Dispatches from the living amongst journalism's walking dead

Are Facebook’s Social Reader Apps on the Decline – and Why?

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind of conversation between journalism thinkers over a reportedly huge drop in users for many news leaders’ Facebook social sharing apps in the month of April.

Some tech watchers and news app experts blame this drop in users’ fatigue with the “frictionless sharing” these apps encourage on Facebook – thus telling all your friends you read that HuffPost article about Kim Kardashian. On the other hand, many of those sites who are running these apps cite a recent rejiggering of how Facebook displays these social sharing results in the newsfeed for the decline.

As I’m still trying to wrap my head around how real these user numbers really are and exactly what could be behind them, all I can offer here is a look at my own ongoing research on the subject. Here’s the best articles dissecting this subject I’ver found so far (in reverse-chronological order). I hope this might help those of you who, like me, are just trying to keep up with What This All Means.



Kick It Old School: Engaging Your Community Through Live Chats


Growing Your Audience: Advice from Bloggers and Readers


  1. Jean Heagy

    I think all of the above is wrong.  I have closed my facebook account.  I love to read the news and comment on it when I feel strongly, but I do not want it plastered all over facebook, and I don’t want facebook making my decisions for me.  Stay tuned.  More people will drop out, watch.  It’s a privacy thing.  Big Brother Zuckerberg.

    • I guess I’m confused about what you think is wrong with the above? Is it that you don’t like the frictionless sharing apps or the post?

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