Yes, Facebook Is Down: Publishers Seeing Drastic Decline In Referrals (New Report)

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Last year, in the midst of their still-ongoing battles with legislators and publishers regarding content usage, Meta commissioned a report claiming that less than 3% of what’s ultimately seen in Facebook Feeds are news links. Not only did this represent “an economically small and diminishing role” for the publisher content on the platform, the report claimed, but publishers actually “reap considerable economic benefits” through the traffic driven to their sites.

Recently, Chartbeat and Similarweb released new data highlighting just how steep the decline of Facebook’s referral traffic has gotten.

(Source: Social Media Today via Chartbeat)

For the nearly 800 sites tracked since 2018, referrals “plunged by 58% in the last six years from 1.3 billion in March 2018 to 561 million last month,” including a 50% drop in the last year alone.

“As a share of total page views coming from external, search and social, Facebook referrals are now less than a quarter of their 2018 level, down from 30% in March 2018 to 7% in March 2024,” writes Press Gazette’s Aisha Majid.

As Social Media Today’s Andrew Hutchinson writes, Meta’s shuttering of the Facebook News project in December and the general move away from political content are the main contributors, and “if Meta can avoid news and politics, it logically should, as that’s both what many users say that they want, and what brings Meta the most trouble from a regulatory standpoint.”

“It’s not great news for publishers,” Hutchinson writes, “but it could make social media, more broadly, a more positive and beneficial experience.”



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