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There's a reason Facebook is #1

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Earlier this month, Shareaholic, a discovery and sharing platform that helps businesses and publishers effectively promote their content, published its 1st edition of the Facebook Referrals Report.

The report, which tracked inbound traffic for over 200,000 publishers, suggests Facebook referrals exploded -- growing 170% -- in the past year. Referrals grew 47% in the last month alone!

The report also points to four potential reasons for this dramatic trend:

1) Facebook’s news feed is more engaging than ever (thus, more clicks, likes and shares). Like Google with it’s mercurial search ranking algorithm, Facebook’s news feed has seen a couple of noteworthy tweaks which keep users highly engaged with their feeds.

2) Active user counts continue to grow. Facebook’s 3rd quarter announcement revealed daily active user numbers jumped 25% year-over-year to 728 million. Monthly active users grew 18% in that same timeframe to a staggering 1.19 billion. A growing number of active users increases Facebook’s utility for users as well user dependency on FB for social interactions. The network effect at its finest.

3) The omnipresence of the new Like and Share buttons impacts behavior. Given the usable nature of the new buttons and their widespread availability — Facebook’s buttons are viewed 22+ billion times a day across 7.5+ million sites around the web — people have developed a habit of sharing content they enjoy. Although not all share buttons are created equal, share buttons in general are being utilized more often by readers, thus driving more traffic to sites.

4) Sharing is now an ego-gratifying activity that’s socially acceptable and universally commonplace. Sites such as Buzzfeed, Thought Catalog and Elite Daily produce super viral content that make sharing such a reflexive activity — that also injects you with a healthy dose of serotonin when all your friends like, share and comment on your post. Effectively, sharing great content is now a no-brainer.

What are your thoughts here? Why have Facebook Referrals skyrocketed so quickly? Are you seeing the same increase in traffic to your site(s)?

See the full report here.

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