What Is Social Bookmarking?

Why this information trend is useful

Little man standing on a bookmark

Achim Sass / Getty Images

Social bookmarking is a way for users to search, manage, organize, and store useful web content they'd like to revisit and share with others. Because social bookmarking sites are web-based services, you can access your bookmarks online at any time, from any device.

Here's a look at social bookmarking, why it's useful, and how it differs from saving a bookmark to your web browser.

Social bookmarking sites have evolved into engaged online communities where users not only share web content but join discussion forums based on their mutual interests.

How Social Bookmarking Works

Social bookmarking services are centralized online services where users can store and share online links, or bookmarks, with other members of the community.

These sites usually provide a combination of organizational and social tools, allowing users to annotate and categorize their bookmarks as well as comment on and discuss topics with other interested users.

Social Bookmarking vs. Browser Bookmarks

We bookmark websites or links in our browsers so that we can easily access them again, but social bookmarking goes beyond this simple retrieval functionality. With social bookmarking, you not only save your favorites sites, but you can send them to friends, see what other people find interesting, browse popular links and categories, and much more.

Most social bookmarking sites let you search through bookmarked links on subjects that range from shopping, technology, and politics to blogging, news, and sports. Most offer search tools where you can search through what other users have bookmarked by typing in your search term.

Since social bookmarking tools are accessed via the web, as long as you're signed in to your social bookmarking account, you'll have the most recently updated version of all your bookmarks and other customizable information.

Popular Social Bookmarking Sites

Evernote

Evernote is a popular social bookmarking service that acts as a note-taking app designed for creating, organizing, and storing various media files. It's a great tool for collecting and archiving information.

Pocket

Pocket is another social bookmarking service designed for users to curate their own space with articles, videos, and stories from any publication, page, or app. The paid version of Pocket lets users annotate, highlight, and add notes articles.

Digg

Digg is more of a social news site, with articles spanning a wide array of current events. Like, bookmark, or share Digg content on social media, or publish your own articles on Digg to share with other users.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a social network with social bookmarking features. Create Pinterest boards and save content to share and come back to later. Interact with other users who are interested in the same topics.

Mix

Mix calls itself a "personal discovery platform." Choose topics that interest you, and Mix curates content you can come back to later. Follow other Mix users to see their saved content on your feed. This is a great way for colleagues to share resources.

Scoop.it

Scoop.it is available in a free version for individuals as well as a paid business version. The service finds content for you that matches your interests across multiple WordPress blogs, and you can distribute that content to your network.

Medium

Medium is a blogging platform and a social bookmarking site where users can publish and save content to read later.

Delicious was the grandaddy of social bookmarking sites but was discontinued in 2017 after being acquired by Pinboard.

How Can I Benefit From Social Bookmarking?

Social bookmarking sites let people keep up on trending news and events with curated, relevant information. For professionals, they're a great way to save articles and resources that can improve your skills and knowledgebase. For businesses, participating in social bookmarking sites can boost your brand awareness and web traffic by allowing users access to your content.