Facebook has revealed the 20 articles that have been shared the most by UK users this year.

The social network selected major media outlets in the UK and ranked articles that received the most clicks from Facebook after being posted, liked or shared by friends. These follow on from the top status update trends that were released this week.

The BBC is a clear winner, with 11 articles in the list. The Guardian has the third most popular article, and was yesterday used an an example of best practice by Joanna Shields, VP and marketing director at Facebook.

The Guardian’s Facebook app, which has achieved 4m downloads since launching in September, extends the reach of content by publishing links to people’s newsfeed when they read an article.

Facebook noted this while launching the list below, saying that when integrated with the social network, any news site can become a personalised social recommendations engine.

Media companies have long been early adopters of Facebook Platform tools, including the Like button, Facebook Login, Comments Box, and most recently, the Open Graph, to drive traffic to their sites, engage readers and attract new audiences. 

Facebook also announced a new ‘Subscribe’ plugin yesterday, which allows users to click one button to receive a journalist’s updates within their newsfeed on the social network.

The top 20 list is as follows:

  1. BBC: The World at Seven Billion
  2. The Sun: Tatt-poo for cheating
  3. The Guardian: The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy
  4. BBC: Amy Winehouse: Tributes paid to dead singer
  5. BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo
  6. The Guardian: Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway?
  7. The Guardian: The meaning of 9/11’s most controversial photo
  8. Daily Mail: Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’
  9. BBC: Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg
  10. BBC: ‘Brinicle’ ice finger of death filmed in Antarctic
  11. Daily Mail: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra
  12. The Sun: Frankie Cocozza kicked off X Factor
  13. BBC: Japan earthquake: Footage of moment tsunami hit
  14. BBC: Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama
  15. The Guardian: Osama bin Laden corpse photo is fake
  16. BBC: Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east
  17. BBC: Speed-of-light results under scrutiny at Cern
  18. BBC: Arrest over video of ‘racist rant’ on Croydon to Wimbledon tram
  19. Daily Mail: Loyal to the end: Heart-breaking photo shows Navy SEAL’s devoted dog guarding his coffin
  20. BBC: LIVE: Osama Bin Laden dead

A large percentage of these are multimedia stories; eight of the above contain the word photo, footage or video, hinting at the content within.

Heavyweight publishers like those on the list above have been aware of the power of this type of content for a long time, and making it possible to share a story from every page makes it even more so.

It perhaps would have been more interesting to see the most shared stories from all publishers, and see how many stem from ‘traditional’ publishers versus blogs.

However, what we really see here is that a well-crafted headline and a good story is what really grabs people’s attention – whether its being shared on Facebook or otherwise.