Facebook has been declared “the social network to end all social networks” by Shareaholic, a social media analytics and publishing firm.
This past June Facebook reached an all time high with a 23.39% share of all visits to the 300,000 websites that Shareaholic networks. This means that roughly a quarter of the people who visited Shareaholic websites were referred there through Facebook. Where do other social networks fall in? Pinterest follows in second with 5.72% with Twitter in third at 1.03% leaving all other websites below 1%.
Here are some graphs and stuff to really hammer that in:
This information makes sense to me. Facebook is huge, of course it’s a center through which internet traffic is directed. It’s like JFK. What sparks my interest, however, is Pinterest.
Pinterest is small, I don’t think I even know a person who has a Pinterest. Facebook has 1.276 billion users, and Pinterest has roughly 70 million. That’s an incredibly stark difference, and it got me thinking about efficiency. (Get ready for some number crunching.)
Shareaholic reports to have reached 400 million people in Q2 of 2014 (a fourth month span). Facebook referred 93.560 million of these people and Pinterest 22.880 million. But hold on a minute, those numbers are actually kind of close. This made me ask the question: for every person, how many are referred? The results were pretty surprising.
For every 100 Facebook users, only 8 are referred to a Shareaholic networked website. For every 100 Pinterest users, 33 are referred. If Pinterest had Facebook’s population, it would produce around 400 million referred users completely by itself. In fact, it works out that while Facebook produces 1/4th of all traffic, it’s about 1/4th as efficient as Pinterest. Here’s a google doc with all of that worked out.
And once again, this makes sense. I can’t think of a single time I’ve seen a Facebook ad and clicked on it purposefully. Facebook seems to me a huge tank that clumsily demolishes internet traffic with it’s staggering population while Pinterest delicately coup de graces it with efficiency.
What makes this interesting to consider is that Facebook’s population is declining, while Pinterest’s is growing (see here). Were I to pick a social media to advertise on right now, I’d probably pick Facebook because it DOES reach more people. At the moment this leaves Pinterest well suited to niche marketing. For instance, 80% of Pinterest’s users are female. So if you want to be sure you’re reaching a lot of women, Pinterest would probably be more effective than Facebook at doing so. But as Pinterest grows, I expect it’s share of traffic referral will increase even faster. So once Facebook’s population inevitable plateaus, will Pinterest take the lead? I think it will, so I may even get a Pinterest someday soon.