While Google PageRank is an accurate gauge of authority on the Web, it doesn’t tell us much about how much people ‘Like’ a newspaper. When it comes to ‘Likes’, Facebook is the authority. It took a little (okay, a lot of) trial and error to find the Facebook Pages for each of the Top 25 U.S. newspapers (you’d be surprised how hard some of the top 25 make it to find), but alas here’s the list of the Top 25 U.S. Newspapers ranked by the number of Facebook Friends (‘Likes’) each newspaper has (click the link to visit the newspaper’s, Facebook Page):
- The New York Times – 781,655
- The Wall Street Journal – 140,515
- The Washington Post – 68,152
- The Denver Post – 30,690
- USA Today – 28,332
- The Los Angeles Times – 20,715
- The Chicago Tribune – 19,448
- The Arizona Republic – 18,002
- The New York Post – 8,087
- The San Francisco Chronicle – 8,051
- The New York Daily News – 7,376
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer – 5,996
- The Houston Chronicle – 5,486
- The San Jose Mercury News – 5,417
- The Detroit Free Press – 5,379
- Newsday – 5,092
- St. Petersburg Times – 4,538
- The StarTribune – 3,563
- The Dallas Morning News – 3,498
- The Seattle Times – Seattle Times 3,112
- The San Diego Union-Tribune – 2,822
- Philadelphia Inquirer – 2,100
- The Oregonian – 1,890
- The Chicago Sun-Times – 1,837
- The Oakland Tribune – 1,132
- The Contra Costa Times – 971
- The Tampa Tribune – 625
- The Star-Ledger – 372
Once again, The New York Times demolishes the competition online, with five times the Likes of The Wall Street Journal. On the other end of the scale, it would appear Facebook is a low priority for The Star-Ledger, with only 372 Likes. Of course, this could be an error on my part – they could have a more popular, but harder-to-find Page… but that seems unlikely. At least The Star-Ledger has a vanity URL – that shows somebody at the newspaper is paying attention to social media trends. The Detroit Free Press on the other hand was the only newspaper from the top 25 that doesn’t have a vanity URL.
I was pretty surprised to see The Denver Post has more Likes than USA Today, but that’s probably because USA Today is one of the only newspapers to NOT have a ‘friend us on Facebook’ option on its homepage.
On this point, I was happy to see that most of the Top 25 have integrated social media into their homepages (again, surprised there’s not much on the USA Today homepage – but there is on the interior pages). Most newspapers have a link to Twitter or Facebook from the homepage, with many integrating several of Facebook’s tools into their website, giving users the ability to Like content or sign in with their Facebook accounts.
Overall, it seems like newspapers have been slower to adopt Facebook when compared to Twitter. When it comes to Twitter, the Top 25 excel. Learn more about how top U.S. newspapers stack up when ranked by Twitter followers in our next post.