Facebook, Twitter Traffic to News Sites in Dramatic Decline

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    According to a report by Axios Media Trends, major media outlets have seen an increase in referrals from Meta-owned Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) over the past year as social media platforms have changed the way they interact with news companies. It is said to have decreased dramatically.

    Traffic referrals from Facebook are down about 60% year-over-year, according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb. According to our own estimates, referrals from Twitter have declined by more than 40% over the same period.

    Source: Similarweb/Axios

    “Broken business model”

    Organizations that publish content focused on hard news are likely to be hit the hardest. Axios blamed the drop in traffic on a “broken” business model for publishers that relied on social media referrals to improve views on their websites.

    “Disruption is often the catalyst for change.” Said Sara Fischer, author of Axios Media Trends. “Overreliance on social media traffic has distracted news publishers from focusing on developing their own more powerful consumer products.”

    “Publishers have learned from their mistakes of relying too much on third parties to survive and are better equipped to protect their intellectual property in the AI ​​era,” she added.

    Fisher said the combination of a weak advertising market and declining traffic has led to large-scale layoffs across the media industry this year. According to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, In the six months ending June 2023, 17,436 media workers in the United States were laid off.

    The decline in referrals is notable considering how much traffic Facebook and X have generated for news organizations in the past. As seen in the graph above, Facebook drove nearly 120 million people to his digital publisher three years ago, and Twitter’s numbers peaked at just under 80 million. Did.

    As of the end of August this year, that number had fallen to just 21.4 million on Facebook and 22.6 million on X. It’s a far cry from the days when articles featured on two social media platforms garnered millions of clicks and often went viral.

    Significant drop in traffic to major news sites on Facebook and Twitter

    Facebook avoids the news business

    Media companies whose business models relied on Facebook and Twitter have suffered as social media traffic has slumped. The cause of this decline can be traced to changes social media companies have made to limit news content on their sites.

    Relations between news publishers and social media platforms have been strained in recent years, with media outlets alleging that Meta is unfairly profiting from links to news articles shared on Facebook. There is also the issue of misinformation and disinformation.

    Also read: Soon everyone will have to pay to use Twitter

    As a result, lawmakers around the world are proposing legislation that would require internet-based companies to pay news publishers. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will remove news content in countries that pass such laws. Canada recently.

    “News is not a significant part of Facebook globally,” Mehta said in the article. blog post In March, it added, “Less than 3% of what people see in their Facebook feeds include links to news articles.”

    Mehta argues that publishers need Facebook more than Facebook needs publishers. When launching Threads in July, Adam Mosseri, who oversees Instagram, said: Said The new text-based app “does not encourage” news or politics on the platform.

    Significant drop in traffic to major news sites on Facebook and Twitter

    July, Twitter owned by Elon Musk reportedly Links to several websites were slow to access, including The New York Times, Instagram, Bluesky, Reuters, and Substack.


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