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Are free content sharing platforms really free?

Updated: May 18, 2023

Are free content sharing platforms really free?

Creating and publishing content is essential to generating qualified traffic. Whether it’s your website, social media, or publishing platforms, content is everywhere and highly competitive.

And with over 70 million blogs post published monthly, how do you stand out? If you’re going to cut through the noise, you need to publish on other platforms than just your website. The more places you promote it, the more people see it, right?

While that’s undoubtedly true, it can come with a hidden cost. But before we dive into that, let’s explore some of the most popular content-sharing platforms.

Content Sharing Platforms

There are countless places to share and promote your content. A few of the most popular include:

  1. Twitter

  2. Facebook

  3. LinkedIn

  4. Pinterest

  5. Medium

  6. Growth Hackers

  7. Reddit

  8. Quora

  9. Flipboard

And to help spread your content even further, ShareThis adds popular features to help grow your website traffic, email subscriber list, and social following for free with tools such as:

  1. Share Buttons

  2. Image Share Buttons

  3. Video Share buttons

  4. Reaction Buttons

  5. Social Feed

  6. Form Builder

  7. Follow buttons

  8. Popup Builder

But is ShareThis really free?

If you check out their homepage, they’re much more than a “website tools” company. First and foremost, they are a data solutions company. And on the data solutions page, they show their methodology that highlights their sharing tools as the primary means of collecting data.

In a nutshell, they gather data from their sharing tools to map behavior, use machine learning to organize and categorize this data into usable forms of user behavior, and sell it for analytics, data enrichment, and ad targeting.

With their extensive list of tools, they’re able to decode data about consumers in the following categories:

  1. Vertical (900+ popular verticals, including Autos, Finance, Travel, and more)

  2. Seasonal (60+ audiences that tap into real-time spikes in seasonal activity)

  3. Life Event (Identifying life’s key milestones to reach consumers at transitional moments)

  4. Demographics (Combinations of age and gender that cover the most essential groups)

  5. Intent (Zeroing in on consumers engaging with high intent e-commerce environments)

  6. B2B (Organized by industry, company size, and company revenue)

  7. Lookalike (Powered by your best customer and built to perform at scale)

  8. Custom (Uniquely tailored to target niche consumers most likely to engage)

Does this mean you shouldn’t use ShareThis?

That’s up to you.

They use your data in the same way that Facebook or Google gather your information. But while their tools are available free of a financial charge, the cost is your data.

Whether you choose to pay that fee is up to you.


Tools like ShareThis and AddThis are the standard in online content sharing tools, not the exception. With Adzapier’s Social Fortuna tool, you can enjoy many of the same share features that companies like ShareThis provide without fear of your data being collected and sold to third parties.

So, while Adzapier might charge a nominal fee for the tool itself, consider it the data privacy-compliant way to expand your reach and get your content seen. Save your online audience from having their unconsented data shared, or possibly sold, to third parties.

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