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The most popular social sharing options on the top blogs

Social sharing buttons

Most blogs encourage sharing of their content on services like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, and so on, usually via prominent buttons in connection with each post.

It’s a win-win situation for the bloggers and their readers. The bloggers make it easy for their readers to share content they like, and by sharing, readers drive more traffic to the blogs.

A ton of social sharing options are out there, but which ones are bloggers relying on the most? That’s what you’ll find out here below.

Examining share button usage

To get an idea of how common the various social sharing options are we went through the Technorati top 100 blogs and examined what kind of share buttons they are using. Too keep the scope of this survey within reason, we focused on the more common options out there.

We looked at dedicated, visible buttons for sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Yahoo Buzz, Delicious and Google Buzz.

To clarify, with “dedicated buttons” we mean standalone buttons (or in a few cases, prominent text links) that are included in connection with each post on a blog, not options included in some general “share this” popup, like the widgets provided by AddThis and ShareThis. However, since a general share option is so common, we included that as its own button category in the statistics.

Share button usage among the top 100 blogs

So let’s get right to the results. First, here is a chart showing a summary of the results of our survey (the number of blogs using the different social sharing options):

Share button statistics for the top 100 blogs
Above: Dedicated, standalone buttons/options for sharing on the top 100 blogs. Note that the “general share option” usually contains many more share options, including several not listed here.

Quick observations on share button usage

Here are some of our observations on share button usage among the top blogs.

  • Both Twitter and Facebook buttons are now more common that Digg buttons. Digg is no longer the king of social sharing, at least as far as these 100 blogs are concerned.
  • Twitter is the most common share button. Two thirds of the top 100 blogs have a dedicated “share on Twitter” option.
  • A Facebook share button is present on 58 of the top 100 blogs. In most cases, it’s coupled with a Twitter button.
  • Digg buttons are present on just under half of the top 100 blogs. While we don’t know what this looked like a couple of years ago, an educated guess is that this used to be a higher number.
  • Digg buttons are twice as common as Reddit or StumbleUpon buttons.
  • 58 of the top 100 blogs include a general, expandable share this button; 19 of those blogs have no other share buttons.
  • Dedicated MySpace and LinkedIn share buttons are rare, but they do show up in some of the blogs. We didn’t include them in this survey, though.
  • 6 of the top 100 blogs have no sharing options at all.
  • Email buttons are very common. We didn’t include “email this article” buttons since we focused on share options connected to specific services (like Digg and Twitter), but they were actually more common than we thought they would be. Had we included them, they would have been among the top sharing options.
  • The war of the Buzzes. The “other” Buzz, the Digg clone from Yahoo, is currently a much more popular share option than Google Buzz, which only showed up on six blogs.

That last point leads us to an interesting question…

Google Buzz, a flop with bloggers?

As you can see in the chart above, Google Buzz hasn’t made much of an impact on bloggers so far, at least not enough for them to integrate a Google Buzz share button with their posts. It’s of course still early days for Google’s new social media tool, so this may change significantly over the coming year.

Perhaps part of the reason is that there is no official Google Buzz share button. Instead, bloggers have started to make their own.

Here below are the “third-party” Buzz share buttons we found when going through the top 100 blogs. We’re sure there are other variations out there as well.

Google Buzz share buttons
Above: Google Buzz buttons we found. The two farthest to the left are from Mashable. Others are from, in order from left to right, The Next Web, GigaOM (and Engadget), Business Insider, and TechCrunch.

It remains to be seen if Google will release an official button down the line. Perhaps they won’t. After all, Twitter doesn’t have an official share button either, and that hasn’t stopped them from becoming the most popular sharing option out there. All it takes is some third party to step up and provide one, like Tweetmeme did for Twitter.

Final words

This survey confirms that Twitter and Facebook buttons have become the main sharing mechanisms out there. That both of them have pushed down Digg from the sharing throne is now beyond all doubt.

Facebook with its 400+ million users may be the giant in terms of users, but it seems that the top bloggers as a group consider Twitter a more relevant social sharing platform. Not by much, but the difference is there.

We also found it extremely interesting that a few of the blogs have no social sharing options whatsoever that we can find. Why a blog would completely ignore this aspect, we’re not sure.

Oh, and remember, if you like this article, please kindly consider one of the social sharing options here below. ;)



9 comments
alaamiah
alaamiah

We looked at dedicated, visible buttons for sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Yahoo Buzz, Delicious and Google Buzz.

karthick
karthick

twitter, facebook & digg cater to different social graphs. comparing them is not a good idea.

Ileane @Blogging
Ileane @Blogging

Twitter is my favorite sharing site but Buzz is gaining fast. I'm glad the official button is coming soon. Right now the other Buzz buttons add things to your Google Reader. I hope the official button actually adds things directly to Buzz. Thanks for this info. I would have guessed that Facebook was #1. However, I think that if you looked at the top 100 blogs in Alexa or Google Blogs you might get different stats. @Ileane

Louis Gray
Louis Gray

It has not been said officially, but you can safely assume it is coming.

Damien Franco
Damien Franco

I imagine that Google Buzz will take some time to catch on. It's still very young and has some "kinks" to work out. Once again bloggers will have to cope with the idea that conversations about their articles/work/pieces will go on outside their walls. Bloggers don't really like this and it takes a while for most to accept it, live with it, and eventually see the benefits of these changes.

Louis Gray
Louis Gray

There will be an official "Buzz" button from Google. They are working on it now.

LiewCF
LiewCF

Great report! I'm interest to know which sharing options are most popular/used?

Pingdom
Pingdom

@Louis Gray: Nice. Is that something Google has said officially, or something you've heard from someone on the inside?

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