The New York Times facebook page has over 2,514,411 fans and 51,372 people who are talking about it.
The page is arranged in a timeline format ranging from the 1800s to the present. The first post was changed to the date of Sept. 18, 1851, when The New York Times, called The New-York Daily Times at the time, was founded.
The first post says, “‘We publish today the first issue of the New-York Daily Times, and we intend to issue it every morning (Sundays excepted) for an indefinite number of years to come,’ wrote The Times’s founders, Henry Jarvis Raymond, speaker of the New York State Assembly, and George Jones, an Albany banker, in the inaugural edition. It cost one cent per copy.”
The next few posts discuss the paper’s name change from The New-York Daily Times to The New-York Times in 1857, the first edition of the Sunday edition in 1861 and Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.
Posts from there on range from 1896 to 2012. More current posts link to articles about breaking news stories, feature stories and advice columns. An average of three to four posts are added every day.
A recent link with over 550 likes and 269 comments is an opinion piece titled “How to Live without Irony” by Christy Wampole. Wampole suggests adults should ask themselves, “Do I communicate primarily through inside jokes and pop culture references? What percentage of my speech is meaningful?”
Many of the 269 comments are actually negative and critical. Neither the writer or anyone else from The New York Times responded or defended the criticism.The company boasts the caption, “Welcome to The New York Times on Facebook- a hub for conversation about news and our page. Like our page and connect with Times journalists and readers,” but this is kind of a lie. The reader never really gets to engage with the journalists if they don’t respond to comments made on posts.
Arguably, the lack of response doesn’t mean the company doesn’t know what people are saying, however. It is assumed writers post questions like this to engage with readers and spark their attention. No attention is bad attention, right?
The Facebook page also includes several photos and videos that have accompanied major news stories. Sadly, none of the pictures or videos have drawn extensive attention from fans of the page.
It is hard to know if the Times’ Facebook page does encourage revenue for the news company, but it certainly can’t hurt business-especially when it’s trying to get readers to pay for access inside a 10-story pay wall.