KEY POINTS

  • Digital trust is the confidence people have in a platform to protect and promote their interests. Brands that create compelling campaigns on trusted platforms can enhance their credibility and are more likely to receive positive engagement from audiences.
  • BI Intelligence’s Digital Trust ranking is a compilation of consumer perception of the six largest social networks on security, legitimacy, community, user experience, and shareability. We surveyed over 1,700 consumers on their perception of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  • LinkedIn won by a huge margin on most attributes and is the most-trusted digital platform in our survey. Content on the platform is more likely to be viewed as forthright and honest, which increases the persuasiveness of ads and marketing messages that appear alongside it. This also creates ideal conditions for thought leadership and branded and sponsored content to flourish.
  • Facebook ranked second, bolstered by users' confidence sharing content they find there. Together with its massive audience and high engagement, Facebook users’ propensity to share makes Facebook the right platform to maximize reach. However, it also had the most annoying ads of any platform we asked about, tempering its overall performance.
  • Twitter was in the middle of the pack on most attributes and came in third due to the shareability of its content, which speaks to its power user base. These celebrities, trendsetters, and influencers can supercharge brand messages by retweeting them, amplifying their reach and impact.
  • Snapchat and Instagram are nearly identical when it comes to trust — which could be a reflection of their increasingly similar features and use cases. Snapchat has a slight advantage when looking only at millennials, though Instagram's reach is twice as great. Brands can have more meaningful interactions with millennials on Snapchat, but can target more of them on Instagram.
  • YouTube finished dead last, thanks to its abusive comments section and extremely annoying ads. That hasn’t dissuaded people from visiting, as evidenced by the time spent monthly and massive user base — but it’s a place for passive watching. Importantly, YouTube resonates more with older generations: Gen Xers are more than twice as likely to share content on the platform, they think more highly of the content, and they don’t mind the ads as much.

Enterprise subscribers can get access to the full data cuts and crosstabs for this study by emailing Stephanie Sharabianlou [...]