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How people are sharing information online

written by Nelly Yusupova
Nelly Yusupova
Topics: Business, Marketing
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Online publishers always want to better understand how users are interacting and sharing the things they are interested in across their networks because the better we can understand our users, the better we can serve them.

Here are some results from a study conducted by Forrester and ShareThis,  who teamed up to find out what and how people are sharing information online with one another.  This study, which will be released next week, provides some really interesting statistics around how people share, including:

  • Email is still primary channel for sharing: 69% of adults cite email as the primary source of sharing information
  • Less than 1/3 of online adults said they learned about the new content from generally shared content sources such as YouTube, a wiki, or social networking sites
  • 84% of people still use the traditional cut and paste method to share a URL or information
  • Though the primary motivation for sharing differs, 81% of adults claim that they share to help others believing that a person will benefit from the information they share
  • Sharing increases site traffic 2x, thus increasing ad dollars or revenue for publishers
  • Men are more likely to share recommendations and videos than women; 77 percent of adult males and 74 of younger males shared news and web links
  • Women are more likely to share products or ideas they like via easy or direct sharing methods (ie texting)

I think there is an overarching theme being portrayed in these results: Know your audience!   It is important to make sure that you offer tools for both the experienced and the novice/traditional users.  For instance, on the Webgrrls blog, although we offer the ShareThis tool to allow our users to share the Webgrrls blog post via email and on the social networking sites of their choice.  However, we also offer a separate “Email to a Friend” sharing option because some of our users may not be familiar with the sharethis tool and won’t share the blog post with their network as a result.

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