The Numbers Crunch: JPost, Facebook and Jews

Also this week: Iran stories flood the Top 5; Caroline Glick gets readers talking; US readers follow Syria.

February 17, 2012 11:44
4 minute read.
The Numbers Crunch

Numbers Crunch 311. (photo credit: Mrkay Design)


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The Jerusalem Post’s Facebook page marked a milestone this week – passing 11,000 “Likes.” In honor of the occasion, The Numbers Crunch took a look at who these 11,000 people are, compared with readers on the site. Data showed that users who “Like” the Post on Facebook come from similar places to readers on

Facebook fans by country:

1. US
2. Israel
3. Canada
4. UK
5. Germany
6. Australia
7. France
8. Brazil
9. Italy
10. The Netherlands

JPost readers by country:

1. US
2. Israel
3. Canada
4. UK
5. Australia
6. Germany
7. The Netherlands
8. France
9. Sweden
10. Brazil

From there, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to the next list: Countries by Jewish population. Once we allow for the level of English engagement in each country, the three lists largely correspond. Obviously we can’t track religion or culture (or indeed political views) via IP address, but the data seem to indicate that the majority of both the Post’s readership and its Facebook fan base are Jewish.

Like on, as The Numbers Crunch has reported previously, Tel Aviv is overwhelmingly the top city among JPost Facebook fans. Coming in at second place, however, is the capital Jerusalem, whereas for the, New York is the second city by readership.

Countries by Jewish population:

1. Israel
2. US
3. France
4. Canada
5. UK
6. Argentina
7. Russia
8. Germany
9. Australia
10. Brazil

The gender split among Facebook fans is 41 percent female to 59% male, and not surprisingly most are between the ages of 18 and 59. What was less expected was that the 25-34, 34-44 and 45-54 age ranges are all similarly represented.

Moving over to mainstream media, Post readers, Israelis and US readers alike, were following news regarding Iran this week, though not necessarily news directly from Iran.

As three blasts went off around the world which apparently targeted Israelis and were backed by Iran, tensions between Jerusalem and Tehran over the latter’s nuclear program ranked as the fourth-most interesting news story in the US. The Pew Research Center found that some 25% of Americans said that they were following the story “very closely,” while 9% said it was the top story of the week. Stories on the dispute, however, made up only 2% of overall news coverage.

Staying in the region, the PRC found that 17% of US readers were following ongoing violence in Syria “very closely,” and for 5% it was the most important story of the week. Stories on the clashes made up 10% of the news hole, according to the round-up.

The US presidential campaign, by way of comparison, made up 25% of news interest and 22% of coverage.

For JPost readers, the race to the White House held less importance this week, with readers trends showing a strong pull towards the region. Four of the five top stories related to the Iranian nuclear threat, while the fifth reported on a hit on a senior Syrian figure.

JPost Top Five most-read stories:

1. Report: Israel aiding terror group to kill Iran scientists
2. Report: Gunmen kill senior Syrian military official
3. Iran says Israel attacked its own embassies
4. Khamenei: ‘Iran must attack Israel by 2014’
5. Ahmadinejad: ‘World will witness Iranian nuclear progress’

Over on the talkback forums it was a similar situation, though the topics were slightly broader; users posted comments on a JPost exclusive on an upcoming NATO op, Iran, and the Israel-Palestinian peace process. And as is often the case, Caroline Glick’s Column One also got readers going.

JPost Top Five most-active threads:

1. Turks torpedo Israel Navy participation in NATO op
2. Iran says Israel attacked its own embassies
3. Netanyahu: PA chose terror over peace
4. Iran: Any of Israel’s enemies may be behind attacks
5. Column One: The Fatah-Hamas peace process

Last up, some Israeli social media stats from social media statistics site socialbakers:

• Total Israeli Facebook users: 3,430,260
• Which makes the penetration of population 46.64%
• Israel ranks in 44th place on the list of country by Facebook users

From news sites to blogs, tweets to videos, The Numbers Crunch is a weekly column which zooms out and brings you the big picture online, from Israel, the Middle East and around the world, and poll results from

The writer is the Internet desk manager at The Jerusalem Post

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