Driving Traffic To Articles Through Facebook Messenger

Matt Karolian
2 min readApr 20, 2017


For the past month the Audience Engagement team at The Boston Globe has been experimenting with sending news alerts via Facebook Messenger.

Delivering alerts via Messenger allows us to push messages directly to the lock screen of a notification subscriber. When the user opens the message, they are prompted to visit Globe.com and read more…

Visiting Globe.com from an alert

If an alert subscriber happens to be on Facebook.com using their desktop computer, they’ll also see a notification from The Boston Globe in their Messenger window.

Desktop notification

While it is still early days, we have some data to share on Messenger is performing. The graph below shows average CTR from all posts on these three platforms from the last 30 days…

Based on past 30 days

Messenger alerts are absolutely killing Facebook and Twitter posts in terms of click through rate.

This comparison is not quite apples to apples as there are many posts we make everyday to our Facebook and Twitter pages that would not merit a push notification.

To help level the playing field, I sampled three breaking news events and graphed out the CTR results….

Messenger wins again in a huge way.

Final thoughts…

I have a couple of theories on why Messenger is performing so much better than Facebook and Twitter posts, but I need to dig through more data before I start shouting about it on Medium.

Have you tried using Messenger for alerts? Are you seeing similar results? Let me know! -> Matt.Karolian@globe.com



Matt Karolian

2018 Nieman Fellow @ Harvard. I make things happen on the internet for The Boston Globe & Boston.com