Reality check: No, Upworthy’s traffic didn’t get crushed by Facebook’s algorithm change


A week or so ago, Business Insider had a post about how a recent change to Facebook’s (s fb) newsfeed algorithm had « crushed » traffic to Upworthy, the viral-news site that relies on social platforms for much of its audience, with a chart showing a sharp decline in unique visitors to the site. The post itself went viral, perhaps in part because critics of Upworthy were eager to see it fail.

The chart that Business Insider used, which came from the Quantcast traffic-measuring firm, seemed pretty conclusive: it showed that Upworthy reached more than 80 million unique visitors in the month of November, and then its reach dropped dramatically — to the point where it reached less than 60 million in the first part of January, for a decline of about 40 percent.


This seemed like a fairly obvious sign that Facebook’s algorithm change — which the social network has…

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