ShareThis just released its quarterly Consumer Sharing Trends report looking at both Q4 and all of 2014. It found that mobile social activity grew 28% year-over-year, driven mainly by tablets, which saw 49% growth.
According to the report, Facebook accounted for 81% of all shares during Q4.
On why Facebook saw such significant growth while the rest of the networks saw declines (as illustrated above), Michalene Becker, Manager of Strategy and Analytics at ShareThis, tells WebProNews, "Facebook serves as a basic social channel, while the others are outlets for niche interests. For example, Twitter is best suited for real-time events. Additionally, certain topics that are heavily shared on Facebook, such as politics, were more relevant in Q4 and generated greater interest than earlier quarters in the year."
"It should also be noted that sharing is growing among the older generations, and they're most likely to be using Facebook," she adds.
Asked about Facebook's News Feed changes' impact on sharing, Becker tells us, "Facebook's News Feed algorithm change has encouraged more sharing of external publisher and 'viral' content. In general, Facebook sharing has evolved away from personal status updates to curated content."
Interestingly, email sharing saw an increase, albeit a small one.
"This is likely the result of a spike in specific content categories, specifically those that are more likely to be shared privately, such as Finance," says Becker.
Another interesting finding is that channel usage is dependent on context.
"Pinterest generates 185% more Food & Drink sharing activity than other channels," says Becker. "Given that Pinterest is a visual platform, it tends to be best for personal curated content, like Beauty and Fitness, and shopping. Meanwhile, Twitter is best suited for real-time events and updates."
According to the report, mobile accounted for 66% of browsing and sharing activity as of December.
The sharing data in the report doesn't take private messaging apps into consideration. Becker notes that ShareThis has implemented messaging services like WhatsApp into its products, but is waiting for more publishers in its network to adopt them before considering the data statistically significant.
Images via ShareThis