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Dark Social Channels: What They Are, Who Uses Them, And Why

Apparently, there are dark and ligh social channels on the Internet. MediaPost reported:

"Nearly a third (32%) of consumers who share content with other people digitally say they do it via so-called “dark social” channels such as email, SMS or other peer-to-peer platforms that are not as easy to see and monitor as so-called “light social” networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest."

This statistics was based upon an October 2014 survey by Tpoli of 9,000 consumers. However:

"According to RadiumOne, which released the Tpoll findings this morning as part of a new report, “The Light and Dark of Social Sharing,” found that actual content sharing is more like 69% “dark,” based on trends from its PO.ST content-sharing widgets. That finding is much closer to the patterns found by 33Across’s Tynt database, which tracks actual copy-and-pasting of digital content across all channels and has consistently found that more than 70% of content-sharing is via dark social channels."

Reportedly, about one third of users survey only use dark social channels. That sharing rate is higher among older users. Also, users tend to share socially-acceptable content in light social channels; a finding consistent with research about the spiral of silence.

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