77.5% of shares now through ‘dark social’, why making content free on the internet was our biggest mistake, and more…
The rise of ‘dark social’
‘Dark social’ may sound like a place to buy questionable items on Facebook, but it actually means something much less sinister…unless you’re in audience development and analytics.
It refers to the growing way that people are sharing content through private messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack and direct messages on social platforms and email.
The traffic generated through these shares shows up as ‘direct’, but the source is actually unknown. When people click on links in these apps, the URLs lack referral tags which makes them difficult to track.
This week, a study revealed that over three-quarters of shares this year have been made through dark social. The good news is that although the sources of these shares might be difficult to track, people tend to be more engaged when coming from a private conversation than through Facebook.
It looks like there’s a silver lining to this particular ‘dark’ cloud.
What’s new this week
Tom Goodwin, Head of Innovation for Zenith Media, explores how free content on the internet is destroying our credibility and our businesses, and looks at how we can turn it around.
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Download WNIP’s comprehensive report—50 Ways to Make Media Pay—an essential read for publishers looking at the multiple revenue opportunities available, whether it’s to reach new audiences or double down on existing super-users. The report is free and can be downloaded here.