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Social Widgets Drive Sharing on Facebook

Facebook’s homepage reads: “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”

July 29, 2009

They aren’t just whistling Dixie.

Based on analysis of use of a content-sharing widget, more people use Facebook to share links than any other service, including e-mail.

According to AddToAny, creators of content-sharing and Web publishing tools, including a popular social media widget, Facebook accounts for 24% of uses of the widget to share links to articles, videos and other content, trumping e-mail at 11.1%.

Leading Services Used to Share Online Content Worldwide via the AddToAny Widget, July 2009 (% share)

Twitter is in the No. 3 spot at 10.8%. But combining all of Yahoo!’s properties—Delicious, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Yahoo! Buzz and Yahoo! Messenger—pushes it up to second, at 14.4%.

Social media’s competition with e-mail is actually nothing new.

Nielsen’s March 2009 report, "Global Faces and Networked Places," found that by the end of 2008, social networking had overtaken e-mail in terms of worldwide reach. According to the report, 66.8% of Internet users across the globe accessed “member communities”—social networking or blogging sites—compared with 65.1% for e-mail.

Top Five Online Sectors Worldwide*, Ranked by Active Reach, December 2007 & December 2008

Nielsen found that member communities accounted for nearly 10% of all Internet time, or one in every 11 online minutes.

The pre-eminent member community was Facebook, visited monthly by three in every 10 people across the nine markets Nielsen tracked. And now with a big boost on sharing, the site is poised for even greater reach and time spent. That is, if Twitter doesn’t come along and steal its thunder.

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