- 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.
- Total engagements from the publisher set are up by 31% while interactions on links have seen an increase of 33% year over year.
- Page followers on these German local news pages have been growing by 7% throughout the year.
- 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?
- Overall interactions from 62 German local news publishers are growing throughout the year despite major News Feed changes and are up 31%. Interactions per post increased by 18%.
- Interactions on links have been growing 33%, which is also related to an increase in posting frequency.
What About Interaction Rates?
- The formula to calculate Interaction Rates can be found here and should not be confused with engagement rates in Page Insights, as CrowdTangle only tracks public data. Note: please be mindful of the ‘dips’ as the scale on the y-axis is relatively small.
- Interaction Rate in CrowdTangle is an indicator of page engagement from Facebook users, a proxy metric to identify what content your audience is actually engaging with.
- While there has been volatility with a dip during summer months, Interaction Rate shows an upward trend and has peaked during January this year. This demonstrates that audiences continuously engage with local news, that are relevant to them.
Are Local Publishers Posting More Links, Videos or Photos?
- This graph shows posting frequency of the various post types during the year. Overall content output from local news publishers has grown over the year by 11%.
- Links have by far the biggest share, accounting for almost 93% of publisher content, while photos and videos accumulate to roughly 7%.
Which Post Types Perform the Best?
- This graphic illustrates the distribution of Interaction Rates by post types (Links, Videos, Photos and Facebook Live Video).
- Facebook Live Videos drove the highest Interaction Rate across the different post types, surpassing photos, links and non-live videos.
- It is worth noting that the median link post did even see slightly higher engagement rates than the median on videos. Given the variety of content formats, we encourage a healthy content-mix and to choose the medium that is the best fit to tell your story.
What is the Optimal Time to Post on Facebook?
- The graph above shows the distribution of posts’ Interaction Rates by their hour of publication (in Central European Time).
- As you can see there is a significant drop in Interaction Rates for posts being published between 12am – 6am. This means that posts being published during that timeframe underperform posts that have been published during the day between 6am and 12am.
- This aligns with user activity on our platform and when people are awake in the region — especially when going Live, consider when people are online to optimize for distribution.
Have Local News Pages Grown on Facebook in 2018?
- Page Likes on the local news page sample have been grown by 7% year over year, which equals an increase of more than 272k followers in absolute numbers.
- While there is no magic number when it comes to posting frequency, the top 10% of fastest growing pages have a median post frequency of 25 posts/day.
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