Facebook Drives Nearly One-Fourth Of All Referral Traffic
Shareaholic report shows Facebook with a 10% increase in share of visits in Q4; Social media continues to drive more referrals than organic search.
Looks like the big kid on the block is getting stronger.
Facebook, the overwhelming leader in social referral traffic, surged during the fourth quarter of 2014, and now drives nearly 25% of the web’s traffic, according to a report released today by social management firm Shareaholic.
Facebook’s total share of visits to Shareaholic’s network was 24.64% in December. That’s a slight slip from October and November, when the social network pushed past the 25% threshold, but its 2.27 percentage point since the third quarter is an impressive gain. The total continues to dwarf its competitors.
Second-place Pinterest’s share was 5.06%, nearly five times less than Facebook. The next six social platforms — Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube — had a combined total of less than 2%.
The dominance isn’t a surprise — Facebook, after all, has more than four times as many monthly active users than Twitter — but the 10% quarter-over-quarter growth is eye-opening, especially given the slippage in the rest of the social industry. Other than StumbleUpon, Facebook was the only social network to show an increase in share of visits in the quarter, as the chart above shows.
Social Referral Traffic Is Higher Than Organic Search
Facebook’s growth also pushed social media’s share of the total share of overall traffic — direct traffic, social referrals, organic search, paid search, etc. — to a record high of 31.34%. That almost certainly means that social has extended its lead over organic search for sites in Shareaholic’s network.
As we reported in December, social pulled ahead 29.35% to 29.14% in September and Shareaholic didn’t release percentage totals for organic search for the fourth quarter, Shareaholic’s Danny Wong confirmed that social led search in October, November and December.
Other interesting details from the report, which includes data going back to 2011:
- Facebook’s share of referral traffic has soared 277.26% since December 2011. Facebook’s user growth during that time is 60% — from 845 million monthly active users to 1.35 billion.
- Pinterest is still solidly in second-place, but it has been steadily losing ground since it’s high point of 7.10% last March.
- Twitter continues to lose share after a 2014 high of 1.15% in July when it was riding an engagement wave during the World Cup soccer tournament. It feel below the 1% threshold in August and fell to an all-time low of 0.82% in December.
- StumbleUpon, besides Facebook the only other service to show a quarterly gain, has lost 69.41% of its traffic share since December 2011.
- Reddit with a 0.15% share has lost nearly half of its share of traffic since 2011 and Google+ (0.04%) and LinkedIn (0.03%) have each lost a third of its traffic.
Read the full report on the Shareaholic blog.