Ten Most Popular Stories on Twitter and Facebook in 2014

Traditional Publishers Dominate Twitter's List, Digital Outlets Own Facebook's List

By Published on .

Quizzes like BuzzFeed were popular on Facebook this year.
Quizzes like BuzzFeed were popular on Facebook this year.

If the "Ice Bucket Challenge" and Ferguson protests didn't already show the difference between which articles pop on Facebook versus Twitter, the top social stories of the year make it crystal clear.

The year's top 10 stories on Twitter were news stories -- hard news and soft news, but still news -- whereas the most popular stories on Facebook were almost entirely quizzes, according to data from social content analytics firm NewsWhip.

"It seems to confirm what people would expect about the distinction between Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is more media elite, and Facebook is more entertainment or 'newsertainment' or not even the news part at all," said NewsWhip CEO Paul Quigley. His company's figures also show that what gets traction on Twitter doesn't necessarily do well on Facebook and vice versa.

Another interesting wrinkle is how traditional publishers fared compared to digital outlets. Traditional outlets like Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and MTV dominate Twitter's top 10. But Facebook's top 10 is exclusively digital publishers like LifeBuzz, PlayBuzz and of course BuzzFeed, which also appeared on Twitter's list.

NewsWhip evaluated Facebook popularity as a combination of the likes, comments and shares a story received, whereas Twitter popularity was only a function of how many tweets linked to a story (that's the only stat Twitter currently allows NewsWhip to collect).

Top Stories on Twitter

1. "Premiere: Teen Dreamboat Shawn Mendes Goes the Distance In 'Show Me' Lyric Video"
Publisher: BuzzFeed
Twitter: 157,397 tweets
Facebook: 127 likes; 83 shares; 23 comments

2. "SI Exclusive: LeBron James Explains His Return to Cleveland Cavaliers"
Publisher: Sports Illustrated
Twitter: 143,360 tweets
Facebook: 81,473 likes; 14,772 shares; 28,827 comments

3. "The Secret U.S. Casualties of Iraq's Abandoned Chemical Weapons"
Publisher: The New York Times
Twitter: 95,210 tweets
Facebook: 67,630 likes; 60,003 shares; 52,300 comments

4. "Fifth Harmony Are Battling Justin Bieber for the Best Worldwide Act EMA! (USA! USA!)"
Publisher: MTV
Twitter: 82,033 tweets
Facebook: 1,966 likes; 450 shares; 1,912 comments

5. "Staten Island Man Dies After Cop Puts Him in Choke-Hold"
Publisher: New York Daily News
Twitter: 80,761 tweets
Facebook: 29,736 likes; 21,485 shares; 24,586 comments

6. "Kesha Dyes Hair Green -- Just Like Kylie Jenner and Katy Perry"
Publisher: Hollywood Life
Twitter: 76,589 tweets
Facebook: 34 likes; 14 shares; 9 comments

7. "One Direction Kick Off Where We Are Tour and It Has Us Giving Thanks"
Publisher: MTV
Twitter: 76,092 tweets
Facebook: 89,967 likes; 1,553 shares; 1,085 comments

8. "Best. Ever. TV. Awards 2014: Vote for the Best Couple Now!"
Publisher: E! Online
Twitter: 74,654 tweets
Facebook: 2,542 likes; 2,083 shares; 508 comments

9. "Exclusive Premiere! You Have to Watch Vine Star Shawn Mendes's First Music Video"
Publisher: Teen Vogue
Twitter: 70,734 tweets
Facebook: 517 likes; 330 shares; 94 comments

10. "Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarth Share Nobel Peace Prize"
Publisher: CNN
Twitter: 63,336 tweets
Facebook: 206,207 likes; 16,308 shares; 12,895 comments

Top Stories on Facebook

"He Saved 669 Children During the Holocaust… And He Doesn't Know They're Sitting Next to Him."
Publisher: LifeBuzz
Facebook: 2,956,674 likes; 830,547 shares; 411,961 comments
Twitter: 7,749 tweets

2. "What Animal Are You?"
Publisher: Quizony
Facebook: 899,335 likes; 1,504,726 shares; 1,722,675 comments
Twitter: 6,069 tweets

3. "How Observant Are You?"
Publisher: PlayBuzz
Facebook: 1,088,214 likes; 1,661,369 shares; 1,182,151 comments
Twitter: 10,557 tweets

4. "Can We Guess Your Real Age?"
Publisher: Bitecharge
Facebook: 868,724 likes; 1,388,671 shares; 1,616,309 comments
Twitter: 9,200 tweets

5. "What State Do You Actually Belong In?"
Publisher: BuzzFeed
Facebook: 1,207,692 likes; 872,543 shares; 1,687,804 comments
Twitter: 15,055 tweets

6. "What Color Is Your Aura?"
Publisher: Quiz Social
Facebook: 973,822 likes; 1,594,462 shares; 1,192,239 comments
Twitter: 26,382 tweets

7. "How Old Are You at Heart?"
Publisher: Bitecharge
Facebook: 878,851 likes; 1,436,786 shares; 1,336,083 comments
Twitter: 5,573 tweets

8. "How Old Do You Act?"
Publisher: Bitecharge
Facebook: 829,219 likes; 1,466,176 shares; 1,333,435 comments
Twitter: 8,199 tweets

9. "What Kind of Woman Are You?"
Publisher: Survley
Facebook: 966,874 likes; 1,197,874 shares; 1,060,609 comments
Twitter: 2,667 tweets

10. "How Did You Die in Your Past Life?"
Publisher: PlayBuzz
Facebook: 882,554 likes; 976,371 shares; 1,285,444 comments
Twitter: 10,262 tweets

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