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Facebook research finds social and personalised news receives most engagement


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

November 30, 2011 | 2 min read

Facebook has released some early research from media partners who have integrated Open Graph, including Yahoo! News, The Washington Post and The Guardian.

The research found that the news sites which focus on building social and personalised news experiences are the ones which will see higher increases in traffic and engagement.

With the Open Graph, publishers can build a new kind of news app that makes it easy for people to discover what their friends are reading, and look back at top articles over time.

Facebook reported that after Yahoo! News built Open Graph integration into its existing website, it saw 600% increase in traffic coming from Facebook, with people who connect to Facebook on Yahoo! reading more articles than the average user.

The Independent found the integration has bumped up older articles that have gone viral through social distribution, with many of the "most shared" and "most viewed" stories on the site have been from the late 1990s, a result of the increased social virality.

The Guardian, which used the system to build a Facebook app, has discovered that it has generated almost a million extra page impressions every day.

Andrew Miller, chief executive officer of Guardian Media Group, said: "In just over two months the Guardian's Facebook app has been installed by nearly four million Facebook users, generating, on average, almost a million extra page impressions every day.

“As well as increasing traffic, the app is making our journalism visible to new audiences. Over half of the app's users are 24 and under - traditionally a very hard-to-reach demographic for news organisations. The Facebook app is one of a number of successful launches by the Guardian in recent months as our digital-first strategy gains momentum. We're delighted with the results."

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