It often happens that Twitter and Facebook are pointed out indiscriminately as examples of social media. And although they obviously both are, they have very different social environments and their users have very different behaviour patterns.
With these preliminary remarks, Mashable compared the click-per share of the two social platforms to find out how many people are actually reading what you tweet or share on Facebook and see, looking at its own data, how user behaviour compares between Facebook and Twitter, the two social media sites that generate the most referral traffic to Mashable.com.
Comparing three months worth of data and calculating the click-per-share (CPS), the article announced that it appears that users on Twitter are more likely to share an article rather than read it, whereas Facebook users click on more articles than they share.
Noting that Mashable receives about 20% of its visits from social media sites, the article explains that Twitter's click-per-share means the number of total retweets the site has received the period examined, while for Facebook's click-per-share it means the total number of actions on Facebook that result in Mashable links, including likes, shares, comments and links being posted to one's 'Wall.'
However, the data may suggest that the differences number more than similarities in comparing the two and it may be a bit of an apple-to-orange comparison. For example, Twitter is a real-time stream with text and a link, occupying fewer pixels on a screen. The majority of tweets are uniform, and for a user, one tweet can get lost in a fast-moving stream, it was noted.
Yahoo Labs has recently released the "Like Log Study", a report on social engagement around online news, examining the Facebook distribution of top media companies. The study revealed that the New York Times is the leader in social engagement with 2.3m likes/month, 400 likes for a median story and 13 articles in top 40, while the the greatest hit was the Wall Street Journal story "Why Chinese Moms Are Superior", with 340,000 likes.
The study also noted that there are around 10 likes per 1000 pageviews (across several websites with public PV numbers). Decay of engagement is extremely sharp, with less than 20% likes happening after the first 24 hours.