I used to love reading news from my Facebook account via social readers. But for some reason, I find the process too intrusive and a little annoying. But nevertheless, I still use them. But a post on BuzzFeed today is suggesting that the number of social readers from publications as diverse as The Washington Post to The Guardian is collapsing.
The Washington Post for example, the first publication to experiment with a “friction-less” social reader app last year, which grew its social reader to nearly 18 million users last month, has subsequently seen that number dwindle 9.2 million today, according to AppData.com.
Furthermore, the social reader has been getting more than 4 million daily users as of the second week of April, but ended up near zero for most of the rest of the month and is currently at 220,000 daily. This also happened to other social readers, apparently. The Dailymotion social reader also dropped from 3.5 million in early April to about 670,000 today. The Guardian, which topped out at nearly 6 million monthly average users and was still at 5.5 million last week, has now fallen to 3.9 million monthly average users.
So why is this happening? Are the people tired and annoyed by these social readers? Thankfully, the Washington Post’s engagement producer gave an explanation to the phenomenon. “Social reader ‘collapse’ is b/c of evolving FB modules.
Before: ‘double-double,’ 4-5 stories down in a list, w/ friend icon–drove growth,” the producer responded via a tweet. To the relief of the aforementioned publications, apparently the reason for the decline has got to do with Facebook’s “Trending Articles” feature, which promotes and minimizes social reader stories in one place in the timeline.