When it comes to sharing content and information, Facebook continues to lead the pack of social sharing networks, accounting for over 80 percent of all shares (an increase of 8.2 percent) according to the “Q4 2014 Consumer Sharing Report” from ShareThis, a web content application and sharing service.
The study also found that both Pinterest and Twitter experienced overall declines in activity, registering at only 7 (-0.3) and 6 percent (-3.0%) respectively. Additionally, Facebook activity on mobile devices also increased, rising 51 percent from last year to capture 85 percent of social sharing activity. However, the study does identify Facebook as a “fundamental channel” in that its presence is felt in all groups, while Pinterest and Twitter are considered “niche” platforms.
Data from nine content categories (Art and Entertainment, Beauty and Fitness, Finance, Food and Drink, Health, News, Science, Shopping, and Sports) was gathered and analyzed by platform. Within the respective shares of each platform:
- Pinterest’s sharing difference was strongest in Beauty and Fitness (190%) and Food and Drink (185%), with Twitter’s shares below average in these categories at -29 percent and -19 percent, respectively.
- Twitter was strongest in Sports sharing, registering 157 percent above average, as well as in News and Finance with a 21 percent gain in each. It also led Science shares at 17 percent above average.
- Sharing activity on Facebook was strongest in Health, at 8 percent above average. Both Pinterest (-37%) and Twitter (-38%) trended downward.
- Shopping was the domain of Pinterest, with 89 percent more activity than average.
- From January to December 2014, sharing on mobile devices grew, delivering almost two-thirds of all sharing activity.
- Facebook is the dominant sharing platform on mobile devices, with 85 percent of the activity (an increase of over 50 percent).
- Health was the most frequently shared content area on mobile, with tablets (31%) and smartphones (26%) generating more activity than other devices.
With the continued growth of mobile devices and their perceived impact in the marketplace, the ShareThis study complements its earlier observation that social sharing may have as great an influence on consumer behavior as verbal recommendations.
MarketingCharts. “Social Sharing Trends in 2014.” January 22, 2015.
ShareThis. “Q4 2014 Consumer Sharing Trends Report,” January 21, 2015.