- "Dark Social"— a term coined in 2012 by Atlantic journalist Alexis Madrigal— represents 69% of all social sharing activity.
- Madrigal reported the same statistic in 2012 for the term that is meant to define referral traffic where the source is unknown.
- The assumption by researchers is that the sharing is happening in more private digital communications like email, text, and other private person-to-person means.
Dark Social is still something the industry doesn't completely understand, but it's worth studying. If advertisers knew a bit more about all that unaccounted referral traffic—advertisers and publishers could be taking advantage of it. Though perhaps the best place to start is just knowing that the majority of sharing happens outside of social media.