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30 July 2020

Report: Facebook Downgrades Local News With New Ranking Changes

Local news publishers have experienced a drop in Facebook interactions of nearly a quarter in just a week after the platform introduced changes to its ranking system, according to new analysis.  

Behind Local News reported that early data analysis suggests the number of interactions local publishers receive on posts on their Facebook pages have fallen 22 per cent after Facebook introduced changes to its news ranking system.

Using Crowdtangle, Behind Local News looked at the pages runs by the country’s largest regional news brands.

Collectively, content posted by the regional press in the UK generated 17.2 million interactions last week, compared to 19.9 million the previous week. (week commencing July 13) and 20.8 million for the week commencing  6 July.

In June, the average weekly interaction rate was 25.2 million, with 108.9 million interactions overall.

“Facebook has unveiled arguably its most significant ranking change for local journalism since its controversial decision to reduce the amount of news it would share by 20 per cent back at the start of 2018,” Behind Local News reported.

“And while the new focus on ‘original news content’ is unlikely to have anything like the same impact on local news publishers as Facebook’s previous big change, early evidence suggests different sorts of stories will find favour with Facebook’s magic black box in the future.”