Facebook accounts for quarter of all web traffic (as YouTube drops)


Facebook now drives nearly 25% of the web’s traffic, with YouTube losing out the most, according to new research.


The new report from social management firm Shareaholic found that Facebook’s total share of visits to its network was 24.64% in December.

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%.

Facebook sent 24.63% of the total visits publishers received in December 2014. Its share of traffic swelled 277.26% (18.10 percentage points) since December 2011.

Over a comparable time frame, its user base grew 60%, from 845 million monthly active users (Nov 2011) to 1.35 billion (Sep 2014). Facebook’s near 4x explosion in traffic share represents a far more engaged user base.


“Pinterest, one of the fastest growing social networks in history and the preferred platform for American women, may have lost its momentum,” Shareaholic’s Danny Wong writes. “Since December 2011, Pinterest’s share of traffic has skyrocketed 684.86% (4.41 percentage points). Last month, Pinterest delivered 5.06% of total visits to sites across the web, up from 0.65% in 2011. In 2012, it overtook Twitter and StumbleUpon, rising to 2nd place and has dramatically increased its lead over 2013 and 2014. Pinterest’s share of traffic hit an all time high in March 2014 at 7.10%. But since then, its share has been in decline. Quantcast reports a similar trend too.”

“Select brands recognize its commercial value and have invested big dollars on ‘Pinfluencers’,” Wong adds. “But the platform has yet to realize its full potential. To do so, it needs to quickly shed its isolating for-women-only image and develop more mass-market appeal.”

Twitter, the 3rd largest referrer of social traffic, contributed 0.82% of overall visits to sites last month.

Collectively, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and YouTube had a combined 1.55% share of traffic in December 2014. That’s less than 1/3 of the traffic Pinterest sent to publishers and approximately 1/16 of Facebook’s share.

Shareaholic sources data from a network of opt-in websites that utilize its content marketing and publishing tools. Its sites are spread across tens of different head categories (e.g. food, tech, design, fashion and beauty, marketing, sports, parenting, religion, general news, and many more), with sites ranging from independent blogs to publishing companies to commerce sites. Furthermore, the size of websites participating in this study varies.

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