It turns out that the biggest provider of stories by far on the world’s biggest social media platform is the world’s oldest news agency, Associated Press.
A study by news analytics company NewsWhip found that the AP – set up in 1846 by a group of New York dailies to provide coverage of the Mexican-American War – is generating almost 35m engagements a month on Facebook, a fact disguised by the agency’s comparative anonymity, masked by the brands of its members and clients in the news industry. This huge number of engagements (likes, comments etc) can’t be matched by any single news publisher, even the phenomenal Mail Online, which currently leads the chasing pack with 27m interactions.
AP operates from 263 bureau locations in 106 countries. It claims that half the world’s population sees its content ever day. These days it is also a consumer-facing news publisher with 14.8m downloads of its news apps and 1.38bn page views of its content last year. It also scored 2.6bn views of its video content, which is of growing importance. AP made 47% of its revenue from television clients last year, and 10% from digital native publishers, with a relatively small 23% coming from its traditional newspaper customer base.