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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 18, 2016

Algorithms or mobile to blame for drop in Facebook traffic to U.S. media websites?

Recent research from SimilarWeb reveals dramatic drops in desktop Facebook traffic to U.S. media websites in the first half of this year.

by Helen Leggatt

Traffic from Facebook to some of the U.S.'s top media websites appears to have been significantly affected in the wake of the social media platform's changes to its newsfeed algorithm. saw a 54% drop in traffic from Facebook, Newsweek's parent company, IBT Media, saw a drop of 47% while Gannett's dropped 26% as Facebook's algorithm changed to favor posts by friends and family including photos, videos, status updates and links, over media mentions.

Traffic to individual websites such as CNN and the Washington Post also experienced sharp declines, the former suffering a 33% loss in traffic and the latter down 26%.

SimilarWeb's figures focus on desktop Facebook traffic. So, could the decrease in traffic their data reveals be attributed to users' switch to mobile? Buzzfeedd publisher Dao Nguyen believes this could be true.

"If the numbers don't include mobile when talking about FB, then it's not that interesting," Nguyen posted on Twitter.

Tags: Facebook, Internet, mobile, social media, traffic trends

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