What Internet Users Like to Share on Social Media Sites

Ipsos-Types-of-Content-Shared-by-Online-Users-on-Social-Media-Sept20137 in 10 internet users across 24 countries say they’ve shared some type of content on social media sites in the past month, according to new survey results from Ipsos OTX. Given the growing popularity of visually-focused sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, it’s no surprise that pictures emerge as the content type respondents are most inclined to share, with 43% claiming to have done so in the past month. Beyond pictures, the study finds that opinions, status updates regarding one’s activities, and links to articles (each at 26%) are most likely to be shared.

That suggests that the social media buffs surveyed late last year by SocialToaster were pretty much on point in their judgment that pictures and links are most likely to be shared.

The Ipsos survey also indicates that a significant proportion of internet users are sharing other types of content on social media, including:

  • Something they like or recommend, such as products, services, movies, and books (25%);
  • News items (22%);
  • Links to other websites (21%);
  • Reposts from other people’s social media posts (21%);
  • Status updates of what they’re feeling (19%);
  • Video clips (19%);
  • Plans for future activities, trips, and plans (9%); and
  • Other types of content (10%).

Who’s Most Likely to Share?

While 7 in 10 overall claim to share content, some demographic groups are more likely to engage in this behavior than others. Respondents aged under 35 are most likely to share (81%), a completely unsurprising result. Still, about 7 in 10 online users aged 35-49 said they had shared content on social media sites during the past month, as did a majority 55% of respondents aged 50-64.

Also unsurprising: women (74%) were more likely than men (69%) to have shared some type of content during the past month. (Ipsos had also found sharing activity to be greater among youth and women in a previous study.)

Meanwhile, the likelihood of sharing content appears to be rise alongside household income and education level, according to the latest study.

American Women Love Sharing Pictures

Respondents in the US actually had a below-average inclination to share content, with a relatively small 60% having done so in the month prior to the survey. (By comparison, a high of 93% had done so in Turkey.)

Within the US, 40% of respondents indicated that they had shared pictures on social media sites in the prior month, a result more in keeping with the global average. However, there was a wide gender discrepancy in those results: female respondents were 58% more likely than male respondents to have done so (49% vs. 31%).

There was also a strong age gap, with 42% of 18-34-year-olds and 42% of 35-49-year-olds having shared pictures, compared to 23% of those aged 50 to 64.

Ipsos previously found that Americans are more likely to share “funny” than “important” content on social media.

About the Data: The research was conducted on Ipsos’ “G@44″ wave between April 2 and April 16th, 2013. The monthly Global @dvisor data output is derived from a balanced online sample in 24 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. For the results of the survey, an international sample of 18,150 adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed.

Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis via the Ipsos Online Panel with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Hungary, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample approximately 500+. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, a poll of 1,000 is accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and one of 500 is accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points in their respective general populations. In countries where internet penetration is approximately 60% or higher the data output is weighted to reflect the general population.