Digg Takes a Hit in Widget-Based Sharing

Note: Three days after the publication of this story, ShareThis informed us that its staff made an error in the data that it shared with us.

While the January 2009 percentages were correct, ShareThis analysts seemingly misplaced a decimal point while calculating the change in usage in some of the services since August 2008. In actuality, Digg’s drop in widget-based sharing was only 0.92 percent, rather than 9.18 percent, and Twitter’s gain was actually 0.04 percent rather than 0.40 percent, as initially reported. Additionally, AIM’s gain was 0.03 percent as opposed to 0.28 percent.

We apologize for having passed the incorrect information on to you. The story, in its original form, follows.

Digg is seeing a significant drop in shared content when it comes to submissions made via a popular third-party platform.

ShareThis, the Web publishing utility that lets users submit pages to multiple social bookmarking sites from a single interface, is planning to release some new metrics next week. The measurements show which sharing services are most frequently used by surfers.

Here are the results for January of 2009:

Digg: ShareThis Traffic

Digg, you’ll notice, is now down to a tiny sliver — just 2.10 percent of all the ShareThis submissions for this past January. That’s a drop of just over 9 percent from half a year earlier. E-mail sharing, while still by far the largest chunk of the pie, has dropped about 7 percent since August. MySpace, StumbleUpon, and Technorati saw small decreases as well.

When it comes to increases, Facebook is seeing the biggest gains within ShareThis, jumping up nearly 13 percent to a total of 21.20 percent of all the platform’s submissions. Twitter and AIM also saw minor increases.

It was just last month, you may remember, that data from Hitwise indicated Twitter had overtaken Digg in overall traffic for the first time. The new measurements from ShareThis may contribute to the argument of a broad shift slowly taking place in social bookmarking preferences. They may also, of course, simply indicate that more Digg users are sharing content directly via digg.com rather than through a publisher’s sharing platform.

About 80,000 online publishers have the ShareThis platform installed on their sites.