More than half of the most popular New York Times stories on Facebook published in 2014 and 2015 are about Indian pop culture and politics, says a new report published by data analysis website Priceonomics.
The website, which used a publicly available dataset, analysed the number of shares and likes for almost 33,000 New York Times Facebook posts published since March 2009 and found that articles about Narendra Modi and Salman Khan were as popular as those about Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and television show American Horror Story.
Six out of 10 NYT articles published on Facebook were about India, with more than a million median Likes and Shares between them.
The reason? India has the second highest number of Facebook users in the world, outranked only by the United States. Facebook had 118 million monthly active users in India at the end of 2014 versus 208 million users at the same time in the North American market (United States and Canada).
When more users Like or Share a Facebook post, the greater the likelihood that it will show up on their friends' walls, which means that these Times posts about India got some serious traction among Indian users who have Liked the New York Times' official Facebook page.
Facebook has emerged as one of the top sources of traffic for news sites in the last few years. The social network is responsible for as much as 20% of the traffic coming to some news websites.