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Updated:’s Impact On News Traffic Is Tiny

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Facebook sends 13 times more clicks to news sites than Twitter in France, according to European internet monitor AT Internet Institute

Twitter accounts for 0.1 percent of referrals to France’s top 12 news websites, whilst Facebook sends 1.3 percent…

For Twitter, that rate is consistent with what Hitwise found in the U.S. in March, when it said Twitter sends 0.14 percent of clicks to news and media sites, making it number 39 on the list of traffic-givers. But Facebook’s impact is less pronounced in France.

In May, Facebook was the number-seven referral giver to UK newspaper websites, according to the industry’s Newspaper Marketing Agency (see our interactive chart), but Twitter wasn’t even included in the list of 19.

In France, according to AT, Google’s influence is broadly similar to elsewhere – it gives 40.6 percent of referrals to French news sites.

Update: AT Internet has not clarified whether its findings include referrals from off-site services powered by Twitter’s API.

Update: And now AT has confirmed: “Our measures are not based on API and external applications. They are based only on the traffic between the website (Twitter or Facebook) and our customers’ websites.”

UK Newspaper Website Visitors
UK Newspaper Website Visitors

9 Responses to “Updated:’s Impact On News Traffic Is Tiny”

  1. “Twitters impact on news in tiny” !! sounds dramatic. You forgot to say”in France” The headline should have been “Twitters impact on news in France is tiny”

    We must be moving beyond spin surely….

  2. This is total nonsense. If you talk to the leading news sites (certainly in the UK and US), thye will tell you that typically Facebook and Twitter were driving 3 to 6% of page traffic last year, and that was with the undercounting of Twitter traffic (as discussed by discussants above).

    In speaking with a major global news portal last month, they told me that referrals from Facebook (already in the double digit percentage points) were growing at 28% per month; and that from Twitter were growing at 22% per month.

  3. I don’t see any mention of the relative sizes of the Twitter & Facebook audiences in France. Surely, that’s relevant. In the final research was there any analysis of the user sessions? As Neil notes, I think that would be very interesting to understand the value of users form each platform.

  4. I’m sure this is absolutely true. But it is misleading. Firstly we note that from our own clients that Twiiter drives high quality user sessions – long times and high page sessions. It’s not just a numbers game and nor should it be.

    Secondly, Twitter I’m sure averaged out does so far not drive as much traffic as other medium. But like Slashdot back in the day, Digg, Reddit, and many others beside, it has the potential to drive huge volumes – if you have the right content and the right Twitter user discovers it.


  5. Services like will allow for link tracking from each social network. Then traffic can be tracked form each social network & fair conclusions drawn from the data.

    In my case, Twitter provides 10 (ish) times the traffic than Facebook. Which makes sense to me as Twiiter users tend to follow accounts that interest them while Facebook users tend to follow people they know, with ‘fan’ pages cluttering their normal feeds.

    Of course, different things will work in different situations. Best to track activity as accurately as possible to discover what’s best for the company/individual rather than making blanket assumptions.

  6. How do they count Twitter? If it’s from the domain, it will undercount as much comes from clients and uses of the API. More important yet, many — most — of the clicks come through shortners’ redirects. passed 4 billion clicks a month a few months ago, for example.