Facebook traffic drops, but not all regions have been affected

Chartbeat customers often ask about global referrer trends, to help put their own data into context. In recent weeks, several of our partners have reported seeing a notable drop in the traffic they receive from Facebook, and wondered: Is Facebook traffic really down, or is it just us?

To answer those questions, we analyzed network-wide traffic from sites in more than 70 countries, aggregated to a regional level. While Facebook traffic can fluctuate from week to week, the data shows a downward trend that began in early May. 

Global Facebook traffic has declined significantly

Since the beginning of May 2021, total traffic driven by Facebook to sites in our network has declined steadily week over week, dropping by more than 18% over a six-week period. As a proportion of overall traffic, the pattern looks less severe. In the first week of May, the social platform accounted for about 8% of global traffic, and dropped to 7.3% by mid June.

Global Facebook Referral Data in Pageviews

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North America saw the largest declines in Facebook referrals

As the graph below shows, certain regions were more affected by the global trend than others. Facebook traffic in North America dropped from an average of 57.6 million daily pageviews in the first week of May to an average of  45.4 million daily pageviews in recent weeks. European and Middle Eastern sites, on the other hand, saw almost no decline over the same period. 

Regional Facebook Referral Data in Pageviews

In Latin America and Asia Pacific, the decline in traffic was steady, but less pronounced than the pattern seen in North America.

Interested in seeing more global traffic and engagement data? Join us for webinar July 28 for a deep dive into trends from the first half of 2021. Register here.

Key takeaways from the data

A few key takeaways from our latest analysis:

  1. Global traffic from Facebook declined from May to mid June at a faster rate than overall traffic in our network.
  2. North American sites were particularly affected, seeing a 21% drop in pageviews.
  3. Traffic in Europe and the Middle East was relatively stable. 
  4. Social media teams can use data to experiment with tactics and find new ways to capture audience attention.

Read more: Decoding Facebook data to understand engagement, loyalty

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