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    Posted on Mar 7, 2014

    If Newspaper Front Pages Were Determined By Social Sharing

    Social news start-up Newswhip imagines how newspapers would look if their front pages featured stories that had been shared most on their respective websites, as opposed to being determined by the Editor. In each case the original front page is on the left, and the “people powered” one on the right.


    Yesterday's Daily Mirror splashed on a greedy banker story. Online, readers were more interested in the story of a teenage suicide (2,699 shares).


    It's easy to see why the story on the right (7.4k shares) grabbed people's attention. Free from the space constraints of print, the headline can be more wordy, natural and conversational.


    In print, yesterday's Independent led with a positive story on immigration. Online, this article about Vince Cable enraging teachers - which hardly screams "viral hit" at first glance - was their biggest story of the day, with 9000 shares.


    Had it been determined by shares alone, the March 5 edition of The Daily Mail would have been led not by a Whitehall scandal, but by this health scare story (3,347 shares).


    Here's a surprise: in terms of shares, The Guardian and Mail Online had the same top story on March 5. Both sets of readers went crazy for the "protein could be as harmful as smoking" story. And yet the editors of the print editions in each case led with something else. At the Guardian, the international crisis over Ukraine was the splash.


    It's hard to imagine the word "selfie" ever appearing on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, but the publication's online readers lapped up this fighter pilot selfie story (10k shares). A further sign that readers love health-related scare stories: this article about the supposed dangers of sugar was both widely shared online, and selected for the front page of the print edition.

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