, 2018:  2018: More Local News on Facebook, Globally

Jul. 28, 2018:  Helping Ensure News on Facebook is from Trusted Sources

For this report we used CrowdTangle to look into the data of dozens of German local news publishers to track their performance since the major feed updates, to highlight trends, and to share insights in order to inform posting strategies.

So let’s dive into it…

How Has Engagement Developed for German Local News Publishers on Facebook Over the Past Year?
CrowdTangle tracks public data and Interactions are measured as comments, shares and reactions. The colors represent the post type: Links (dark blue), photos (green), native video (purple), live video (red), other video, i.e. YouTube links (pink).

 

What About Interaction Rates?

 

Are Local Publishers Posting More Links, Videos or Photos?
Colors represent the post type: Links (dark blue), photos (green), native video (purple), live video (red), other video, i.e. YouTube links (pink)

 

Which Post Types Perform the Best?

 

What is the Optimal Time to Post on Facebook?

 

Have Local News Pages Grown on Facebook in 2018?

 

APPENDIX
A Note On CrowdTangle’s Data

CrowdTangle tracks public engagement data on public pages for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit. For this report, we used CrowdTangle to track a custom list of 62 news pages on Facebook platforms.

CrowdTangle measurement formulas used in this report include:

Total Interactions: The total number of reactions, shares and comments on a Facebook post.

Interaction Rate: Calculated by averaging the number of interactions for all of the account’s posts in the specified timeframe, then dividing that by the number of followers/fans.

Page Growth: The number of new likes on Facebook and new followers on Instagram and Twitter pages has accumulated.

Page Sample: For that analysis we used BDZV’s news publisher index in 2019. We’ve sorted through that list to pull the top pages from local news publishers in Germany with at least 30k page followers at the time of the analysis. See the list of pages below:

Berliner Morgenpost, inFranken.de, RP ONLINE, KSTA, WAZ, B.Z., Nürnberger Nachrichten, Augsburger Allgemeine, LVZ Leipziger Volkszeitung, stuttgarter-nachrichten.de, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung / HAZ, Ostsee-Zeitung, Badische Zeitung, noz.de, Nürnberger Zeitung, Lübecker Nachrichten Online, Westfälische Nachrichten, Mannheimer Morgen, Heilbronner Stimme, TA Thüringer Allgemeine, Ruhr Nachrichten, WESER-KURIER, svz.de – Nachrichten aus Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Merkur.de, Saarbrücker Zeitung, Allgemeine Zeitung, Neue Westfälische, Nordkurier, Kieler Nachrichten, Mittelbayerische, NWZonline, Cellesche Zeitung, Schwäbische, Rhein-Zeitung, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, Volksstimme.de, Neue Presse Hannover / NP, Braunschweiger Zeitung, MAZonline / Märkische Allgemeine, swp.de, PZ-news.de, Schwarzwälder Bote, Echo Online, volksfreund.de, Aachener Nachrichten, FNP – Frankfurter Neue Presse, WA, OTZ, Lippische Landes-Zeitung, Aachener Zeitung, Westfalenpost Hagen, Wiesbadener Kurier, Göttinger Tageblatt, Kölnische Rundschau, Nordbayerischer Kurier, Westfalen-Blatt, Grafschafter Nachrichten, Oldenburgische Volkszeitung, Landeszeitung Lüneburg, SÜDKURIER, hildesheimer-allgemeine.de, Heidenheimer Zeitung