Which publications are read where? A collaboration between Forbes and Bitly analysed millions of clicks on Bitly shortened links shared on the Web to explore which news sources are read where across the US.
Bitly is a website which shortens URLs, making it easier to share them on the Web. It is widely used on Twitter for example, where saving space is crucial to get the most out of 140 characters. Bitly provides also tools to track links: by adding a + at the end of a link, it’s possible to see how many times the link was clicked on, Bitly explains.
The data collected for Forbes have been aggregated to form an interactive map showing America’s most influential news outlets.
As Forbes’ Jon Bruner explains, Bitly’s dataset consists of every click on every Bitly link on the Web mainly shared on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. For Forbes – Bitly said – they investigated how people consume news by looking at how people in different states differ in their preference for news sites.
The map uses different colours to display the dominant news source in each state. Clicking on the source allows users to see a heat map that shows where its links are particularly popular and then by clicking on a headline it is possible to see the article stats showing where in particular that story did well, the article explains.
Some results are quite obvious, like the Los Angeles Times being dominant in California and the Chicago Tribune in Illinois. The data although pointed out also that, while some national news publishers are widely read across the country, like the New York Times, others such as the Washington Post are confined in a more restricted diffusion despite national aspirations.
The map is intended to be a regular feature on Forbes: an updating will be published at the beginning of each month, the magazine announced.