SocialTwist Report: Facebook Rising to the Top

Social networking is all about sharing. SocialTwist, which has the Tell-A-Friend service to help marketing messages spread across social platforms, just completed its second Social Trends Report (the first was last year) assessing which social networks and digital tools people are using to share information. After the jump, read the Q&A we did with SocialTwist CEO Vijay Pullur discussing the report’s results.

What is the most significant finding of the Sharing Trends Report?

This is the follow up to the 2009 report we did. We saw that social channels were at about 10 percent [usage for sharing] and e-mail was 56 or 57 percent last year. IM was about 25 percent.

This year, social [media] has cut a lot of market share out of IM and social media is at about 24 percent of shares. E-mail has dropped but is still at a very strong 55 percent.

The second thing that we see is the clickthrough rate. Social media generates the maximum number of clickthroughs. A single posting is seen by many people. If it’s on Facebook it’s probably anywhere between 50 to 100 friends. If it’s on Twitter, it can go to hundreds even thousands of people. So the clickthrough rate that social media generates is significantly higher.

Facebook has got the lion’s share of all social sharing. Out of the total sharing of 24 percent of social channels, 78 percent of the social sharing happens on Facebook. A surprising second here is MySpace at 14 percent, even higher than Twitter.

Social networking sites account for 60 percent of the clickthroughs, according to your data. Recently Facebook, Foursquare, have added features and LinkedIn announced that they were going to have a share button on their site. With all of the recent innovation, how will it impact this statistic going forward?

LinkedIn is not something that we see is going to have any impact at all. Most of the publishers are moving away from using individual share buttons. And LinkedIn we don’t see as a channel that people are using as a sharing platform.

Foursquare- possibly the local is becoming a popular medium, and there’s a lot of focus on local. So we have to wait and watch, but I’m not sure that it’s going to have impact on sharing.

We do see that e-mail and Facebook continues to grow. E-mail will probably drop because of Facebook e-mail, so we certainly see the social share going up in 2011 and Facebook capturing most of that growth.

What’s the big news with bookmarks and blogs?

From a total perspective, it’s pretty insignificant. Bookmarks have only three percent share. Blogs are hardly being used as a sharing medium. It’s more used as a news medium.

Bookmarking got tremendously fragmented. Even if you look at our survey, there are about 50-plus bookmarking sites. We do not see any opportunity for any of the other players as Digg takes the bulk share. Digg itself is doing a lot of innovation; they’re trying to redeem themselves. I really don’t have much hope for bookmarking as a [sharing] medium.

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