A recent research by the web analytics company Chartbeat suggests that people often tweet articles without even reading them. Chartbeat offers real-time web traffic statistics for sites, giving details on time spent on the page, if users scroll down the page, where they click after reading, video playback and more in order to estimate if the page content is actually read. Their results show that people are actually often tweeting things only after a few seconds of “reading”.
It seems almost unbelievable, but they say they have found no correlation between tweets (and other forms of social sharing) and the actual reading of the articles whatsoever. One of the leading scientists at Chartbeat, Josh Schwartz, said that there’s an obvious link between number of tweets and the amount of traffic that an article gets, “but just not a relationship between stories that are most heavily consumed and stories that are most heavily tweeted.”
BuzzFeed and UpWorthy have also started tracking the same kind of engagement indicators and their findings show that users who have read about 25% of an article are more likely to tweet it than users who have spent more time or no time reading the content. But they have also found that even more visitors share after reading the entire article (about 3.5 minutes spent). However, this could mean that they have read everything or nothing at all.