Social media scrapes bottom in ranking of most trusted industries

The news: Social media is among the least trusted industries in many worldwide markets, according to a recent Edelman report.

  • Of 12 sectors examined in the PR agency’s survey of 15,000 respondents in 15 global markets, social media was dead last with a trust rating of 47%. Technology led the industry rankings, with a trust rating of 76%.
  • The study found that when social media is associated with technology, trust in tech was eroded by 4.3%.

Declines all around: Our own research similarly finds that building trust continues to be a challenge for social platforms, particularly in regard to issues such as privacy, safety, and relevance of advertisements. The Insider Intelligence annual survey of 2,225 US social media users ages 18 to 76 took place in May and June.

  • All nine platforms examined in our survey–Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube–saw a decline in overall user trust from last year.
  • This year, Pinterest edged ahead of LinkedIn as the platform US social media users trust most. Snapchat jumped two spots to No. 3. Facebook was in last place, same as in 2021, as it continues to reel from reports about its challenges with misinformation.

Tuning out: By and large, users are spending less time on social platforms this year. The percentages of US users reporting increases fell for most platforms:

  • Facebook: 18.3% this year versus 27.5% last year.
  • YouTube: 33.7% this year versus 41.6% last year.
  • LinkedIn: 19.2% this year versus 26.1% last year.

Go further: For more survey findings and what social platforms can do to improve, read our report: Digital Trust Benchmark 2022.

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast