It Sure Must Sting for TikToks to Be Some of the Most Viewed Links on Facebook

It Sure Must Sting for TikToks to Be Some of the Most Viewed Links on Facebook

Meta's second quarter "Widely Viewed Content" report for 2022 provided a look behind the strange curtain that is stuff shared on Facebook.

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An image of TikTok's logo, which is also reflected at the bottom, is shown.
When TikTok is all over Facebook, it’s gotta burn for Meta.
Photo: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP (Getty Images)

Considering how much pain and havoc the rise of TikTok has caused for Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, finding out that TikTok.com makes up some of the most viewed links and domains on Facebook is just adding salt to the wound. Ouch.

In its newly-released second quarter “Widely Viewed Content Report,” which focuses on U.S. content that appears in users’ feeds, Meta reported that TikTok.com—literally, just the link to the domain itself—accounted for 35.9 million views in users’ feeds. TikTok also made it into Facebook’s most widely viewed domains, where it took the fourth spot, garnering 108 million views.

Meta reported on four types of content in its report: domains, links, Facebook pages, and Facebook posts. Each type of content included a ranked list of the top 20 pieces of content in every category. This might seem like a lot, but the company states that the content in the report only represents 3.04% of what people see in their Facebook feeds. Meta maintains that the most common experience on the platform is for people to users to see posts without links from their friends or from groups they’ve joined.

It should be noted that the company did not include links and domains for Meta-owned domains in some sections, which means it’s unclear whether Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp content made it to the top of these lists. Considering how Instagram blows up my phone at every opportunity, I’d bet lots of precious coffee that Meta is pushing its own content.

As someone who tends to find very strange and corny content on Facebook the few times that I do open it, Meta’s report was fascinating to me. It provided a look behind the weird curtain of content that’s shared on Facebook and reinforced something I had suspected for a while: a good chunk of the content being viewed on Facebook is reposted stuff from somewhere else, yesterday’s tired memes. (I’m not talking about posts from your high school friends or your Aunt Dolores, but rather the videos, media, information, etc.) This was echoed by Technology Review, which also noted that the content on Facebook is very spammy.

There were some bright spots in the report. When it comes to news, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Post, CNN, The New York Times, NPR, ABC, TODAY, and Variety all made it into the top 20 most widely viewed domains. To my chagrin, the Daily Mail beat all of the aforementioned outlets, ranking #4. Hilariously, though, TMZ also made the list at #14, cementing my belief that Americans love to read about celebrities so that they can complain about them later.

However, other parts of the report, such as the most widely viewed Facebook posts, were less inspiring. The most-viewed post was a 2018 clip from Family Feud about a 69 joke, which had 53.2 million views. Bizarre videos making fun of the Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard trial were also on this list, racking up 91.1 million views.

Overall, this hodgepodge of content makes it very difficult to understand what kind of platform Facebook is in the year 2022. Facebook has been trying to be everything for so long, it’s totally unclear what it’s supposed to be used for now. (It’s currently trying to do the same thing to Instagram.) The young folks don’t know. Millions of older ones, it seems, are content to just keep rolling with it for now.

You can check out some of the highlights, the fails, and the WTFs I found in Meta’s report about Facebook up next.

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Bustle Story on the Holes in Friends Star Courteney Cox’s Memory

Bustle Story on the Holes in Friends Star Courteney Cox’s Memory

A screenshot of the Bustle article about Courteney Cox is shown.
Well, it was only a decade of her life.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo / Bustle

“Courteney Cox Doesn’t Remember Filming Friends” ranked #10 in Facebook’s most widely viewed links list, garnering 13 million views.

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Daily Star Story on People Freaked Out About Cleveland Abduction Movie on Netflix

Daily Star Story on People Freaked Out About Cleveland Abduction Movie on Netflix

A screenshot of the Daily Star story about Netflix fans' reacting to the Cleveland Abduction movie is shown.
This is truly horrible and heartbreaking. I would be freaked out and sad, too.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo / Daily Star

“Netflix fans sickened by ‘most disturbing’ film yet as dark scenes show horror kidnap” came in at #11 on Facebook’s most widely viewed links list. It had 13 million views.

