Unilad beats the Daily Mail and BuzzFeed's Tasty to become 2016's most popular Facebook publisher

Unilad beats the Daily Mail and BuzzFeed's Tasty to claim world's most engaged Facebook page for 2016 / Unilad

Viral publisher Unilad has fought off stiff competition from the Daily Mail and rival Lad Bible to claim the world's most engaged Facebook page and online video channel for 2016.

According to data from cross-platform monitoring system Tubular Labs, the media owner received close to one billion Facebook likes, comments and shares across its Facebook content, coming ahead of big names like 9GAG and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Over the past 12 months, the independent media company has also clocked up over 25bn video views across YouTube, Facebook, Vine and Instagram.

Sharing the news via LinkedIn, Unilad co-founders Sam Bentley and Liam Harrington said the site took pride in "always being organic", with Bentley hinting that this year's success hasn't been down to a big spend, saying: "we didn’t achieve that by throwing loads of money at things, but with a small team who consistently strive to be the best at what they do."

Unilad has always taken a Facebook-first approach to content, and while its perhaps best known for its humorous fan-sourced videos the publisher experimented with with more native and branded content in 2016. It also made a foray into more serious topics, producing films and live content for organisations such as Manchester Dog’s Home and the Homeless World Cup.

Speaking to The Drum last summer, Harrington said the team wanted to delve into the more serious side of things because it was "lucky enough" to have an audience that wanted to interact with such issues.

"Our audience is engaged and want to change things therefore the content we put out has to reflect that whether it's funny or serious," he finished.

Reddit rival 9GAG, which has a bigger following than Unilad in terms of page likes, was the second most engaged with Facebook page last year receiving over 790m interactions. Elsewhere, the Lad Bible and BuzzFeed's food offering Tasty took third and fourth place respectively. Christiano Ronaldo ranked fifth with just above 457m fan interactions last year despite having the biggest Facebook fandom among the top five.

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