At a much anticipated press event yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg revealed a truth so simple and intuitive, we’re wondering why it’s flown under the radar for so long. Sharing is about to explode, Zuckerberg said, and we couldn’t agree more.
A few years ago, on the stage of the Web 2.0 Summit, Zuckerberg made a particularly accurate prophesy: “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and the next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before.”
He was dead on.
To us, the exponential growth of Facebook and the ecosystem that fuels the social media behemoth is no surprise. While Zuck guessed that the trend he’s seeing applies to the internet at large and others are wondering what people will be sharing, we think we already have the answers to both those questions.
See, we were wondering the same ourselves: What is this sharing economy and who’s fueling it? What do people share and how are they passing along the information that matters most? To answer these questions, we took a look at 7 billion sharing signals generated by 300 million users across a million domains and turned up some stats that blew us away.
Sharing generates more than 10 percent of all internet traffic and 31 percent of referral traffic – half the volume of search – and while Facebook is the largest sharing channel, making up more than a third of the pie, it’s by no means the only one. And people are sharing about everything, from arts and entertainment to health and science.
What’s interesting, however, is which channels people use to spread which messages. We found that entertainment is primarily shared using social networks while content that is informative – i.e. relating to health and science or business and investments – is more likely to be shared using email and LinkedIn.
So when Zuck says people are sharing more than 4 billion things a day on Facebook, we see it as just another affirmation of the importance of sharing, this simple behavior that is making the online world go ’round.
by, Kristen Fergason, CMO, ShareThis, Inc.
follow Kristen on Twitter: @Sharekris
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