Of the top 10,000 websites on the Internet, 24.3 percent have official Facebook integration on their home pages. If you include all other links to Facebook, almost half of these top home pages link to Facebook, with 7.3 percent using the official Like button, according to research from Pingdom.
Facebook integration is huge among the world’s biggest and most heavily trafficked websites. But how does it fare against other social networks? Facebook dominates both in official integration and links from the home page back to the social network, though looking at these two different metrics paints a different picture for Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Official Widgets and Plugins on the Home Page
Google+ is actually beating Twitter out for integration on top sites. Ten percent of sites had official Twitter widgets on the home page, while 13.3 percent displayed the Google+ +1 button or Share widget. It’s a far cry from Facebook’s 24.3 percent, but all are solidly killing LinkedIn; the more professional social site is officially integrated with just 0.6 percent of home pages.
To put these figures in context, it's important to understand Pingdom’s methodology, accept Alexa as a reliable authority on site traffic, and consider that the largest and most successful sites aren't always an accurate reflection of what others are doing. While not an exact science, Pingdom’s research offers a broad look at social integration trends. They explain how they performed their research:
“We examined the HTML code of the home pages of the top 10,000 sites in the world according to Alexa. To determine Facebook integration, we looked for the official ways of integrating Facebook on sites, with paths such as facebook.com/plugins, connect.facebook.net and graph.facebook.com. We did similar things for the other social networks, based on their developer documents and available plugin documentation. It’s a bit of a jungle. To check any links, we simply looked for anything linking to or referencing facebook.com/ or facebook.net/, linkedin.com/, twitter.com/ and so on.”
All Links from Top 10,000 Home Pages to Social Networks
Aside from official widgets, companies can use a variety of other types of links and buttons to direct people back to their social presence or encourage content sharing. These figures bode much better for Twitter. All links to social networks (home pages only):
- Facebook – 49.3 percent
- Twitter – 41.7 percent
- Google+ – 21.5 percent
- LinkedIn – 3.9 percent
In their blog post revealing their findings, Pingdom purports that Twitter follow links are the reason for the vast difference between their official integration and links figures.
They also suggest, “Google+ may be a young social network compared to the other three in this survey, but with the might of Google behind it, it has still managed to secure an impressive presence in a relatively short period of time.”
Have you noticed this or other trends in social integration on websites? Let us know what you think in the comments!