Report: Link sharing statistics for New Zealand's top two news websites

NZHerald and NZstuff

Stuff and NZHerald are New Zealand's top two news websites. They're ranked 7th and 9th in the top 10 for the most visited websites in New Zealand by Alexa. For 8 days (March 4-12) I monitored Twitter and Facebook for every single post sharing a link from the NZHerald or Stuff websites.

Apart from being ever so slightly obsessive compulsive with social analytics and conversation data I did it as an experiment to see what I could learn about the behaviour of each news sites readers and how they share each sites content through these two channels.


What did I do:

  • Monitored Twitter and Facebook for each time someone shared a link that contained or
  • Downloaded the results for each report
  • Cleaned the data to compile a consistent list of data including Retweets

How I did it:

  • By accessing Twitter's API we can search and export tweets and related profile and user information

Why is this useful or important?:

From this information we can learn;

  • How people shared these news articles
  • Where they share them most
  • What device or application they share these news articles from
  • What days of the week and what time of day people share the most content
  • What the average number of friends, followers and status updates are for people that share Herald or Stuff content
  • How effective each sites social share links are (read my post from August 2011)
  • Gender information
  • Location and timezone details
  • Who shares the most content for each site (frequent fliers)
  • What type of articles people shared at certain times of the day (viewer interest could influencer an editors publishing schedule?
  • Comparing data could offer insights to improve social share performance increasing page impressions


Every company or organisation with an online presence should know and understand how people interact and share their content. It's more than just listening to tweets and posts, it's about building a data driven profile of your users to help refine your digital strategy, content production and engagement tactics to get the best results.

While we have a plethora of international research, examples and insights but nothing beats local data and relevant examples. You can't get better information than comparing yourself against your competition and identifying opportunities to improve your reach, increase your traffic and convert more visitors into action.

Questions we're asking are:

  • What is my audience interested in?
  • When are they most likely to be interested in consuming certain content?
  • How do they receive/consume that content?
  • What's their preferred option to share that content with their friends/networks?


Please note: The NZherald is a single publication. Stuff comprises of multiple publications from around the country, which are all run under the same domain of This makes it slightly harder to compare one publication against another but for the purpose of this exercise I'm focused on the whole News Website perspective.


Number of shares analysed

NZHerald - 9,293 | Stuff - 11,677


Sharer Profile

Average Friends

NZHerald - 963 | Stuff - 989

Average followers

NZHerald - 2,317 | Stuff - 1,572

Average Tweets posted

NZHerald - 12,966 | Stuff - 12,226

Average times listed

NZHerald - 56 | Stuff - 34


Share Volume

Total links shared over time frame

NZHerald - 2,478 | Stuff - 3,658

Potential Impressions

NZHerald - 21,531,881 | Stuff - 17,830,779


Key Analysis

  • Less than 5% of shares were to Facebook
  • Twitter accounts for each news site were the most frequent sharers of content
  • Stuff's top link was shared 124 times compared to NZHerald's top link being shared over 400 times
  • The majority of shared links were made from Twitterfeed URL's. Twitterfeed is a service that auto publishes news articles to their Twitter accounts.
  • For Stuff the next most common share methods were the Web and indicating that their users share links directly online. However it appears many of their shared links are posted through automatic news feeds that others retweet
  • For the NZHerald the next most common share methods were the Web and the Tweet Button. This could indicate that more people are sharing the NZHearld articles after reading/viewing the webpage than Stuff readers.
  • Stuff articles were shared on Facebook more than the NZHerald's
  • is the most commonly used URL shortner, likely through Twitter clients/applications people are using.
  • Links shared from both sites are more likely to be made by Men 60%
  • People who shared links from NZHerald were found to have more followers on Twitter, be listed more have posted more tweets than those sharing Stuff links.
  • Potential Impressions is some fuzzy math to indicate how many times a link shared 'could' have been viewed. Number of shares X Average followers. Based on this equation NZHerald articles could have been seen 3.7 million times more than those shared from Stuff.

Most shared headlines

  • Social Media a fad - Shadbolt
  • Michael Kim swims to small business success
  • Jock Hobbs Critically ill
  • Journalistic Privilege to change under surveillance
  • Weight loss: the missing link
  • J.K Rowling: Billionaire to Millionaire
  • Stroke fears spur Govt ban on weight loss and sports performance drug
  • Dotcom extradition papers filed
  • The best and worst places to be a women
  • Top ten moments from fall fashion shows

Mobile devices


  • Twitter for iPhone is the 8th most popular choice for Stuff readers
  • Twitter for Android is in 9th place
  • Twitter for iPad in 11th
  • Closely followed by Echofon and Twitter for Mac
  • Stuff Apps falls way down the list in 19th place.


  • Twitter for iPhone - 4th top source of shared links
  • Twitter for Android - placed 9th
  • Twitter for Blackberry - placed 10th
  • NZHerald iPhone app was the 11th most frequently used method for sharing articles
  • Echofon and Twitter for iPad follow in 12th and 13th spots for NZHerald readers

Data Breakdown

Click the images to enlarge

Twitter vs Facebook shares

Stuff Stuff network shared on NZHerald Herald network shared on

Twitter accounts with the most shares

Stuff stuff top sharers

NZHerald Herald top sharers


Most popular links shared

Stuff Stuff most popular links shared


NZHerald Herald most popular links shared

Source of shared links

Stuff Stuff source of shared link NZHerald

Herald source of shared link


Most frequently used Short URL's

Stuff Stuff most popular short URLS


NZHerald Herald most popular short URLS

Most popular locations

Stuff Stuff popular locations NZHerald Herald popular locations

Gender split

Stuff Stuff male female split

NZHerald Herald male female split


Klout Spread

Stuff Stuff klout spread


NZHerald Herald klout spread