Shareaholic has released its latest set of data concerning social referral traffic to publishers, and while Facebook’s share of site visits retreated a little after a surge in November, it remains the comfortable leader, ending 2013 far ahead of its competitors. During the latter third of the year, Facebook and Pinterest showed strong growth in referral traffic, but StumbleUpon had the biggest relative bump. In fact, by year’s end, StumbleUpon accounted for 0.86% of publishers’ traffic, compared to the combined total of 0.5% for Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+.
A look back at 16 months’ worth of data reveals that StumbleUpon’s rise predominantly occurred in the latter stage of the year. After accounting for just 0.43% of publisher traffic in August, it picked up steam in September (0.56%) and October (0.7%) and again in December (0.86%). By contrast, the aggregate of the other 4 sites (Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+) lost considerable ground during a similar period, going from 1.06% share of publisher visits in July to 0.5% in December. That retreat was almost completely attributable to a drop-off in referral traffic from Reddit and YouTube, as LinkedIn and Google+ remain fractional players at best.
Even with StumbleUpon’s rapid rise at the end of the year, it still remains a small referrer. But it doesn’t look so small in relation to Twitter, which ended the year referring 1.12% of publishers’ traffic. Indeed, after starting 2013 at a significant deficit compared to Twitter, StumbleUpon appears to have closed the gap during the course of the year. Here’s the same chart as above, limited to Twitter and StumbleUpon:
Meanwhile, the heavy (heavier?) weights gained steam for the most part during 2013. While Facebook dropped off from its big November traffic figure, its December traffic share of 15.44% was double its share from December 2012 (7.76%). And while Pinterest couldn’t quite match that rate of growth, its December share of 4.79% was up significantly from a year earlier (2.85%).
About the Data: The Shareaholic data is based on 16 months of data collected from 200,000+ publishers who reach 250+ million unique monthly visitors.