Facebook in top spot for social referrals

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Facebook has emerged in the top spot for social referrals, while Twitter dropped to third place behind Pinterest.

A study published by Shareaholic showed that Facebook accounted for more than 22 per cent of all social-based traffic referrals, and its traffic has grown by 116 per cent over the last year.

Pinterest came in at a distant second with 5.5 per cent of referral traffic, with traffic up 50 per cent from the previous year. Meanwhile, Twitter took the third spot with 0.88 per cent, and its share is down 25 per cent compared to last year.

The Boston-based firm explained that it based its figures on analysis of more than 200,000 websites, which cover 250 million unique visitors each month.

Twitter is followed by StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn, the site where professionals share and publish news.

“For most publishers, marketers and site owners, the five remaining social networks are forgettable sources of traffic,” said Shareaholic.

“Collectively, they contributed 0.74 per cent of overall traffic sites received last month, which is less than the number of visits Twitter alone sent.”

Overall, the top eight sites accounted for 29.49 per cent of the total traffic across the sites analysed by Shareaholic.

While Facebook has never been in the top spot before, its percentage grew as it gained more users over time, tweaked its algorithms for surfacing news, and rolled out video and other formats.

Aside from Facebook and Pinterest, Google+ is the only other social network from the top eight to register growth over the last year at 57 per cent, albeit from a relatively small base of 0.07 per cent of the total social media referrals.

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