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Content sharing is a critical component of any online publisher's marketing plan, and new research from ShareThis identifies consumer sharing trends that dominated during the second quarter of 2014. Most importantly, the shift to mobile content consumption and sharing is driving content sharing and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.However, there is more to this story than rehashing the shift to mobile. In the Q2 2014 Consumer Sharing Trends Report from ShareThis, the data suggests four key factors that are influencing social sharing trends that all content publishers need to understand:

1. Device

Looking at smartphones, tablets, and desktops, the largest growth in content sharing is happening on smartphones. Between the first and second quarters of 2014, sharing on smartphones grew by 27.8% while tablet sharing only grew by 3.5%. On the other hand, sharing on desktops actually dropped by 5.5%.Interestingly, Pinterest users are much more active on tablets while Twitter users are more active on smartphones. This makes sense since the visual nature of Pinterest would certainly deliver a better user experience on a larger screen.

2. Operating System

The mobile operating system also affects content sharing trends. Sharing on Android devices increased by 35.6% between the first and second quarters of 2014 while sharing on iOS devices only increased by 12.6%, and sharing on Windows devices dropped by 17.9%.In terms of site usage, Android users share more content on Facebook while iOS users share more content on Twitter and Pinterest.

3. Topic

The research also found that certain topics are shared more often on some sites than others. For example, ShareThis found that politics and parenting topics are more frequently shared on Facebook while business and sports content is more frequently shared on Twitter. Pinterest users are more likely to share content related to shopping.

4. Site

Facebook is the leader when it comes to content sharing. In the second quarter of 2014, 64% of sharing activity occurred on Facebook. About half of those Facebook shares happened on mobile devices, which is significantly less than the 75% of the Pinterest and Twitter shares that were done on mobile devices. Overall, mobile users pin content to Pinterest three times as often as desktop users and tweet content on Twitter twice as often as desktop users.The lesson for Authoritative Content publishers is simple. Your content needs to be mobile-friendly, highly shareable, and made available through diverse channels to effectively grow your audience in 2014 and beyond.Image: Carlos Maya licensed CC BY 2.0