With Facebook Connect and other tools that have been released to online developers and website operators, the social networking site is betting that people are -- and will continue to be -- interested in reading, watching, and doing things online that their friends recommend. "It's a shift from the wisdom of crowds to the wisdom of friends," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Lev Grossman for his Time magazine profile of CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "It doesn't matter if 100,000 people like x. If the three people closest to you like y, you want to see y."
That strategy seems to be exactly right. AddThis, a sharing widget that allows publishers and bloggers to make it easier to spread their content around the web, now reaches more than one billion people every month through seven million domains. Yesterday, AddThis released an infographic that breaks down our online sharing habits.
Facebook has grown from 33 percent of AddThis' traffic last year to 44 percent in 2010, an increase of one-third. All other sites and services combined make up the other 56 percent of AddThis traffic. But, with MySpace and Friendster showing a significant decline between 2009 and 2010, that has left room for Gmail and StumbleUpon to outpace Facebook in growth. Email sharing, in fact, is 38 percent bigger than sharing over Twitter.
AddThis isn't the only option that people have for sharing, but the significant sample size should offer a fairly accurate picture of how we are spreading content around the web.
(Click on the image to enlarge.)