Copy-paste drives sharing – what about copyright?

Copied content indicates what really engages and what drives users off-site.

Social sharing buttons may be sexier, but according to research from user engagement platform Tynt, copy and paste is the sharing method of choice 82% of the time. The service, which offers a way for content publishers to track sharing behavior through embedded code that indicates referrals and includes site URLs when content is pasted elsewhere, reported that in October 2012, 2% of all page views across its network involved a copy and paste.

Just over half of the content copied was then shared. This could be in an email, an instant message or another social channel. In addition, about one-quarter of copy-and-pastes resulted in a search�that is, a word or phrase from the content being viewed was copied into a search bar to look for more information on the topic.

Copy-paste drives sharing – what about copyright?

For users, copying and pasting to share content holds obvious appeal: It�s almost frictionless, and it allows the sharer to choose exactly what to pass on to a friend or social network.

�You probably have a lot of friends sharing the same article,� Tynt general manager Greg Levitt said. �But when you can specifically call out a personalized, relevant aspect, it makes the story your own.�

On the search side of the equation, copy-and-paste analytics give publishers information about what content is actually driving users away from their sites.

Tynt also reported that while the vast majority of copied-and-pasted content is text, 12% of copied content was images.

Copy-paste drives sharing – what about copyright?

Publishers know based on other types of sharing which pages are driving social engagement�but not necessarily why. When they can dig into the specific phrases and passages of text that readers want to pass on, it gives them a deeper window into what content users are really engaging with.

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