Dark Social refers to web traffic coming from outside sources that cannot be tracked by analytics software.
The term was coined back in 2012 and it happens when someone shares content or a link though communications formats such as emails, forum posts or instant messages. Even though advertisers primarily focus their efforts on activities occurring in “the light” on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Dark Social actually dominates online sharing, accounting for 69 percent of all shares globally. Europe and the UK in particular have become Dark Social strongholds, with 77 and 75 percent of all shares respectively occurring in the dark. In North America, that number is less at 59 percent but still considerable.
This chart shows the percentage of shares by sharing channel.
You will find more statistics at Statista