If Mark Zuckerberg needed any more proof that the new place to share things with your social network is chat apps, not fusty old social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Buzzfeed is providing it. Buzzfeed told Re/code that when they dropped a “share to WhatsApp” button on their stories, the number of clicks on the WhatsApp share button rapidly exceeded the number of clicks on the share via Twitter button. Update: It seems that so far this is only true on iOS. Update 2: The headline of this piece has been updated to reflect that Buzzfeed is seeing more clicks on the WhatsApp share button, not more shares overall vs. Twitter.
This is important for two reasons: First, in as much as what we share is who we are on social media, it means that chat apps are, increasingly, how we are defining ourselves in relation to our social network. Second, it shows that the shift to private sharing—what Farhad Manjoo called “ephemeral” media (paywall), also embodied by Snapchat—is in full swing.
It also shows that publishers would do well to make sharing as easy as possible for visitors on mobile devices. A one-click way to share articles might not matter much for users on PCs, but on a mobile device, any way to reduce friction is going to increase the number of times something is shared.