Which social networks do consumers use most to share third-party articles? Are the most shared text pieces on social media generally positive, negative, or neutral in tone?

To find out, Fractl partnered with BuzzSumo to analyze the 1 million most shared articles on social media between December 2015 and June 2016. The data set included 3 billion content shares across five networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn) from third-party publishers such as BuzzFeed, BBC, and Vice.

Below, key findings from the report.


Some 90% of social shares of popular articles occur on Facebook, the analysis found. Twitter ranks a distant second (6% of all shares), followed by LinkedIn (2.5%).

LinkedIn and Facebook are now used more for sharing articles than when a similar analysis was conducted in 2014; Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest are used less.


Some 69% of the most shared articles on social media have positive sentiment (as determined by MeaningCloud), 23% have negative sentiment, and 8% are neutral.

Almost all (98%) of the most shared articles on Pinterest are positive, whereas on Facebook there is more negative and neutral sentiment.

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of the 1 million most shared articles on social media between December 2015 and June 2016.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a writer, editor, and a content strategist. He is a co-founder of ICW Media and a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji