Some interesting audience-engagement data just came out from AddThis.com, which ranks the top feed readers and bookmarking services by how actively they are used. These rankings are based on how many times people across the Web add a link to a bookmarking service or a feed to an RSS reader using the AddThis button. (That’s the little orange button with the gold cross you see below each TechCrunch post that lets you bookmark to whatever service you happen to use. Tens of thousands of Websites have incorporated the AddThis button—including Time.com, ABCnews.com, and LonelyPlanet.com—and people use it nearly 2 million times a month to add feeds and links to various services_.
Let’s take these rankings one at a time. On the feed reader side, according to this sample of data, Google comes out on top with 37.7 percent of activity, versus 20.7 percent for MyYahoo, and 9.7 percent for Bloglines. Although if you add up the No. 4 (Windows Live) and No. 5 spots (MyMSN), Microsoft as a whole would nudge Bloglines out of the No. 3 position with a combined 13 percent share. Remember, these numbers don’t mean that there are more people who read their RSS feeds via Google Reader than via MyYahoo. It just means that people are adding more feeds to Google Reader (which makes sense, since it is a younger service and people are still filling out their reading lists, whereas with an older service like MyYahoo, people tend to stop adding feeds after a while). You can compare these engagement stats to some old Feedburner data.
On the bookmarking side, in September Google commanded a 17.0 percent share of all Web bookmarking activity, followed by native-browser bookmarking (i.e., “Favorites”) with a 16.1 percent share. Yahoo’s Delicious dropped to third place with a 9.2 percent share, and Facebook came out of nowhere to claim the fourth spot with a 7.1 percent share (beating out Windows Live, Digg, MyWeb, Furl, StumbleUpon, Ask, and Reddit). Again, what this measures is how many times someone actually added a bookmark to one of these services, not how many total subscribers each service has. Bloglines may have more subscribers than Google Bookmarks. All this data shows is that the Google Bookmarks subscribers are more active. Here is a graph of the top-ten bookmarking services over time (notice the dip by Delicious and Facebook’s rise):