In July 2014, we released our Q2 Consumer Sharing Trends Report along with the key takeaway: mobile sharing growth continues. In our latest Q4 2014 Consumer Sharing Trends Report, we’ve found that mobile sharing grew even more in the second half of the year. Since January 2014, overall mobile device sharing activity increased 28%. Much of this growth was driven by tablets, which experienced a 49% lift over last year and now represent 15% of total sharing activity. We can only expect tablet sharing to increase as the tablet market expands and more value-priced tablets enter the marketplace.


Given that people are always connected, it’s no surprise that they’re more inclined to share from their mobile devices – mobile engagement has nearly doubled since the beginning of 2014. Mobile sharing represents nearly 20% of total activity within mobile devices, compared to only 6% within desktop environments. Consumers are not just sharing more from their mobile devices, but they’re browsing more, too. Over the year, total browsing and sharing activity on mobile grew 32% to represent 66% of total activity and surpass desktop (34%).

Facebook continues to be the most widely used social channel for sharing. It gained 8.2% share and made up 81% of all shares in Q4. Sharing activity by email also increased, but it still only represents about 1% of total share volume. Looking at the channel distribution of sharing on mobile, Facebook edges out the competition even further. Facebook activity jumped 51% from last year and now represents 85% of mobile sharing activity. Pinterest and Twitter have also gained traction on mobile. 

It’s important to remember that each channel provides an outlet for a different type of conversation. Facebook continues to be the fundamental social channel, not dominating any particular category, while the other major channels serve niche interests. Twitter is the place for real-time events, like sports. Pinterest tends to be about beauty & fitness, food, and shopping.

There are notable content category trends across devices, too. Sports content is most likely to be shared on smartphones, which better serve real-time updates. Beauty & fitness content sharing happens on mobile and we can only expect this to further increase as more products that support the Quantified Self trend enter the market.

Brands need to adopt a mobile-first strategy, if they haven’t already. This is especially imperative now that mobile penetration is widespread and the number of mobile devices has now, according to Steve French, Global Vice President at Amdocs’ OpenMarket, “surpassed the global human population, with nearly 90% of consumers owning a mobile phone and 30% a tablet” (source: Mashable).

Check out reports from previous quarters here, and please email pr@sharethis.com for a PDF copy of the report.  

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