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Tucker Carlson Freaks Out Over Disney’s Efforts at Inclusion

Tucker Carlson Freaks Out Over Disney’s Efforts at Inclusion

A screenshot of Tucker Carlson's show with an image that reads "Woke Mickey" in the background.
Please don’t believe what this man says.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

The Fox News host compared Disney’s efforts at inclusion, such as using “everyone” instead of “ladies and gentleman, to that of a sex offender. It was #14 of Facebook’s most widely viewed links with 11.9 million views.

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Will Smith Dominated the Conversation for Weeks. It Showed.

Will Smith Dominated the Conversation for Weeks. It Showed.

A screenshot of the CNN story about Will Smith being banned from going to the Oscars.
The scene after the slap heard round the world.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

It was hard not to talk about Will Smith earlier this year after he slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that people followed news about the incident. News of the Academy banning Smith from the Oscars for 10 years earned the #16 spot on Facebook’s most widely viewed links list. It was viewed 10.9 million times.

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Facebook’s Most Viewed Post: a 69 Joke From Family Feud

Facebook’s Most Viewed Post: a 69 Joke From Family Feud

Host Steve Harvey is shown holding a "Family Feud" cue card.
A video of a “Family Feud” episode from 2018 was Facebook’s most viewed post.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

At 52.3 million views, a 2018 clip of Family Feud was the #1 most viewed Facebook post on the platform during the second quarter.

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Calendar Joke From 2018 Also Makes the Widely Viewed List

Calendar Joke From 2018 Also Makes the Widely Viewed List

A screenshot of a boy standing in front of a "family birthday" calendar which spells "Jason" at the end is shown.
I mean I giggled but I don’t think it’s that funny.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

I guess 2018 was a good year for comedy. This years-old joke racked up 48.5 million views, earning it the #4 spot in Facebook’s most widely viewed posts’ list.

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A Burnt Pie With a Touching Story Reeled Folks In

A Burnt Pie With a Touching Story Reeled Folks In

A burnt pie is shown along with a story about how someone's grandfather ate the pie and told the grandmother he liked it.
I would probably eat the pie, too.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

This is not a good looking pie. Yet, people apparently couldn’t stop looking at it or reading the touching story attached to the photo. The post is #6 on Facebook’s most widely viewed posts’ list. It was viewed 46 million times.

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Fear Mongering Over Giving Russia Access to Your Face

Fear Mongering Over Giving Russia Access to Your Face

A screenshot of a Daily Mail article about the New Profile Pic app is shown.
The Daily Mail stated that the New Profile Pic app was stealing your info and sending it Russia. Snopes couldn’t verify the Russia claim and said the app sucked up as much data as regular apps.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

Remember when folks were freaking out over giving Russian app FaceApp copies of their face? If I read this piece from the Daily Mail, which was viewed 10.7 million times, I would be a bit freaked out, too. However, do not fear. With a bit more research (always a wise thing to do when it comes to tabloids), we found that this app gobbles up just as much data as all other apps. That’s comforting, maybe? Links to Russia were also unverified.

This link ranked #20 on Facebook’s most viewed links’ list.

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Johnny Depp + the Judge = ????

Johnny Depp + the Judge = ????

A screenshot of a laughing Johnny Depp during his trial against ex-wife Amber Heard is shown.
This is a weird video.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

This video clip is weird. I’m not sure what the judge is reacting to. Is it Depp’s maniacal laughter? 45.3 million folks watched this, which earned it the #9 spot of most viewed Facebook posts. I wonder if they were were just as confused as I was.

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The Mona Lisa Got a Face Full of Cake in 2022

The Mona Lisa Got a Face Full of Cake in 2022

A screenshot of a man being pulled away after throwing a cake at the Mona Lisa is shown.
Why the wig, tho? And the rose?
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

Poor Mona. Good thing she has a glass case for protection. This Facebook video post ranked #10 on the list of most viewed posts, bringing in 44.2 million views.

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An Adorable Dog Using the Car Wash Is the Purest Thing on This List

An Adorable Dog Using the Car Wash Is the Purest Thing on This List

A screenshot of a dog getting washed by the big brush used in the car wash is shown.
OK this dog washing himself at the car wash was freaking adorable. Thumbs up.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

This is the only thing I approve of on this list. Adorable baby! You deserved those 42.9 million views and the #11 spot on Facebook’s most viewed posts. However, please don’t let your pets do this! I don’t know if it’s safe for all furry babies.

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