Four Surprising Facts About How Recipes Are Shared Online

Where are people sharing recipes online the most and how is this changing over time? We dug into our data to find the answer and what we found out might surprise you!

  1. Over 90% of recipe sharing is happening at Pinterest. It's no secret that Pinterest is hot right now and that food is a tremendously popular category there. What is surprising is just how much Pinterest has taken over the more established social networks that still have much larger user bases!

    See the Most Pinned Recipes Ever.

  2. People pin (and repin) older recipes. Pinterest launched in early 2010, yet recipes from well before that are getting pinned hundreds of thousands of times. Why is this? Perhaps because Pinterest is a place where people save things to go back to, unlike Facebook or Twitter where something is shared and forgotten within a day or even hours. News, gossip, and memes quickly get old, but recipes stay relevant for a whole season, and become relevant again when that season rolls around next year.

  3. Facebook sharing has been falling since early 2011. Maybe it has to do with the new timeline, the EdgeRank algorithm or the rise of Pinterest. Regardless, the total number of "likes" that recipes get on Facebook has been falling fairly steadily for a year and a half.

  4. Twitter is the smallest by far, but has strong growth. Although Twitter has half a billion users, fake users outnumber real users by more than 2 to 1, which explains the lower engagement. But what is causing growth? Perhaps the strong integration with just about every mobile device and app. We'll be expecting a shift when Twitter begins enforcing new limits on third party apps next year.

Surprised? Take a look at our interactive charts below the fold to see the numbers for yourself.

(You can show or hide the networks by clicking on the legend or zoom in on the graph by dragging your mouse across it.)

So what does this mean for you? Well, if you're a food blogger or a food, cookware, appliance, or grocery store company using social media to promote your blog or your product, clearly you can't ignore Pinterest. But you may also want to re-think how much of your resources you should be investing in Twitter and Facebook. This certainly puts into perspective some of the recent hubbub about EdgeRank and Facebook's new charges for promoting posts from fan pages! Just because a network has the largest user base, doesn't mean it's the best network for spreading your brand. Engagement counts as much as the raw number of users, if not more.


This is interesting. For recipes, i usually follow 2-3 sites regularly. And they have been updating them well, with new and different recipes in every category. So, i didnt have had the chance to think about any alternatives.
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Will blog for food.