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Posted by edoron | April - 2 - 2012 | 0 Comment

Today I came across an old e-mail which I wrote to a friend about a year ago. It goes like this:

“It seems that about 70% of users have registered the old fashioned way, without Facebook at all, so putting it only on Facebook would have closed it up for many users. Furthermore, only about 3% invited friends using the many mechanisms and incentives that we built! But some seem to have copy and pasted and sent the link by e-mail. I have a disturbing feeling that Facebook virality is mostly hype and that 90% of user never share a thing. The “social sharing” stuff is something everybody talks about but not many actually do it. That’s my impression of late. Another theory is that the “sharing” phenomenon slows down with time as people become indifferent and tired. What do you think?”

Over the years, I’ve worked with several companies doing the social dance. Several Facebook applications companies (dating, gaming), a social book reading web site, a social ratings service, helped with a few Facebook pages… etc.

This brings me to my feelings towards social sharing (trying to get people to virally spread your content):
1. Everybody is talking about social sharing, very few actually share content they discover.
2. Only certain, very narrow demographics/personalities share. Many shy away, don’t have time or simply don’t care.
3. As time passes, more people become indifferent or tired, and share less. I think this is the direction in which the market is going. I would expect less people to share as time passes.
4. Young adults with plenty of time on their hands seem to share more than older people. Curiously, children seem to share less than young adults.
5. Some people think that making things social and sharable is the answer to everything. Social sharing is not for every business and company. Not everything should have social features. Some things are naturally better when social, others are not.