This week’s list of the 20 Facebook Pages that gained the most new fans in the past week shows ongoing trends, according to our PageData analytics service — entertainment Pages continue to get more popular, fast.
The numerous television shows we’ve been seeing are present, along with some popular musicians who have been staples on the list. The growth appears due to Facebook’s recent product changes to Pages, as we’ll explore below. But note that this week, many Pages that were popular before Facebook made significant changes to the product last month, such as Zynga’s Texas Hold’em Poker and Facebook’s Page, are back as well.
Top Gainers This Week
Topping the list is Nike Football, which added almost 574,000 fans to grow to more than 1.1 million with two big jumps over the weekend totaling about 545,000. Nike has been running Facebook social ads with the names of friends who’ve liked the ad and campaigning with some of the world’s most popular football (soccer) athletes. Another possible reason the Page is number 1 this week is that the FIFA World Cup is weeks away.
The Fox shows “Family Guy” and “House” came in at number 2 and number 4, respectively. “Family Guy” added about 550,000 fans to grow to 7.3 million with steady growth and “House” added about 328,000 fans to surpass 6.1 million.
We’ve previously hypothesized that the sudden prominence of TV shows on our list around the time of Facebook’s larger changes to Pages in late April. While we often see random Pages suddenly gain lots of new users, this is usually the result of one-off instances where Facebook consolidates unofficial Pages for a brand with the official Page.
The new changes include Facebook’s decisions to direct all users to match existing profile interests with Pages, starting on April 19. It also changed the nomenclature of Pages from “become a fan” to “like” at the same, an issue we’ve explored elsewhere. The company shortly followed this move with the launch of its social plugins, including the Like button which can allow people to gain access to users, similar to Pages.
The most probable scenario for the ongoing growth of entertainment apps is that because Facebook directed all of its users to convert profile interests into Pages that they like, the most popular profile interests have generated lots of new fans for the corresponding Pages. This helps explain why a range of older shows, like Seinfeld, have also been making the list recently.
Note that although the profile transition tool first rolled out in April, Facebook may have staggered the number of users who got it right away. That would be one explanation for the growth we’ve seen this past week. Another part of the explanation could be that the mass additions to Pages have prompted more interactions between users about the Pages, thereby setting off viral loops of traffic to the Pages that are still happening now.
Zynga’s Texas Hold’em Poker came in third this week, adding almost 363,000 fans to grow to 18.6 million; the Page has seen steady growth during the past week of promoting big pots, its iPhone app and virtual goods like designer poker chips.
A bunch of musicians were also on the list this week. Lady Gaga, currently on a world tour and thus prominent in the media, took fifth place, adding 325,000 fans to reach the 7.5 million mark. Justin Bieber followed, adding 322,400 fans to grow his base to 4.1 million aided by the debut of a new single, nominations for music awards and appearances on popular U.S. television shows.
Further on down the list was Linkin Park in twelfth place, adding about 208,000 fans to grow to 5.2 million as the band promotes its new Apple device game called 8-Bit Rebellion, featuring the band’s songs. Singer Taylor Swift at number 14, adding almost 200,000 fans to grow the Page’s fan base to 4.6 million; she’s on a U.S. tour and has been nominated for awards. Rapper Lil Wayne followed at number 15; he’s currently incarcerated but has taken to Facebook to promote himself, adding almost 198,000 fans to grow to 4.6 million. Finally Metallica added about 181,000 fans to take the number 19 spot on our list with a total following of just under 4 million fans. The band is currently on a world tour.
TV shows made up the bulk of the list.
“Lost,” which aired the season finale/final episode Sunday on ABC, added about 299,000 fans to reach almost 3.9 million and take seventh place.
Other ABC shows on our list this week, “Grey’s Anatomy” at number 8 adding 269,000 fans to grow to 4.3 million, “Scrubs” in eleventh place with 222,500 ew fans and a total of 3.5 million and “Desperate Housewives” with 182,500 more fans and a total of 3 million at number 20 have all shown big growth on our list during the past few months.
“South Park,” has a link to its Facebook Page on the web site but no widgets that we could see; nonetheless the page added 190,000 fans to its new base of 5.3 million to take the number 16 spot. “Los Simpson,” the Spanish version of “The Simpsons” followed at 17, by adding 186,000 fans to grow to 2.6 million.
Next at 18 was “Two and a Half Men,” a CBS show that directly asks visitors to become Facebook fans and includes a Like button on some content; the Page added 182,000 fans to surpass 3 million.
The random Pages on our list this week included the energy drink Red Bull at number 9, adding 251,000 fans to grow to 3.7 million. The company links its active events from its web site to Facebook and there are a few Facebook share functions there, too. Number 10 was Facebook’s Page, adding about 240,000 fans to surpass 9.1 million, much of this growth may be attributable to the incessant talk of privacy issues these days.
Then there was Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at number 13, a Turkish politician recently elected to head the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, who pledged to run against the current prime minister during the next election. Kılıçdaroğlu added 203,000 fans to grow to about 412,000 fans.