Share counts on big stories get seriously big

Screenshot 2013-11-29 08.33.17The 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:

1 Incredible A Cappella Take On Lorde’s ‘Royals’ HuffPo
2 This Woman Was About To Go In For Surgery. What She Did Moments Before Was Awesome. HuffPo
3 Matt Walsh If You Shop on Thanksgiving, You Are Part of the Problem HuffPo
4 This Awesome Ad, Set to the Beastie Boys, Is How to Get Girls to Become Engineers Slate
5 Kmart’s ‘Jingle Bells’ Ad Has Legs Mashable
6 27 Surreal Places To Visit Before You Die BuzzFeed
7 WATCH: Kids’ React To Gay Marriage Proposals HuffPo
8 Baby Has INCREDIBLE Reaction To Mom’s Singing HuffPo
9 Couple Nails ‘Dirty Dancing’ Wedding Routine HuffPo
10 Russian Subways Now Accept Squats for Payment Mashable
11 From the Archives: Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids? HuffPo
12 Tom Cruise: My work as an actor is as hard as fighting in Afghanistan Fox News
13 How Did It Get to Be ‘OK’ for People to Be Late for Everything? HuffPo
14 Why Killing A Lion Is The Most Cowardly Thing You… BuzzFeed
15 Dad’s Video About His Preemie Son Will Take Your Breath Away HuffPo
16 Dad Calls Cops on Son to Teach Him a Lesson, Cops Shoot Son Dead Gawker
17 This Comedian Just Nailed The Difference Between Parents And Everyone Else HuffPo
18 The Video Every Mom Must Watch On Repeat HuffPo
19 55 Things Only ’90s Teenage Girls Can Understand BuzzFeed
20 Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Epic Split for Volvo is Insane Mashable


Hal Crawford

About Hal Crawford

Hal Crawford is ninemsn's Editor-in-Chief. He began his career at The West Australian newspaper and has taught journalism at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Twitter: @halcrawford

Subscribe to The Share Wars blog

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

, ,

One Response to Share counts on big stories get seriously big

  1. Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function ereg() in /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-content/themes/canvas2/includes/theme-comments.php:63 Stack trace: #0 /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-content/themes/canvas2/includes/theme-comments.php(19): the_commenter_link() #1 /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-includes/class-walker-comment.php(180): custom_comment(Object(WP_Comment), Array, 1) #2 /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-includes/class-wp-walker.php(146): Walker_Comment->start_el('', Object(WP_Comment), 1, Array) #3 /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-includes/class-walker-comment.php(140): Walker->display_element(Object(WP_Comment), Array, '5', 0, Array, '') #4 /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-includes/class-wp-walker.php(371): Walker_Comment->display_element(Object(WP_Comment), Array, '5', 0, Array, '') #5 /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-includes/comment-template.php(2094): Walker->paged_walk(Array, '5', 0, 0, Array) #6 /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-content/themes/canvas2/comments.php(43): wp in /home/sharew/public_html/sharew/wp-content/themes/canvas2/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63