The Likeable engine is up and running again, collecting stories and their share counts from around the world, and a brief look at the November shows that numbers on US sites have gone through the roof.
Eighteen months ago, in our first collection period, the most shared story of the period had a sharecount (Facebook and Twitter) of 405,000. That was the story of a man who ate his roomate.
Compare that to the most shared piece of content in November: the far less grisly cover of Lorde’s Royals performed by the Florida State University choir. This Huffington Post story was shared more than 1.1 million times. HuffPo had several other big hitting sharers in the November Top 10, including a woman who danced before her double mastectomy (828k).
The action wasn’t limited to HuffPo, with Slate earning 668,000 shares for their piece on GoldieBlox ad. All in all, the average sharecount for a story in the top 20 was 499k, compared to a top 20 average of 172k 18 months ago.
We are yet to export the dataset out of Likeable, so can’t yet say if the average sharecount overall has gone up, but at the top end of town numbers have more than doubled. That outpaces incremental audience growth for the period and lends weight to the Share Wars hypothesis that social networks will become more and more important in news distribution.
In terms of the subject matter – catchy songs, appeals to parents, shortcuts to inspiration – it looks as though harder news has taken a back seat to “shared experience” style appeals. Norming is storming. Take at look at the top 20: