Dark Social is bigger than Facebook

70% of all online referrals come from Dark Social.

Coined in 2012 by Alexis C. Madrigal, Tech Editor at Atlantic.com, Dark Social is the hidden code where shared contents or a hyperlink by copied and pasted into communications such as emails, instant messages and forum posts.

Now surpassing social networks by a significant margin, Dark Social channels include messaging apps, email and private browsing.

In RadiumOne's report into the use of Dark Social, 69% of all global sharing activity takes place via Dark Social versus 23% via Facebook.

The challenge for marketers is that web analytics can't track this web traffic using external metrics measurement or analytics tools.

Although there are potential opportunities to advertise brands within apps, it is currently unclear as to how consumers will react to this 'interruption advertising' model.

Adidas has experimented with Dark Social marketing through messaging app WhatsApp and has also used Twitter's DM feature.