Gone are days of Yahoo email chains that are forwarded for months. These days if you use an email to share links or any information with your friends, you belong to the DARK SOCIAL.
Until a few years back email was THE way to communicate in the internet and we used to share links and information that we find interesting in the internet to our friends by simply sending them an email. Marketers have categorized people who still do this as a nasty bunch of users called “dark social”.
“Dark social”, you see, refers to what marketers think of any sharing that they can’t watch happening because it’s not happening on Twitter or Facebook. “Dark” sharing means you, the actual Internet user looking at a story or video, merely tell a friend about what you’re reading or viewing, without using a platform of recent invention that’s more amenable to having people – marketers or spooks – running tracking algorithms over what you’re sharing.
As the article puts it, attributed to Chartbeat and RadiumOne: “Up to 80 per cent of all ‘sharing’ of publisher and brand content is being distributed through email and text messaging to smaller, ‘off-the-grid’ user networks”.
This, we’re portentously told, is an “underbelly” of social sharing that “presents a challenge to media companies” because they’ve “invested millions to exploit audiences on Facebook and Twitter”.
The complaint, from RadiumOne’s Kerry McCabe, is that “There’s a big world of sharing going on out there which is not being dictated by social media”.
How dare users behave such? Instead of using trackable networks, they just tell each other – even so bold as to do so via text messaging! – about the world outside: “we see at least 60 per cent – sometimes 80 per cent – of all sharing happening with old-school copy and paste links or articles”.