Latest Quarterly Report from ShareThis: Facebook Best for Sharing Events, Reddit and Twitter for Immediacy
ShareThis has just released its latest quarterly Consumer Sharing Trends Report, which examines the social networks that generate the most buzz and shares focused on particular news and events. The report looked at how these stories would peak on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Hence, the report provides an objective picture of the browsing habits and public social sharing activity of netizens.
ShareThis notes that a story’s ability to thrive on a social network would depend on its context, as seen above in Figure 1. As has been the case for the past few months, when it comes to breaking news or real-time events, Twitter has always been the go-to channel. Using the examples of the recent Napa Valley earthquake and the first NFL game of the season, more people were engaged on Twitter, as they were tweeting their responses and reacting during these events. Meanwhile, Facebook was seen as the best channel for social activity.
Facebook’s dominance is still undeniable—and as seen in Figure 2, it commands 85% of sharing activity. Stories will last on the site for about 2-3 weeks due to constant discussion from their already massive user base. On the other hand, the reactive nature of Twitter and Reddit shows that activity on these sites jumps threefold while events are taking place, with people wanting to share their thoughts or even pictures from a breaking news story. This could also be due in part to the seamless display of Twitter’s timeline and hashtag filtering, whereas Facebook’s news algorithm is often criticized for filtering stories of note.
ShareThis also took note of device usage for particular news stories, and conveyed some interesting results. As seen in Figure 3 above, tablets functioned as “second screens” for broadcast events, as they dominate in usage for events like Shark Week and the NFL Kickoff. Smartphones saw their most usage during outdoor events, like the Burning Man festival. Finally, as many people like to articulate their viewpoints and engage in lengthy discussions on global political issues, opinions about the Middle East Crisis were mostly shared via desktops.
The ShareThis report surveyed over 450 million users and 2.5 million sites and apps within their network.
Which social media platform are you most comfortable consuming content on? In your opinion, which social media platform is suited to sharing events in real-time?
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