Facebook social reader app contributes to record traffic for U.K. news site

The Guardian reached a new record of unique visitors and page impressions for Guardian.co.uk in February, and the news organization attributes 30 percent of referral traffic to Facebook. That’s up from 2 percent only six months ago.

The change is largely the result of a Facebook canvas application that lets users read Guardian stories and share them automatically via Ticker, Timeline and News Feed. This is yet another example of Open Graph driving significant traffic to third-party apps and websites. For a few days in February, Facebook even surpassed Google in referral percentage to the Guardian, though it hasn’t maintained the lead.

“I believe it is only a matter of time before it [Facebook] becomes the main driver of traffic to many core Guardian products,” said Tanya Cordrey, director of digital development for the Guardian, at the Guardian Changing Media Summit on Wednesday.

Cordrey also discussed statistics and trends related to the company’s social news app. She said more than 8 million people have added the Facebook app in five months, and about 40,000 new users sign up each day. More than 4 million people used the ad-supported app in the last four weeks and many of them read several stories per day, she added. According to AppData, the canvas app has been getting between 200,000 and 250,000 daily active users.

Of these users, “only a small percentage” elect to hide or remove stories from their Timeline, Cordrey explained. We previously identified the Guardian’s privacy controls as some of the best among social reader applications. Because most users share all the stories they read within the app, and Facebook highlights social reader activity in aggregate News Feed stories, a new audience is discovering the Guardian.

Cordrey pointed out that largest group of users for the Guardian Facebook app are between 18 and 24 years old, a demographic that is hard for news sites to reach. The app’s users are also global. According to AppData, 50 percent of users are from the U.K., but the rest are from a range of countries. Cordrey said Facebook is also unique in that the peak time for news consumption appears to be the afternoon, not around morning, lunch and dinner, which is typical for radio, TV and the web.

Facebook Marketing

Mediabistro Event

Facebook Marketing

Starting January 13, work with the group marketing manager of social media at Microsoft/BingAds to grow your business on Facebook! In this course, you’ll learn how to set up your company page, understand Facebook best practices, and execute a monthly content strategy. Register now!


Leave a Reply

7 Responses to “Facebook social reader app contributes to record traffic for U.K. news site”

  1. SociAbilità « EJO – European Journalism Observatory says:

    [...] ed essere parte della Rete. Approccio che risulta nel concreto molto premiante come documentato dal successo dei numeri di visitatori al sito del giornale di gran lunga superiore alle performance di altri [...]

  2. Open Graph App Brings Increased Traffic to Guardian.co.uk - semanticweb.com says:

    [...] Darwell of our sister publication, Inside Facebook, recently reported that Guardian.co.uk attributed 30% of its referral traffic in February to The Guardian‘s social [...]

  3. Per la prima volta Facebook supera Google come canale di utenti sul Guardian | LSDI says:

    [...] ed essere parte della Rete. Approccio che risulta nel concreto molto premiante come documentato dal successo dei numeri di visitatori al sito del giornale di gran lunga superiore alle performance di altri [...]

  4. The Social Media Research Foundation and the Guardian’s Facebook Timeline app « Big Data (Really Gets Me) says:

    [...] Want to know more about the power of The Guardian’s new Facebook Timeline app? Visit http://www.insidefacebook.com/2012/03/22/facebook-social-reader-app-contributes-to-record-traffic-fo… Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]


    [...] The Guardian posted record unique visitor and page impression figures in February, which can be attributed to the ease with which Guardian stories can be shared automatically through the Facebook app to your ticker, timeline and news feed. [...]

  6. Is Social a Fad for Media? | Digital Quarters says:

    [...] Case in point:  according to Compete, in February Wetpaint Entertainment received more traffic from Facebook than from Google.  Hey, I told you it was gonna happen.  It’s because social has provided a medium for data and connection that lets us deeply relate to our audience.  Increasingly, other publishers are finding the same – The Guardian most recently joined the club. [...]

  7. The effects of openness matter more than the degrees of openness | Matt McAlister says:

    [...] and introduced the Guardian to a whole new audience we weren’t reaching. # It also drove dramatic traffic levels back to the Guardian web site which we then turned into advertising revenue for the [...]

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Assistant Editor

8 Inc.
New York, NY

Copywriter & Editor

Santa Monica, CA

Director of Marketing & Communications

Neumans' Kitchen
New York, NY

Social Community Manager

Tallahassee, FL

Editorial Director

Phoenix House
New York, NY

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us