Amid union recognition walkout, Buzzfeed's social following is stagnating

4 weeks ago by James Mattone in Trends

On Monday, employees of Buzzfeed ($BUZZFEED) walked out in an effort to recognize their employee union months after layoffs at the new media giant made headlines for how they were handled.

And it seems those layoffs may have come at a time where Buzzfeed is losing its social media buzz.

According to data culled from Facebook and Twitter, the main Buzzfeed accounts appeared to have reached a ceiling with followers and likes, as well as a overall downtrend in "Talking About" Count, a metric used to describe the number of unique users who have created a “story” about a page in a seven-day period. Not only did they possibly lose buzz, a change to Facebook's algorithm for removing content drastically impacted the lifetime link shares of Buzzfeed's posts.

In April, Facebook "cleaned up" users' news feeds by instituting a "Click Gap", which was all meant to combat "fake news" and low quality posts. What it also did, unintentionally, burned outlets that relied heavily on social media to get traffic. Right at the end of April, Buzzfeed took this hit on its total URL Share Count.

At the same time as this drastic decrease in total shares, the number of accounts "Talking About" Buzzfeed dipped under a million mentions a day average week-over-week. In comparison, Buzzfeed would normally see more than 2 million daily mentions as recently as 2017. This also comes months after Buzzfeed laid off its National News Desk among other employees who contributed content to the organization.

On Twitter, Buzzfeed's rise in followers has slowed down to a crawl. But granted, this is more indicative of a potential ceiling being hit, given that not many brands can tout 6.5 million followers.

However, in the context of a slowing share and engagement count on Facebook, this may show the impact of the company's layoffs, and adds another potential reason why the employee union wants to be recognized. Less quality content theoretically means less opporrunity for viewership, and in Buzzfeed's case, it may need to figure out how to re-engage its audience on the platforms that built it up in the first place.

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James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, mainly covering video games, food, and tech news, but not afraid to head into Sephora or beauty brands if need be...

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