June 15, 2021
desktop Facebook referrals declining

Media Sites’ Desktop Facebook Referrals Declining

Media sites’ desktop Facebook referrals are declining for popular publishing platforms such as Yahoo, Gannett and NBC Universal as mobile continues to rise…

Top media sites’ desktop Facebook referrals are declining to popular web destinations such as Yahoo, Fox Entertainment Group, NBC Universal, and Gannett — the publisher of USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, and The Des Moines Register — according to eMarketer.com.

These and other media outlets experienced a decrease in desktop Facebook referrals during Q2 2016, compared to Q1 2016. The decline, however, isn’t surprising. Mobile devices account for a larger percentage of web browsing than desktop, a statistic which first materialized in late 2014. 

Media Sites’ Desktop Facebook Referrals Declining

In the latest figures available, approximately 86 percent of all Facebook users will access the social site via mobile device by the year’s end. Moreover, it’s statistically expected by 2020, just over 9 out of 10 Facebook users will access the social network via mobile. Consumer trends strongly indicate a steady shift away from desktop use for social media. Among the biggest losses were publishers Yahoo, Time Warner, and Gannett — all entities who rank in the top 10 in terms of total site visits.

desktop Facebook referrals declining chart
Credit: eMarketer.com

For example, desktop Facebook traffic to Yahoo fell by 45 percent in Q2 2016, compared to the previous quarter. Time Warner also experienced a desktop Facebook referral traffic decline of 36 percent in Q2 2016, compared to in Q1 2016.

However, not all top publishers lost desktop Facebook referrals. The Drudge Report recorded an increase of 50 percent in traffic referrals from the world’s largest social media network. In addition, internet search giant Google experienced an increase of referral traffic from Facebook of 67 percent in Q2, a steep rise from the first quarter of the 2016 year.

This year alone, 80.2 percent of all internet users worldwide will use a mobile device to access social media sites. Although, consumer preference to access the web via mobile isn’t the only factor causing desktop Facebook referral decline. In June, the social media site announced it would de-emphasize digital publisher content in favor of family and friend updates.

What’s more, businesses utilizing content marketing must deal with constant changes. At the end of June, Facebook suspended Domain Insights for new publishers. A recent Reuters Institute survey reveals 44 percent of all internet users globally accessed new content on the social network at least once in the past week.

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Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.          

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