Majority of Content Sharing to Social Networks Now Occurs via Mobile

ShareThis-Content-Sharing-Trends-Mobile-v-Desktop-in-Q1-Apr2014Some 52% of “social sharing actions” – sharing of website content such as articles, photos and videos via social networks – occurred on a mobile device during the first quarter of this year, reveals ShareThis in a new report. Mobile took the lead on the back of a quarter-over-quarter growth rate in sharing that was more than twice as high as desktop’s (28% vs. 11%). While the iPhone (25%) remained the top mobile device used for sharing, Android smartphones (17%) narrowed the gap.

ShareThis had previously indicated that social sharing behavior was more prevalent on mobiles than on desktops, but this is the first release to state that mobile has overtaken desktop in sharing volume.

The new data comes after a recent report from comScore [download page] showed a “multi-platform” shift last year. Looking at the distribution of digital media consumption, comScore demonstrated that multi-platform users (those who use both mobile and desktop devices) grew from 48% share of the digital audience in February 2013 to a majority 56% share in December. With another 8% in December counting as mobile-only, that left just 36% of digital media consumers visiting from desktops only.

Meanwhile, the ShareThis report also notes some trends in the social channels used for sharing:

  • Twitter (+43%) saw the fastest growth rate in Q1 sharing, with most activity by 31-35-year-olds;
  • Sharing to Reddit (+25%) also grew quickly, with the heaviest activity in the 18-30 age group;
  • Sharing to Facebook (+14%) and LinkedIn (+12%) was led by older users (50+ and 41-50, respectively); and
  • After rapid growth last year, sharing to Pinterest increased by only 5% in Q1.

Email continued to decline as a social sharing channel (-25%), while content sharing growth was higher for Hispanics than for blacks and whites across Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest.

The top sharing channels, in order of overall shares, were:

  • Facebook;
  • Twitter;
  • Pinterest;
  • LinkedIn; and
  • Reddit.

About the Data: The analysis is based on sharing behavior across more than 120 social channels using ShareThis tools enabled on websites reaching 95% of the US online population on desktop and mobile devices.

Given that the data pertains to use of ShareThis tools, the results do not account for copying and pasting of links.