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Facebook users averaged far fewer original posts in 2016 than they did the year prior, according to a Mavrck analysis [download page]. While the trends identified in the report point to a general decrease in earned engagements, the study also demonstrated the continuing power of word-of-mouth.

The report is based on an analysis of more than 25 million user-generated Facebook posts published from users’ personal Facebook pages during 2016, aggregated from the networks of 1.2M+ Facebook users authenticated via first party opt-in through the Mavrck platform.

Here are some important takeaways from the report:

  • The number of original posts per user fell by almost 30%. This suggests that Facebook users were less active on the platform last year. Original content generated by users ranged from a monthly high of almost 54 in March to a low of under 18 in July.
  • The number of user engagements per post dropped by more than 15%. Another indicator of slowing engagement, the report found that average engagements per post, while increasing throughout the year, were nonetheless lower than in 2015. The declines were particularly acute for per-post comments (-37.5%) and shares (-27.8%).
  • User-generated branded content performed 6.9 times better than brand-generated content. In another nod to the influence held by word-of-mouth, the analysis revealed that user-generated content containing a brand had 6.9 times more engagement than brand-generated content.

The full study is available for download here.

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