NPR leaving OnlyKlans: six months on, they barely felt a thing

How interesting to read in Nieman Reports that six months on, NPR has barely felt a thing after leaving OnlyKlans, the site formerly known as Twitter.

NPR told its staff that its traffic has dropped by ‘a single percentage point’, according to Nieman Reports, and before that, traffic from OnlyKlans made up less than two per cent of traffic.

In other words, OnlyKlans, MySpaceX, whatever you want to call it, wasn’t worth the effort.

It’s why we automated the Lucire headline feed to post there in the 2010s, but after the constant dramas and its proprietor’s efforts to turn it into a Nazi bar, we couldn’t see the point of having our brand name next to theirs in a search engine. We left.

Also in the report (original links):

These strategies move publishers further away from seeing social media as a source of clicks. This could be a risky pivot away from traffic sources, given that NPR and many member stations have laid off staff or made other cuts due to declining revenues. But the social media clickthrough audience has never been guaranteed; a Facebook algorithm change this year also tanked traffic to news sites. Instead, recognizing that social media is not a key to clicks seems like a correction to years of chasing traffic through outside platforms.

There were signs of social media’s waning importance before the Twitter sale as well as predictions that the era of social media-driven news is coming to an end. But changes to X in the last year have only accelerated these trends, underlining that social media is less rewarding to publishers and less fun for users than it used to be.

NPR also noticed more spam replies ‘starting to overpower meaningful feedback and conversation from audiences.’

I’m not surprised. These were the reactions to one of the last posts on Lucire’s OnlyKlans account:
Spammers like a post on Instagram

Starting to look like Instagram, where you get bot-spam replies every time you post.

I said years ago that the best place to post something was your own domain, that these sites can rob you of traffic. I think it was 2010 when I stopped our RSS feed going to Facebook. But admittedly, we kept the headline postings going, and in the case of this blog, there has been a noticeable impact—more than a single per cent—when I stopped the feed going to OnlyKlans.

However, it’s nice to see NPR’s experience, and Lucire’s audience has dropped by a tiny amount, too. That makes sense: both sites are where people might go because of the strength of their brands. Me posting to my blog, not so much—that relies on folks seeing a blog headline that might pique their interest somewhere else.

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