A few months ago, Facebook made a major change in its algorithm that affected the type of content it would provide to users. In a move that spooked the media pros, Facebook said it would disable publisher content in favor of posts between links.
For many publishers relying on Facebook, this meant a possible death. And some right-wing extremist media companies believed that this was a way Facebook could purposely suppress conservative content. However, this concern does not seem to have manifested yet – at least not yet.
NewsWhip News, provided to Nieman Lab, shows Facebook's commitment to both right-wing and left-leaning media pages has not changed after the algorithm's shift. Indeed, the usual ebb and flow of engagement seemed to be going from month to month ̵
This confirms what I wrote a few months ago, with data from Boston Globe 's director for audience and Niemann fellow Matt Karolian. Karolian was able to show that hyper-biased posts were indeed the most powerful content on Facebook.
Nieman Lab points to some important facts. One, despite the right-wing media claim that Facebook singles them out, is the commitment to conservative content generally much higher than what liberal publishers see. Second, this Facebook Interaction Metric does not necessarily mean traffic to the websites, even though it is a useful data point for understanding consumer trends.
Overall, these new data show that people continue to share and deal with nonpartisan content despite concerns about algorithmic change. Which, I think, is not surprising, if you really think about it.
You can read the full Nieman Lab description here. CGG