Mobile Traffic To News Sites Dropped 8.5% During Facebook Outage
Facebook’s brief outage Friday was annoying to many, including apparently the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, but it was useful for people interested in the social network’s impact on web traffic. Chartbeat, which provides real-time analytics for web publishers, found that overall traffic on news sites fell 3% during the outage, which started at about noon […]
Chartbeat, which provides real-time analytics for web publishers, found that overall traffic on news sites fell 3% during the outage, which started at about noon Eastern time and lasted less than an hour. Entrances to news sites from mobile devices fell 8.5% during the downtime, according to Chartbeat, re-confirming Facebook’s major role in driving mobile traffic to online publishers.
Interestingly, however, Chartbeat noted “a 3.5% overall increase in desktop traffic after the beginning of the outage. That increase was largely fueled by a 9% increase in homepage direct traffic on sites with loyal homepage followings. We saw no increases in traffic via other referrers, including Twitter and Google News, during the outage. While we certainly can’t claim that the outage was the cause of that uptick in desktop traffic, the timing is certainly notable.”
In short, then: our brief world without Facebook looked a bit different, albeit in predictable ways. Significantly less news was consumed on phones, slightly more homepages were visited on desktops, and 30 minutes later, when Facebook came back online, traffic returned to normal.
Read more analysis about the outage on the Chartbeat blog.