Facebook says short posts have the most views while hate speech drops on platform
The third quarter transparency reports give us more insight into the platform, but it’s unclear whether the company’s wide-ranging efforts to restore its reputation will have the desired effect.
On Tuesday, Facebook published its Q3 2021 transparency reports, including reports on its most widely viewed content and community standards enforcement. The Widely Viewed Content Report shows a clear pattern in the top 20 most viewed posts and the Community Standards Enforcement Report shows that the prevalence of hate speech on Facebook has decreased for the fourth consecutive quarter.
The top 20 most widely viewed posts. As was the case in Q2, when Facebook published the first edition of its Widely Viewed Content Report, the top 20 posts cumulatively accounted for about 0.1% of all U.S. content views. “Our goal is to be transparent about our most viewed content, and to shed light on the fact that while an individual piece of content might be viewed by a very large number of people, Facebook is so large that the content will only represent a small fraction of total views in News Feed in the US that quarter,” the company said, “In short, it is not very common for different people to see the same content in their News Feeds.”
That having been said, the top 20 posts all contained a background or image with text and seem to be designed to solicit reactions from users. They also seem to lend themselves to short comments and tagging other users. Notably, eight of the top 20 posts were from a page called Thinkarete lifestyle.
Hate speech is down quarter-over-quarter. In Q3, there were three views of hate speech for every 10,000 content views, according to the report.
On Instagram, that figure was slightly lower with users viewing hate speech two times per 10,000 content views (0.02%); this is the first time the company is reporting this metric for Instagram, so there is no historical data available to compare it to.
Why we care. Knowing the types of content that garner the most views can be useful for your social media campaigns, but marketers should still prioritize the types of content that most resonate with their target audience. And, the trend of decreasing hate speech on Facebook may make brands feel safer about maintaining a presence on the platform.
These transparency reports are part of Facebook’s larger effort to restore its reputation, which includes its rebranding as “Meta.” The platform has faced years of criticism over its handling of misinformation and hate speech, and teenage users of the Facebook app are projected to decrease by 45% over the next two years, which may impact its future revenue and reach for advertisers. Only time will tell if all these efforts will revitalize the platform and increase its value for marketers.