How is Facebook influencing mobile content discovery?


Increasingly, readers are discovering content on mobile devices, instead of desktop. Facebook’s mobile-first push has made the site a major source of referral traffic, but how does it stack up to other social networks such as Twitter and Pinterest, or search engines?

A study by Quantcast found that Facebook was responsible for 24 percent of the mobile referral share of the top 250 U.S. news and entertainment publishers, with Twitter coming in at 7 percent and Pinterest 2 percent. On desktop, that figure is only 13 percent for Facebook. Overall, social is now the most popular gateway to news and entertainment sites on mobile, edging out search 34 percent to 33.

Quantcast’s Art Prateepvanich (Head of Product Marketing, Publisher Solutions) and Michael Kamprath (VP of Engineering) blogged about the study:

For News and Entertainment sites, we found social media has surpassed search as the driving force for mobile referrals and in a previous post, showed how Facebook is leading the way. But News and Entertainment publishers are not experiencing this effect equally. While a quarter are seeing 50% or more of their mobile referrals from social media, about half of News and Entertainment publishers are seeing 25% or less of their mobile referrals from social media, suggesting an opportunity for growth.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 7.55.52 AM

Other findings from Quantcast’s study

  • Roughly 1/4 of mobile web pageviews today come from articles linked to on social apps such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • 63 percent of Facebook users are on their mobile app every day.
  • 47 percent of Facebook mobile users in the study check Facebook for news consumption.

As Facebook noted in its most recent quarterly earnings call, the company continues to grow in terms of mobile and mobile-only users. The Quantcast study discovered that Facebook has a higher percentage of mobile users (more than 75 percent) than Twitter or Pinterest, but both of those platforms are catching up quickly.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 7.52.57 AMTop image courtesy of Shutterstock.


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