This report highlights how News Feed engagement with both brand-generated and user-generated content changed over the course of 2016. The research presented offers insight into Facebook UGC trends and benchmarks, including average engagements per post, average engagements per user, and average posts per user.
The study was based on an analysis of 25 million user-generated Facebook posts published between January 2016 and December 2016, aggregated from the first-party authentication of 1.2 million Facebook users.
Key takeaways include:
- User engagement in 2016 was lower compared to 2015: There was a 15.14 percent decrease in engagements per post in 2016 compared to 2015. Users also saw a 11.41 percent year over year decrease in total number of engagements on their posts.
- Facebook users posted less original content in 2016: Year over year, there was a 29.49 percent decrease in posts per user.
- Facebook reversed seven declining months of News Feed engagement: Facebook’s 2016 algorithm changes, which focused on prioritizing both video content and content shared by users, reversed sevent consecutive months of declining News Feed engagement, which occurred between September 2015 and March 2016.
- User-generated posts drove higher engagement than brand-generated posts: User-generated content featuring a brand drove 6.9x higher engagement than brand-generated content.
- Average engagement per post was significantly higher for more influential users: Analysis shows a clear correlation between a user’s influence and the average engagement that user saw per post. On average, the earned engagement rate for users in the 75th influencer percentile was 3.5x higher.