AddThis reveals the trends we discussed in 2011 and how we shared them

December 21, 2011


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We’ve seen end of year lists from Twitter, Google, and YouTube so far and now AddThis has added its data to the collection.  And they reveal a little bit more than the others.

For those not familiar with the company AddThis operates the web’s most used multiplatform sharing system which allows you to share a webpage on any of 350 different social site.  You’ll notice their share buttons on over 11 million websites (including this one, on the left) and chances are you are one of the 1.2 billion people that used them in 2011.

What we shared.
Twitter’s list of the most discussed topics this year and Google’s list of the most searched terms were notable for a lack of any mention of the Occupy Movement.  According to AddThis we did share content about Occupy Wall Street but it only comes in 7th on their list of the most shared topics this year.

  1. Osama bin Laden (AddThis reports that 28% of all shared content on May 1 and 2 was about bin Laden.)
  2. US East Coast Earthquake
  3. Hurricane Irene
  4. British Royal Wedding
  5. Final Space Shuttle Mission
  6. Japan Tsunami
  7. Steve Job’s Death
  8. Occupy Wall Street
  9. Egypt, Mubarak’s Resignation
  10. Super bowl
  11. Kim Kardashian’s Divorce

Five of Twitter’s most tweeted stories per second can also be found on AddThis’s most shared stories of 2011; Bin Laden’s death, Japan’s tsunami, the British Royal Wedding,  Steve Job’s death, and the Superbowl.  This suggests that the site has a strong role to play in Twitter’s most tweeted stories.

Interestingly Mubarak’s Resignation this year is the only mention of the Arab Spring, which was one of the most tweeted topics in 2011, according to Twitter.

Mirroring data from other sites AddThis reports that in November 2011 Google’s Chrome browser overtook Mozilla’s Firefox as the browser users most used when sharing.  Their data even suggests that Firefox is seeing a slight downward trend in its use;  this reflects data released earlier this year by StatCounter.

Social Networks
But that’s about the end of the good news for Google.  According to AddThis use of Google’s newly launched social network button +1 grew by 373% but then plateaued which when accounting for the general increase in sharing marks an 8% decrease in use over the year.

We most like to share our links on Facebook (52.1%) and Twitter (13.5%) but not all our sharing is open to the public, 14.4% of the content shared through AddThis was done through the platform’s email, print, and favorite links meaning we either kept them to ourselves or sent it on to close friends.  Although users in Japan prefer Twitter over Facebook with 52% of shared content sent to the microblog.  Twitter had a good year, seeing a near 600% increase in use as a sharing destination.

If you want your content to go viral use StumbleUpon, although before you start submitting to SU have a read of our analysis of the platform.  Tumblr is a growing destination for shared content, seeing a near 1300% increase in 2011 but avoid Digg and MySpace which saw a decline in sharing by 47.7% and 56.9% respectively this year.

Smartphone and Tablet use helped fuel a six fold increase in the number of pages shared on the go in 2011.  Apple’s iPad overtook the iPhone as the device we most liked to share on, suggesting the larger screen makes multitasking easier.

What we shared in 2011 - infographic


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Ajit Jain

Ajit Jain is marketing and sales head at Octal Info Solution, a leading iPhone app development company and offering platform to hire Android app developers for your own app development project. He is available to connect on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


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