Socialbakers Finds That 3% of Facebook Desktop News Feed Is Promoted

Our newest independent research on the Facebook Desktop News Feed reveals important - and surprising - findings immediately relevant to social marketers everywhere.

Through a new proprietary and independent Socialbakers study on what, where, and how user and branded content appears in the Facebook News Feed on desktop, we’ve found that 24 – 29% of the typical News Feed is Page content, 3% of the typical feed is promoted content, and engagement on media and publisher content nearly doubled in the last year.

“Our research is the first to truly take a data-driven approach in understanding how the Facebook News Feed functions for both users and marketers,” says Jan Rezab, Founder and Executive Chairman of Socialbakers. “These new insights show us that social media is still at the very beginning stages of its potential, and there is a huge opportunity for social moving forward.”

Our independent research encompassed activity from more than 900 users and over 23,000 Facebook desktop sessions.

Our Findings

Posts by Friends vs. Pages & Promoted Posts: Taking into account that mobile and desktop feeds are similar in terms of content, 24 – 29% of posts on the typical Facebook News Feed on Desktop are posts from Pages, including Pages of companies, celebrities, public figures, and organizations.



10% of those Page posts are sponsored, meaning that about 3% of the typical Desktop News Feed is sponsored content. The fewer Pages a user Likes, the higher the share of Page posts delivered to them will be sponsored, and vice versa.



Categories: Facebook is an increasingly prominent platform for media and news. Content from media and publisher Pages has seen a huge increase in engagement over the past two years; while in June 2013 brands’ content received more interactions (Likes, Comments, and Shares) on Facebook than media organizations’ content, the trend has since reversed in a big way: Media outlets now receive about 3 times more interactions on their content than brands.



Order of Posts: Our study found that if the second post on your News Feed is a Page post, there’s a 46% chance that it was promoted. In addition, video posts by brand Pages appear to be equally spread throughout the News Feed – they don’t generally get pushed to the top or the bottom.

Desktop Session Length: In 49% of News Feed sessions, users viewed 4 posts before exiting, whereas 15% of sessions lasted over 20 posts. While the average session lasts 12 posts, the median session lasts 5 posts.



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