Spotlight on Local News: Covering the “Bomb Cyclone”

By Silvana Ordoñez, News Partnerships

A colossal winter storm, also known as the “bomb cyclone,” hit the East Coast hard with bone-chilling temperatures, heavy snow and travel chaos, causing school cancellations and many to work from home.

What was it like outside of our homes? You probably didn’t have to wonder much if you followed the coverage by local news outlets.

Using CrowdTangle, we compiled some high-performing posts from the storm posted on Facebook. Most were video posts and Facebook Live broadcasts. These videos mainly generated two types of reactions: Wow, driven by unusual events like snow in Florida, and Love, generated by heart-warming posts and stunning images.


Millions shared New Year’s Eve moments with friends and family on Facebook Live

By Erin Connolly, Product Manager, and Kunal Modi, Engineering Manager

New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection and celebration with friends and family. More than 10 million people around the world went live on Facebook to share their New Year’s Eve moments with their communities.

The night topped last year’s live broadcast activity, with people sharing 47% more live videos than last year.

When you go live you can share your experiences with people you care about. With Facebook Live, people can still be in the same moment even if they aren’t in the same place.

People were excited to count down to 2018 with friends — wherever they were. We saw more than 3 times as many broadcasts with a friend on New Year’s Eve compared to an average day in December, making it the biggest day so far for Live With.

The video shows Facebook data on live broadcasts per minute as midnight struck around the world. Each small blip on the globe represents 100 live videos, each large burst represents 1,000 live videos. Countries are color-coded based on the percentage of users that posted live videos.


Wherever you were and however you celebrated, all of us at Facebook wish you a happy New Year!



“We’ve Only Been Using CrowdTangle a Month and Our Referrals Are Up 26%”

Just weeks after getting access to CrowdTangle, La Gaceta Salta — a three-year old Argentine local news outlet with accelerating growth and a burgeoning online audience — was seeing value in their newsroom.

The La Gaceta Salta team had a problem on their hands: They wanted to increase engagement on Facebook and the reach of their publications to build an active community of readers, and hadn’t found a good solutionThey began using CrowdTangle to help track what was working among their content, what wasn’t, and to track their competitors.

After just a couple weeks using the CrowdTangle platform, digital editor Pablo Hamada summed it up: “We started to see the increase that we were looking for immediately, more likes, comments, and shares within the community.”

With higher engagement also came higher reach and more traffic.

“We’ve only been using the product a month and our referrals are up 26%,” Hamada says. “We’re getting more engagement from our readers, as well as more fans. In August, we had 154,000 likes and in the end of September 200,000 likes, all organic.”


Updates to Video Distribution and Monetization

By: Maria Angelidou-Smith, Product Management Director & Abhishek Bapna, Product Manager

Facebook is home to a wide variety of publishers and creators who make videos that connect people, spark conversation and build community. Today we’re sharing updates on video distribution and our efforts to build effective video monetization tools for our partners that complement great viewing experiences for people:

  • Video distribution: Updating News Feed ranking to improve distribution of videos that people actively want to watch — for example, videos from Pages that have strong repeat viewership.
  • Ad Breaks: Improving the viewing experience for people by updating our guidelines for Ad Breaks, and providing new metrics for publishers and creators to understand how their Ad Breaks perform.
  • Pre-roll: Testing pre-roll ads in places where people intentionally go to watch videos, like Watch.



Spotlight on Local News: Local Publishers Reaching New Audiences on Facebook Live

By Beth Loyd and Josh Mabry, News Partnerships

When extreme weather threatens a community, people that may not normally follow local news rely on their local reporters and meteorologists to keep them informed and help them stay safe. We wanted to see which videos on Facebook are being viewed beyond a publisher’s own followers, and reaching the community at large.

Using internal Facebook data, we looked at some of the Facebook Lives from Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey where a high percentage of its watch time was consumed by people who are in the same market of the publisher, but aren’t fans of the Page. From meteorologists going live from the studio to answer pressing questions in real-time to stations and newspapers sharing live cams of the affected areas, here are some ways local publishers used Facebook Live to cover extreme weather and reach a larger audience.


Viral ≠ Ephemeral: BuzzFeed on Driving Massive Shareability with Serious, Long-Form Video

By Meghan Peters, News Partnerships

BuzzFeed is famous for its fun, addictively shareable articles, lists and quizzes, but the global news and entertainment publisher has a serious side, too. On September 26, 2017, BuzzFeed posted a video titled, “the power to live and forgive,” detailing the story of Eva Mozes Kor, a holocaust survivor who lived through unspeakable horrors in Auschwitz. The video was more than 14 minutes long, and as of November 30, 2017, has more than 1.7 million shares, 173 million views, and was watched for an average of more than 3 minutes per viewer, becoming BuzzFeed’s main Facebook Page’s most shared video of all time.

Eva’s story gripped audiences and carried a powerful message. But, for BuzzFeed’s editors, it also served an unintended purpose — it made them rethink serious, long-form content and how well it resonates with its audience.


Why Quartz Launched its New Edition With a Facebook Group: A Q+A With Editor Khe Hy

By Julia Smekalina, News Partnerships

In October, Quartz launched a new edition called Quartz At Work. It’s directed toward business professionals who are looking to be better managers, build a career, and stay up-to-date with the latest research and trends around what it means to thrive in the modern workplace. When it came to building a presence on Facebook, Quartz At Work decided to launch as a closed Facebook Group, rather than a Page. The group is called Manage It: A Community for Managers by Quartz At Work, and it has become a place where readers can have meaningful and productive discussions around the topics that matter to them most.

We talked with Khe Hy, one of the editors of Quartz At Work, about why creating a Facebook Group was better suited to the edition, how they plan on managing it, how they’ll measure its success, and what their content strategy looks like.



Spotlight on Local News: How Four Local Reporters Are Using Facebook Live

By Beth Loyd and Josh Mabry, News Partnerships

Local journalists across the country use Facebook Live to break news, give people a behind-the-scenes look at the stories that matter most to their community, and deepen relationships with their audience. We talked with a few reporters from stations in North Carolina, Texas, Florida, and Tennessee that have had recent success with Facebook Live to see how they’re using the storytelling tool, and what advice they’d pass along to other reporters.


How NBC News Ended Up With a 2 Million-View Facebook Video Using CrowdTangle

In July, NBC News posted a feature story documenting a son’s struggle with his mother’s advancing dementia. The emotional piece resonated with their audience — the video, posted to NBC News’ Facebook page, eventually drew over 2 million Facebook video views and thousands of shares after being cross-posted across their network.

Senior editor Emmanuelle Saliba, reporter Becky Bratu and the NBC News social newsgathering team used CrowdTangle to source the initial video from local news sources, then turned it into a national story.

How’d they do it? It’s a simple formula:



Norwegian News Outlet Nettavisen On How They Drive Newsletter Subscriptions and Revenue through Instant Articles

By John Severinson, News Partnerships

Nettavisen is a Norwegian news outlet that’s been digital-only since they first started in 1996. They cover news, sports and finance and have always looked to get its content to readers in the most seamless way possible. “We’re not a technology company though, like many media companies call themselves. We create content and leverage technology,” says Pål Nisja-Wilhelmsen, Chief Innovation Officer at Nettavisen.

The paper was among the first in Scandinavia to start using Instant Articles when it launched in April, 2016. Today they publish nearly all of their content to the platform. Over the last year and a half, Nettavisen has been able to leverage new tools to grow traffic, convert Instant Articles readers to newsletter subscribers, and increase their monetization.