Jun 23, 2019 | Social, Tracking Links

What is Dark Social?

Dark social it’s the type of traffic that comes from sources like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, etc.

This term was coined by Alexis Madrigal in 2012.

It is used to define traffic that does not come from all known sources, such as Google or Social Media.

A type of traffic that is difficult to track, as it is expressed on private channels.

Which is therefore often overlooked by most marketers and companies.

Why this type of traffic can no longer be ignored?

This type of channel is generating more and more social media traffic and is dominating the traffic generated by content sharing.

Research has shown that we share content up to 350% more in “dark” form.

Users who regularly use dark channels are 93% of active users worldwide.



So let’s see it in detail.

According to a RadiumOne research, the shares on the dark social in the world have gone from 69% to 84%.

Furthermore, 62% of this type of traffic was generated via mobile.

But the links shared on these channels have always been difficult to track.

A link that is shared via Messenger or Whatsapp does not attribute any metadata.


If the user visits your site through a shared link on Dark Social, it is registered as if he had written the URL of your site in the search bar of his browser.

Tracking the traffic of Dark Social is difficult.

Is there a solution?

There are two!

We can use both Google Analytics and another tool like JotURL (and honestly with JotURL it’s much easier :-))


1.Access GA / Audience / Overview / Click + Add Segment

2.Select “Direct Traffic”, go to the end of the page and click on “Apply”

3.Click on “Behavior” / “Site Content” / “All Pages”

4.Click on “Advanced” / Change from “Exclude” to “Include” / Select “Page” as dimension

5.In the “containing” field, enter the directory of one of your easiest-to-remember URLs, such as “/ blog /,” / contact / “,” / aboutme / “

6.Add as many pages as possible

7.After you’ve applied the filters, you should see a list of URLs that are not easy to remember and will not have any referral data

8.These URLs will be the result of the Dark Social



Using a tool like JotURL, you can create tracking links in a few clicks and they will monitor the activity and traffic of our content.

Name a shortener.?


JotURL is like every other shortener, on steroids 🙂


Because you can add 2 important features:

Remarketing: at each Tracking Link (TL) we can associate a remarketing pixel (for example, Facebook or Google Analytics), in order to retarget the user once he has clicked on our tracking link, even if shared by other users

CTA: we can associate a Call to Action to our TL, asking for an OPT-IN or redirecting the user on our site or on the page of our app in the play store/app store

Using a tool like JotURL allows us to:

  • get a complete overview from a single platform
  • make remarketing campaigns to users who click on our tracking links (even if shared n° times by third parties)
  • embed CTA to users who click on our tracking links (even if shared by third parties).

Knowing where your traffic is coming from is certainly very interesting.

Remarketing to users who have clicked on your link, let me tell you, is cool 🙂


Do you want to get in touch?

Give us a shout at goodnews@joturl.com

Write what you want, you’re one of us!

Keep it going,
Your JotURL Team



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