KEY POINTS

  • Digital trust is the confidence people have in a platform to protect their information and provide a safe environment for them to create and engage with content. 
  • Business Insider Intelligence’s Digital Trust ranking evaluates consumer perception of the six major social networks on security, legitimacy, community, user experience, shareability, and relevance. We surveyed over 1,300 global consumers on their perception of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  • High digital trust is an indicator that consumers will be more receptive to ads and sponsored content. Brands that create compelling campaigns on trusted platforms can enhance their credibility and are more likely to receive positive engagement from audiences. For example, 54% of respondents to our survey said that fake news and scams were very or extremely impactful on their decision to engage with ads and sponsored content. 
  • Fake news and deceptive content have a bigger impact on ad engagement than ad relevance. Thirty-five percent of respondents said that ad relevance was very or extremely impactful on their decision to engage with an ad, compared with 54% for deceptive content. We think this is an indicator that people tend to not be receptive to ads if they don't trust content on the platform — even if they would otherwise be relevant. 
  • LinkedIn won most trusted platform for the second year in a row, and took that top spot for nearly every pillar of trust. The only exception was shareability, where Facebook maintained its No. 1 position. LinkedIn continues to benefit from the professional nature of its community — users on the platform tend to be well behaved and have less personal information at risk, which makes for a more trusting environment. LinkedIn was followed in rank order by Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and a tie between Facebook and YouTube. 
  • Facebook took a big hit from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, falling to last place in the rankings for three trust pillars — security, legitimacy, and community. Over half (56%) of Facebook users have no trust in the platform’s ability to protect their data and privacy. Facebook was also the platform our survey respondents think is most likely to show them fake news — overtaking YouTube as the platform with the most deceptive content. And consumers ranked Facebook last on the degree of safety they feel [...]