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These publications have the most to lose from Facebook’s new algorithm changes

Those that get the biggest chunk of traffic from Facebook will be hurt most.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook’s new algorithm changes are probably going to be painful for publishers, especially those that still get a large chunk of their traffic from the social giant.

It’s now showing users more posts from their friends and family in News Feed, a change that means users will likely see less from publishers and brands.

In general, publishers have seen Facebook traffic to their websites decline for more than a year, thanks to Facebook’s previous algorithm tweaks as well as moves by publishers themselves to be less reliant on the social media company.

However, a number of publications still get a sizable share of their desktop web traffic in the U.S. from Facebook, according to data from web measurement firm SimilarWeb. (The data doesn’t include mobile device traffic, whose origins are harder to measure, though SimilarWeb says that there isn’t a serious difference between the Facebook traffic share on mobile and desktop.)

Facebook’s decision to show fewer posts from news organizations, and prioritize “trustworthy” news sources based on what Facebook users determined to be trustworthy in a two-question survey, could affect these publishers the most:

News and entertainment site had the highest share of its seven million desktop visits in December from Facebook — 35 percent — out of any major publisher. Topix, which now pays Facebook for traffic, had previously been burned by changes to Google’s algorithm.

About 30 percent of Bustle’s 10.8 million desktop visits came from Facebook, about the same share as a year earlier, though its overall traffic declined in that time, according to SimilarWeb. Some 19 percent of Vice’s 12 million desktop visits came from Facebook in December. That share decreased from about 40 percent at the beginning of 2017, when its monthly visits were 15.8 million.

There’s another tranche of publishers that were hoping to monetize their content and videos directly on Facebook. Those publishers will also likely suffer as Facebook moves away from commercial content in its feed, but this data doesn’t address that.

For most publications, their Facebook traffic already represents a decline from a year ago. Note that this data is for desktop traffic from Facebook, so the declines could also be part of a general move away from reading on desktop.

Here are some publishers that have already had the biggest traffic losses — and in some rare cases, gains — from Facebook in the last year:

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