Last month, Facebook surgically removed the thumb from the “Like” and “Share” buttons in a complete aesthetic overhaul. The goal was to spur the sharing of content thereby increasing social engagement. Today, Shareaholic, a discovery and sharing platform that helps sites promote content, produced evidence that not only is Facebook sharing, in fact, up, but since the changes last month, sharing is way, way up. Shareaholic analyzed 13 months of data from 200,000+ publishers and 250+ million visitors to get a glimpse at just how effectively the new button has performed.
Sharaholic does not offer the new Facebook Share buttons in their platform of custom widgets, but they do track data via their Analytics and Related Content products including share of overall visits. The following chart shows a 13 month Share of Visits timeframe from November 2012 to November 2013. In the first 12 months, a pattern of slow, steady growth emerged, until last month (when the new share buttons launched).
This means that in the last month alone, Facebook’s overall share of visits jumped 47.44%. Again, this time-frame correlates with the new “thumb-less” buttons that were automatically upgraded the first week of November. From the 13 month timeframe of November 2012 to November 2013, overall Facebook share of visits are up a grand total of 169.88%. Plotting Facebook’s sharing data on a graph better highlights this profound sharing jump.
Per previous announcements, Facebook estimates that share buttons are viewed 22+ billion times a day Worldwide. If the buttons actually do have a causative effect on increased sharing, the change will be a huge boon for Facebook in the social sharing space. This data suggests that Facebook drives more than 1/6 of an average site’s overall traffic.
So, is this only due to the Share button tweaks? It’s unlikely. Facebook has been pushing the news front hard as well as continually updating the quality of the news feed (with the largest update earlier this month.) Additionally, as Shareaholic also points out, overall Facebook active user counts are continuing to grow, up 25% year on year.
For more information see the full report from Shareaholic.