The 10 Most Viral Online News Outlets

We tracked the five most viral articles from 20 different online news outlets in October – here’s who’s generating the most engagement.

Photo by G. Crescoli

Photo by G. Crescoli

Being in the business of news reporting, we’re constantly on the lookout for viral media. Our clients depend on us identifying and alerting them to the crucial headlines and opinions that can shape their reputation and business seemingly overnight.

Today, we’ve used our technology to reveal what news outlets drove the most viral content in October. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten most viral online news outlets, ranked by the average virality of the top five articles.

10. British Broadcasting Corporation

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 103K Shares

Founded in 1922, the BBC is the world’s oldest and largest broadcasting company. If their print and digital media were as prevalent as their broadcast, they’d likely be even higher on this list. Yet as this research shows, they still remain relevant after 100 years.

Most viral article: Las Vegas Shooting: At least 59 dead at Mandalay bay – 10/2/17 – Facebook: 179K Shares Twitter: 2.2K Shares LinkedIn: 642 Shares

9. USA Today

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 129K Shares

Owned by the Gannett Company, USA Today circulates over a million papers a day. It’s among the highest circulated physical newspapers in America. Of course, that fact continually grows less relevant as consumers increasingly read their news on screens.

Most viral article: Armour: The real mockery of national anthem was by Vice President Mike Pence – 10/8/17 – Facebook: 172K Shares Twitter: 4.5K Shares LinkedIn: 81 Shares

8. Newsweek

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 156K Shares

Newsweek, now sitting alongside International Business Times under parent company IBT Media, has endured a somewhat tumultuous decade. Following a steady decline in revenues, Newsweek actually stopped being physically printed in 2013 – but perhaps the temporary digital-only strategy is starting paid off.

Most viral article: President Trump doesn’t know he’s the President of the U.S. Virgin Islands – 10/13/17 – Facebook: 471K Shares Twitter: 2.8K Shares LinkedIn: 281 Shares

7. BuzzFeed

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 205K Shares

Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed is the newest player in this list. BuzzFeed’s entire model is focused around digital media – and anyone who’s been on Facebook long enough is familiar with their viral quizzes and listicles. If we were analyzing the total virality of all published articles instead of the average of the top five articles, you might see them higher on this list.

Most viral article: This real housewife traveled to Puerto Rico with four private planes full of supplies and EMTs – 10/3/17 – Facebook: 299K Shares Twitter: 696 Shares LinkedIn: 69 Shares

6. LA Times

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 213K Shares

Los Angeles’ largest news publisher also happens to be nation’s fourth largest printer – now, as this research shows, it’s the sixth most viral publication in October.

Most viral article: They survived six hours in a pool as a wildfire burned their neighborhood to the ground – 10/12/17 – Facebook: 650K Shares Twitter: 5.3K Shares LinkedIn: 463 Shares

5. National Public Radio

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 230K Shares

NPR, which is privately and publicly funded, is the only non-profit media organization on this list. Like BBC, they are best known for their radio programming – specifically Morning Edition and All Things Considered. All of that makes it more impressive that they’ve reached the top five most viral online news publishers for October.

Most viral article: Tesla turns power back on at Children’s hospital in Puerto Rico – 10/25/17 – Facebook: 499K Shares Twitter: 15K Shares LinkedIn: 17.8K Shares

4. The Washington Post

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 261K Shares

On October 1st, 2013, Jeff Bezos paid a cool $250 million to acquire The Washington Post. It is and always has been among the most influential newspapers in America, especially in politics.

Most viral article: I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise – 10/3/17 – Facebook: 433K Shares Twitter: 27K Shares LinkedIn: 754 Shares

3. NY Times

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 342K Shares

Winning more Pulitzer Prizes than any other media outlet, the New York Times is among the most respected media outlets. With over 2 million digital-only subscribers, it’s an understatement to say “the grey lady” has a formidable influence on the world.

Most viral article: Multiple weapons found in Las Vegas Gunman’s Hotel Room – 10/2/17 – Facebook: 553K Shares Twitter: 16K Shares LinkedIn: 1.4K Shares

2. CNN

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 363K Shares

Owned by Turner Broadcasting Systems, and with heritage that spans 37 years, CNN’s broadcasting extends to over 100 million American households – not to mention the 212 other countries and territories. Needless to say, the network has clout.

Most viral article: First on CNN: first charges filed under Mueller investigation – 10/30/17 – Facebook: 673K Shares Twitter: 60K Shares LinkedIn: 3.6K Shares

1. Yahoo!

Average Virality of Top Five Articles: 424K Shares

While Yahoo! News tops this list, there is an important caveat: they are largely a news aggregator. All five of their most viral articles were reposts of other outlets’ content. Regardless, Yahoo’s ability to identify and route valuable media to its readers makes it a powerful force – and in October, the most viral outlet.

Most viral article: White American men are a bigger domestic terrorist threat than Muslim foreigners – 10/2/17 – Facebook: 511K Shares Twitter: 5 Shares LinkedIn: 0 Shares