Facebook crushing rivals in battle for ecommerce traffic in Ireland
Around 87pc of all desktop, mobile and tablet social media traffic in Ireland now comes from Facebook, a big jump on last year's figure of 62pc. By contrast, Twitter's share of referral traffic in Ireland has collapsed from 14pc to 5pc over the last 12 months.
The statistics, which track 50m page views per month in Ireland, show why Facebook is hoovering up social media marketing budgets.
The networking giant's nearest competitors all pale in comparison with Facebook's Irish traffic footprint across all devices. With Twitter continuing to fall, Pinterest is third in line on 3pc of referral traffic, while Stumbleupon has just 2pc, down from 7pc this time last year.
Tumblr has also fallen in Ireland, down from 6pc to just 1.5pc of referral traffic in the last 12 months.
Google+ barely registers in Ireland at just 0.14pc of social media traffic, according to Statcounter.
Facebook's lead is even greater on mobile phones, with a staggering 92pc of all referral traffic from social networking services in Ireland. Mobile phones are seen as the most important web delivery platform with most traffic moving to mobile devices.
Facebook's lead is slimmest on Irish desktop computers, with 72pc of referrals. Twitter scores best on PCs with 8pc market share in this category.
Statcounter's figures measure referral traffic from social media services' websites and apps.
They reinforce other metrics that show Facebook pulling ahead of rival networks when it comes to generating business traffic.
Recent research by Moovweb shows that only 1.32pc of mobile e-commerce traffic comes from Facebook, compared to 0.16pc from Pinterest and just 0.04pc from Twitter.
And the research shows that Facebook accounts for 64% of total social revenue and half of all social referrals.
Social media referrals are becoming closely watched because they are increasingly important to retailers and other online businesses.
In the US, the top 500 retailers earned $3.3bn (€3bn) from social shopping in 2014, up 26pc from 2013, according to the Internet Retailer's Social Media 500.
Research from the US media agency Business Insider also found that social referrals are driving much bigger increases in retail traffic than any other online channel. Social media increased its share of e-commerce referrals nearly 200pc between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015, Business Insider found.
And Facebook, like Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks, is currently trialling new 'buy now' buttons to let people purchase items directly from within the social network instead of needing to follow an external web link.
In Ireland, Facebook usage leads rival social networks, according to research from Ipsos MRBI - 60pc of all adults use facebook with a 72pc rate of recurring daily use, acording to Ipsos MRBI. This sits far ahead of Twitter's 26pc penetration at 35pc daily usage or Pinterest's 15pc penetration at 19pc daily usage.
And the company is showing little sign of relinquishing its hold on the title of the world's dominant social media network after last month's robust quarterly user activity figures.
Its most watched user metric - 'monthly active users' -- grew 13pc to 1.49 million. Its daily active user figure rose to 968 million people.
The company's users are gradually switching over to phones to access the service, with 76pc of Facebook's ad revenue now coming from mobile phones. Mobile monthly users now count for 1.31 billion of the company's 1.49 billion overall users and mobile daily users grew 6pc to 844 million.
Those who use Facebook on their phone every day now number 968m across the world, up 3.4pc.