In the not-too-distant past, Facebook tweaked its interface to encourage the liking and sharing of content within and without its ecosystem. Ever wondered how much sharing traffic Facebook sees and sends? Check out these stats published by Facebook, reported at Inside Facebook (link here).
In a word, content sharing is up. Way up. Hits and views for business pages are way up as well. There are lots of numbers listed in the post, but here are some key figures pertaining to sharing and pages:
Facebook reported 1 billion items shared a week in July, 2 billion shared a week in September, then a big jump to 3.5 billion in December, and another big jump to 5 billion a week as of earlier this month.
There are now more than 3 million active Pages on Facebook, nearly double the 1.6 million it reported in December. While it didn’t previously disclose the same Pages stats, Facebook began doing so that month; compared against the latest update, they show new pattersn. Pages that Facebook defines as local businesses went from 700,000 actives to 1.5 million. In other words, local businesses comprised half of the overall increase in active Pages over the last couple of months. Facebook separately says that the average user becomes a fan of 4 pages every month, double the December average.
It appears that Facebook is rapidly positioning itself as a news source / reader in and of itself, with heavy emphasis on activity around business pages. Is this a good thing for the site originally designed to connect college students for fun and laughs? Only time will tell.