Nov 1, 2021 - Technology

The Facebook attention gap

Social media interactions per article about  Facebook
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Will Chase/Axios. Last week's data as of Oct. 28.

The Facebook Papers and whistleblower accounts were a public relations nightmare for Facebook, but so far, the company's core stakeholders — advertisers, users and investors — seem unfazed.

The big picture: For now, this controversy is mainly of interest to the media and lawmakers.

By the numbers: Interest in Facebook — measured by social media interactions per published article about the company — has declined over the course of the year, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.

  • The "Facebook Papers" haven't produced very big spikes, even temporary ones, in interest about the company. The biggest jumps in engagement on stories about Facebook have come from stories about former President Trump,
  • Google Trends data show a similar decline in Google searches for Facebook over the past year — and the biggest spike in Google searches in over a year happened when Facebook experienced an outage last month.
  • The WSJ's most-engaged story from its Facebook investigations (Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show) ranked 48th in social media interactions among all of the publication's stories since March, according to NewsWhip data.

Between the lines: The company's recent stock declines have mainly been attributed to Apple's crackdown on targeted ads. The public relations drama seems to have played a more minor role.

What to watch: Social and civic groups have called for a nationwide advertising boycott beginning November 10th, but aside from that, there hasn't been major advertiser backlash in response to the whistleblower drama.

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