More Links Uploaded to Facebook than Twitter; Is Facebook Driving More Traffic?

Mashable and TBI are reporting on data from widget-maker AddToAny that shows more people now share links via Facebook than via email, with Twitter just behind email.

Mashable’s interpretation of the data:

“According to AddToAny, Facebook now dominates sharing, with 24 percent of shares from the widget consisting of users posting items to the social network. That handily beats out email (11.1 percent) and Twitter (10.8 percent), making the world’s most popular social network also the most popular service for sharing content.”

While it’s true (and probably important) that more people upload links to Facebook than to Twitter or share them with friends by way of email, it’s more important to measure what recipients or viewers of those links do with them. If Twitter users are, say, three times more likely to click on links than Facebook users, Twitter would be driving more traffic to content (via links posted to Twitter) than Facebook, even though more links flow through the collective Facebook news feed. The above chart, for example, suggests Delicious — because more links are uploaded to Delicious — is more important than Digg, even though Digg’s monthly audience is something like twenty times the size of Delicious’s.

Let’s say links to the site PaidContent are uploaded to four different sites or services — Facebook (twice), Twitter (four times), Reddit (15 times) and ChasNote (25 times). If we draw a chart like the one above, ChasNote seems most important.

If instead, we draw the chart based on clicks on those links, it might look something more like this: Twitter drives 75 visitors, Facebook 50, Reddit 10 and ChasNote 2. If the value of links is the traffic they drive, Twitter and Facebook (in this case) are much more important than Reddit and ChasNote.

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