Our Most Popular Stories on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit in 2013

The inner workings of Slate.
Dec. 27 2013 2:27 PM

Slate’s Most Viral Stories of 2013

Check out our most popular stories on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

Slate's most viral stories of 2013.
Kanye West, Kurt Vonnegut, New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad, Black Mirror, the GoldieBlox commercial, and an illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Graphic by Slate: Courtesy of YouTube; Buck Squibb; photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images; AMC; Channel 4; GoldieBlox/YouTube; illustration by Robert Neubecker

Last week I shared the 10 most popular Slate stories from 2013, a list that paints with a broad brush about the stories our readers loved the most. Now it’s time to dig deeper to reveal which pieces were the most popular on our three strongest social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. As you can see from the lists below, there isn’t much overlap, which speaks to how each of the platforms cater to different audiences with different tastes. Four out of the five top stories on Facebook were on topics related to kids or parenting, which indicates how popular the network has become for parents interested in sharing articles on family topics. All of the most popular stories on Twitter had a news peg, which emphasizes how much that audience uses the service to share timely content. You may also notice that our first and second most popular Twitter stories were both published on Sept. 26. Coincidentally, Kanye West and Aaron Paul both happened to tweet popular items we did about each of them on the same day, bringing in monster Twitter traffic. Finally, Redditors showed their wide-ranging and quirky taste while favoring our technology-related coverage.

You also may notice that these lists lean heavily toward stories published in the last three months of the year. Our September redesign gave Slate a responsive design, which makes it much easier to read and share on mobile devices. We have found that social sharing is increasingly driven by mobile users, so our redesign was hugely useful in helping our viral pieces reach new traffic heights. We look forward to bringing you more great stories to share in 2014.

Facebook:

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5. “Families Dealing With Mental Illness Need Support, Too
By Larry M. Lake, Nov. 8

3. “Touching, Unguarded Portraits of Sleeping Parents-to-Be
By Jordan G. Teicher, Sept. 16

2. Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
By Mario Vittone, June 4

 

Twitter:

 

Reddit:

4. “Kurt Vonnegut’s Term Paper Assignment
By The Slate Book Review, Nov. 30.

Katherine Goldstein is the editor of Vanity Fair's website, VF.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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