When It Comes to Social Sharing, Don’t Forget About Email

While social sites drive an increasing portion of traffic to content publishers compared to long-time referral giant Google (s GOOG), one sharing service reminds us today that email is still a major source of shared links and clickthroughs. Email — the original social network — is responsible for 70 percent of total shares and 48 percent of visits generated by shares, according to data collected by link tracker Tynt.

Source: Tynt


Widget maker Gigya recently attributed 44 percent of its shared items to Facebook and 29 percent to Twitter, while competitor AddThis said Facebook accounts for 33 percent of its shared items and Twitter, 9 percent. Both companies gleaned their data from user activities on the buttons they publish on thousands of sites. But Tynt — which has a slightly different method of tracking copy-and-paste activity from users on its 400,000 publisher partner sites — says they’re both way off, with Facebook accounting for 25 percent of shares and Twitter 1 percent, behind email’s 70 percent.

Source: Tynt


Tynt claims that its data is more comprehensive, estimating that 2 percent of the web’s page views results in content sharing via copy and paste, while .04 percent come from button-based sharing and .2 percent from link shorteners. While I find it a bit hard to believe that 2 percent of page views are then shared (I’m a pretty avid sharer, and I don’t think I share that much), some of Tynt’s data tells a compelling story. For instance, Digg accounts for only 0.2 percent of shared links, but 5 percent of new visits generated by shares, meaning Digg users are much more likely to click on links they find on the site (which is, after all, the purpose of Digg). What I’d like to see are figures for sharing via instant messenger — for me, probably the source of links that I’m mostly likely to click through.
In the spirit of this post, I should say that I found the Tynt blog post via the new site Mediagazer, where the company is an advertiser.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):
Email: The Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated