in Data & Insights

How important is Facebook for content discovery? It’s now 24% of mobile referrals.

For a report on how mobile has transformed content discovery, we found Facebook was responsible for 24% of mobile referrals to top news and entertainment publishers. Not only has Facebook taken a central role in how consumers are finding news and entertainment content, but social media as a category has overtaken search as the largest mobile referral source for these publishers.

We looked at referral sources for the top 250 publishers using Quantcast Measure over the past year and found Facebook generates more mobile referrals to news and entertainment publishers than all other social media sources combined. While Twitter makes a strong showing, Google Plus is notably absent.

Facebook is showing us where to find content on mobile, and it’s also providing the platform to consume that content; Facebook’s in-app browser is now the leading third-party browser on iOS. For a recent re/code article, we found that in-app browsing is responsible for 24% of iOS pageviews. The Facebook app was responsible for half of that figure, or 12% of all iOS browsing. That’s three times the pageviews of the next-largest browser, Chrome for iOS.

Largely because of Facebook’s growth as a content aggregator on mobile, social media has surpassed search as the leading source of mobile referrals to news and entertainment publishers. Recent efforts from Facebook, including Paper and FB Newswire, demonstrate Facebook’s commitment to maintaining that lead. When Google Reader was shut down last year, many users were left wondering where they would turn for their daily news fix. Google may have hoped it would be Google Plus. Unfortunately for Google, the answer appears to be Facebook.

This blog post contains data from a report about how mobile has transformed content discovery. Get the full report here.

Posted by Art Prateepvanich, Head of Product Marketing, Publisher Solutions, and Michael Kamprath, VP of Engineering