An analysis of the 1 million most shared articles across the major social media platforms has revealed that 9 in every 10 shares occur on Facebook. That’s according to Fractl and BuzzSumo, which teamed up to analyze social sharing between December 2015 and June 2016, finding that Facebook’s dominance as a social sharing destination has grown over the past couple of years.more

Indeed, Facebook’s 90.2% share of shares (pun intended) is up from 81.9% of shares the last time Fractl and BuzzSumo conducted the study, in 2014.

The only other social platform of the 5 major ones studied to show an increase is LinkedIn, which climbed only a modest amount, from 2.2% to 2.5% of shares.

That was good enough to overtake other declining platforms, though. In this latest study, Google+ captured just 0.3% of shares of the 1 million most-shared articles on social media, plummeting from 4.3% in the 2014 study, which looked at the January-June period. LinkedIn also surpassed Pinterest, which fell from 3% of shares in the 2014 study to 0.9% in this new edition.

Twitter remained in the second spot as the destination for 6.1% of shares, but even that was down from 8.6% in the prior study.

Overall, the study concludes that the most-shared articles skewed towards a positive sentiment (69.3%) as opposed to negative (23%) or neutral (7.7%). That analysis was based on the use of MeaningCloud, a text analytics solution.

Looking at the sentiment of articles shared to the various platforms, the research indicates that:

  • Pinterest has the most positive skew, with 97.8% of the top articles shared to the platform determined to have positive sentiment;
  • Facebook has the least positive skew, with roughly two-thirds (68.9%) of the articles shared on the platform having a positive sentiment; though
  • Twitter had the highest proportion of articles with negative sentiment – 13%.

Some of these findings align with the 2014 report, which also saw Pinterest and LinkedIn having the smallest proportion of negative articles and Facebook the lowest share of positive articles.

With the most common sentiment being positive, Fractl notes that its previous research [download page] has found positive emotions such as amusement, interest, surprise and happiness to be most common in viral content. Recent survey research from Adobe has similarly found that the most popular motivation for sharing content online is to make people laugh.

So it seems that the best plan of attack – at least for now – is to focus on articles with a positive sentiment and Facebook as the destination…

About the Data: Fractl describes its methodology as follows:

“Using BuzzSumo, we looked at the top 1 million articles shared across top publishers between December 2015 and June 2016. We compiled a list of 197 top publishers, which we selected based on a combination of domain authority (83% of publishers on our list have a domain authority over 80) and social media presence (including lower domain authority sites with influence on social media, such as and All 190 publishers that were examined in the original study were also included in our list.

We analyzed sentiment using MeaningCloud.”