Content Sharing mobile vs desktopIt’s a mobile world but desktop still holds the advantage in at least one area — engagement with content — according to first quarter data released today by social sharing plugin provider AddThis.

The mobile share of total engagement is increasing — gaining 17 percentage points since the first quarter of 2013 — but AddThis data still show a 65%-35% overall advantage for desktop.

That’s a trend-bucking figure considering how far the mobile pendulum has swung on the social media networks where much of the engagement is taking place. According to ComScore numbers for Q4 of 2013, 68% of the time spent by U.S. users on Facebook was on mobile devices. On Twitter, that percentage was 86%.

So why the disconnect? One possible explanation is that publishers are still clinging to the desktop environment and haven’t fully optimized their content for the small screen.

Another is that even on mobile sites or apps, the sharing and engagement tools are often cumbersome.

There’s also an issue of the definition of engagement. AddThis, which compiles its data from 14 million worldwide domains that have installed its engagement plugins, includes printing and “address bar sharing” in the mix, and both of those actions are much more likely to be performed by someone sitting in front of a PC. Here’s a breakdown of the top engagement actions tracked by AddThis:

After Facebook sharing with 26% of total engagement, the desktop staple sharing of URLs from the address bar is second at 21%.

Engagement By Category

AddThis also broke down engagement details by entertainment, sports, politics, food and travel categories, interesting information for marketers targeting those segments.  Download the full report here.  Notable findings:


  • —Peak sharing hour of the day: 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET
  • Top way to engage: sharing to Facebook at 36%


  • —Peak hour of engagement: 11:00am – 12:00pm ET
  • Top way to engage: 36% sharing to Facebook


  • —Peak sharing hour of the day: 10:00am – and 11:00am EST
  • Top way to engage: 27% sharing to Facebook


  • —Peak sharing hour of the day: 11:00am — 12:00pm
  • Top way to engage with food-related content: 46% sharing to Pinterest


  • —Peak hour of engagement: 11:00am – 12:00pm ET
  • The top way to engage with travel content is printing at 26%, followed by sharing to Facebook at 24%


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