The 5 Critical Keys to Making Something Go Viral

Jonathan Albright writing at Medium:

In terms of historical engagement on Facebook, Right Wing News, a page representing a small (Hawkins’ note: We were top 7,000 in the world at one time) news outlet line run by (John Hawkins), basically had no peers in the news industry on Facebook until the final stretch of the 2016 election.

The two red spikes shown to the right of the graph below are the interactions of Fox News’ page. The two spikes were the result of the network’s coverage of the 2016 election results and the presidential inauguration that followed in January. This means that the kind of numbers posted by Right Wing News two years earlier, at a time the platform wasn’t as large (see the series of green peaks to the left of graph) aren’t just good—they’re unbelievable.

…The above graph also shows that for all its liberal-hating fame, Breitbart’s Facebook page has 250 million more interactions to go before it even gets close to the kind of numbers that Right Wing News page had before it was taken down.

From the time of Obama’s 2012 re-election well into the 2016 election of Donald Trump, the pages of up-and-coming, arguably more popular right-wing news media—including Breitbart, Daily Caller, and the Western Journal—did not have anywhere near the kind of engagement that Right Wing News received on Facebook.