Facebook sends news sites more traffic than Twitter, revised study shows

Survey results that initially showed Twitter driving more traffic to news sites than Facebook were incorrect, the company behind the study says.

Outbrain issued revised results last week that show Facebook actually drives about seven times more visitors to news articles than Twitter.

The new results also show that links from other content sites account for 46 percent of referrals, followed by search at 40 percent and social networks at 14 percent. The initial results had the same order, but with a bigger margin between content sites and the others.

It’s unclear what caused the errors in the initial results, but an Outbrain employee said the company ran the numbers again and found some mistakes.

The data was pulled for the second quarter of 2011 from publishers that work with Outbrain to provide recommended links to their readers, including The New York Times Media Group, The Atlantic, msnbc.com, The New York Post, AllThingsD and Mashable.

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  • http://twitter.com/marcushurst Marcus Hurst

    I run a popular blog and the figure for us is about 3 to 1, Facebook vs Twitter. This is in spite of the fact that we have more followers on Twitter than likes on Facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/philip.tortora Philip Tortora

    As an online editor, I have found Facebook to usually drive 20 times more traffic than Twitter each month, if not more. I’m not sure what kind of study could have come up results indicating Twitter drives more. In fact, they’re not even close or in the same ballpark.

    - Phil Tortora

  • http://blog.bradrourke.com Brad Rourke

    I basically use Twitter like a newsreader. USed to use it much more actively but FB is a better platform for interaction (imho).I do question whether continued Twitter use is necessary though, or just comfortable. (That is, would I find same info if I did not have it.) My hunch is the latter. ~B

  • http://www.wordpress.correlations.com corecorina

    So Outbrain… you made a HUGE error, won’t explain what the problem was, but expect us to trust your new Data because you say you got it right this time? #FAIL

  • http://manjamedia.com Mandy Jenkins

    On one hand, I agree with you, Brad, that maybe we shouldn’t spend as much time on Twitter….but…..I wonder how much it drives non-Twitter traffic?

    How often are other content providers finding out new content on other sites via Twitter and, thus, driving their links to it? I know that’s how I find new content on other sites. 

  • http://blog.bradrourke.com Brad Rourke

    Important piece of information. My gut feeling is that for most content creators (esp. journos), the time spent on Twitter outweighs that on Facebook. Yet these data suggest the opposite should be the case. Nice reminder to check our biases at the door and rely on data when we decide “what works” and what doesn’t.

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    Interesting info!
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