Nearly half of consumers don’t trust content on social media

The behavior of Internet users has evolved significantly in recent years, with an increasingly growing concern for their privacy. This is also reflected in the rejection of intrusive advertising with the increasing use of ad blockers.

Alongside this, Facebook has recently and for the first time reported a decrease in its daily active users, with a drop of one million in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to the previous quarter. Some figures that show the mistrust of users towards the poorly controlled environments where privacy is not always guaranteed.

In this context, Outbrain presents a global study in collaboration with Savanta, the results of which reveal these new user intentions. 21% of global consumers plan spend less time on social media in the next six months. Of these, 39% seek absolute disconnection, 33% spend this time at work or study, and 36% will be visiting websites with editorial content such as national and local news sites and lifestyle sites.

These results are a wake-up call for marketers and set the pace for future strategies. Users trust more editorial style sites than on social media. 75% of consumers trust content and recommendations seen in an editorial environment vs. 54% who trust content and recommendations of user-generated content on social networks.

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Additionally, home decision makers are much more likely to trust the content and recommendations they see in editorial settings than non-decision makers. In the same way, user trust also extends to advertising. While social networks have become one of the media where brands have focused when creating advertising campaigns, users do not end up perceiving these spaces as a credible advertising channel.

Social media ads are perceived as the most intrusive, followed by displays and paid search. For its part, native advertising is considered the least intrusive, and 64% of consumers trust native ads seen in editorial environments.

Personalized and visual experiences

Today, recommendations made to measure for each user and occasion are highly valued by the consumer. The most attractive formats when viewing suggestions are the Headlines (46%), still images (44%) and animations or video (39%). However, when we refer to a younger audience (between 18 and 24 years old), unique and personalized audiovisual formats are the ones that generate the most interest.

Regarding the variety of recommendations, 36% prefer a changing experience that evolves based on preferences, while 35% prioritize a similar and constant navigation over time. One of the benefits of the digital world is its ability to create dynamic, personalized and engaging content. The adoption of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence have the potential to drive increasingly sophisticated native advertising, and are an ally in meeting new consumer needs.

This metamorphosis in the behavior and perception of online content requires responses from marketers, who must do an exercise in introspection and take this opportunity to adapt and diversify their marketing channels.

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