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Published September 5th 2015

What Was The Most Shared Digital Newspaper Content From August 2015?

BuzzSumo’s best of August rankings show which digital newspapers got the most attention on social media, which stories performed best, and which top stories performed better on less traditional sites. We also provide insight into the content types, posting and amplification strategies that drive content amplification.

Here’s what we learned:

  • International news dominated social media feeds during August 2015.
  • From the United States, the New York Times and the Washington Post are the most shared digital newspapers.
  • From the United Kingdom, the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Daily Mail top the list.
  • Sharing on Twitter is driven by audience size and reaching an influencer with an engaged audience.
  • There is a correlation between the rank of the newspaper page and the popularity of its content on Facebook
  • Non-traditional news sites like BuzzFeed and Huffington Post have more shares than many traditional digital newspapers

Most Shared Digital Newspapers

The nytimes.com and washingtonpost.com had the most shares for their top 10 articles, followed by three United Kingdom publishers: telegraph.co.uk, theguardian.com and dailymail.co.uk.

To determine which digital newspapers to evaluate, I used research published by the Pew Research Center, listing the top 10 digital newspapers as determined by traffic, then totaled the shares for their top 10 most shared content pieces.


The nytimes.com dominated the field, gaining 1 million more shares for its top 10 articles than its closest competitor, washingtonpost.com.

Sharing on Facebook is the more important than sharing on any other network, as Facebook generates the most shares overall. During August, the top five most shared articles were also the top five most shared on Facebook.

To determine what content formats performed best for nytimes.com on Facebook, I looked at a sample of 14,147 articles they published during August 2015. The results show that articles with headlines that begin with “How” were shared more than other articles, and that most popular length in terms of social shares is long form–3,000 to 10,000 word articles.













By contrast, a sample of 9417 articles published by washingtonpost.com showed that “Why”posts and content of 1,000 to 2,000 words performed best.


For telegraph.co.uk, shorter form content, 1,000 to 2,000 words, also performed better than the other 8,167 articles sampled, except on Twitter, where content of 3,000-10,000 words got the most tweets and retweets. Unlike either of the other most shared digital newspapers, videos were the most popular format for The Telegraph.


Of the top 10 digital newspapers, Nytimes has the strongest presence on Facebook, with a SumoRank of 949.

The most shared news stories published at Digital Newspapers during August 2015 all had an international focus, despite coming from newspapers based in the United Kingdom and the United States.

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