Recently, Facebook took on a mission to improve the “quality” of time spent on the platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would start prioritizing posts from user’s friends rather than businesses and brands.
“You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” wrote Zuckerberg in a post to his own Facebook Page.
This initiative was part of an effort to change the current image of Facebook as a home for mindless scrolling through countless hours of pointless, if entertaining viral videos. In a press release from the company, Zuckerberg pointed out that as part of the new initiative, the platform had already seen a decrease in time spent of about 50 million hours per day. The CEO later revealed that the decrease was equal to about a 5% decline. But even with 50 million hours knocked off, people are still spending an absurd amount of time on Facebook, 950 million hours to be approximate.
But even with its popularity, the platform is far from being the most trusted place to consume content
A recent report released by Business Insider revealed that out of the most popular social media platforms — Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn — Facebook comes in second to LinkedIn as the safest destination to view or post content. Lowest on the list, likely due to last year’s issues with policing and monetizing content, is YouTube. Only 4% of respondents said they felt the safest when participating in or posting content to YouTube.
People trust LinkedIn twice as much as they trust Facebook…so what?
Obviously, the more than one billion people who use Facebook aren’t going to quit the app simply because they don’t trust some of the content. Many will just be weary about what they decide to trust on the platform, which could mean troubling things for those that advertise on Facebook and great things for those who advertise through LinkedIn.
Content on LinkedIn is more likely to be examined as forthright and honest, which increases the persuasiveness of advertisements and marketing messages that accompany it. “This also creates ideal conditions for thought leadership and branded and sponsored content to flourish,” BI points out in its report.
Of course, the report also points out that users are “most apt to share content they found on [Facebook], which, together with its massive audience and high engagement, makes it the right place to maximize reach.”
But Facebook is still working on luring advertisers to the platform with the promise of a better ad placement. A recent report from CNBC claims that Facebook has implemented a new strategy that may include the ability for brands to choose which shows they advertise on. This could allow brands to steer away from untrustworthy content and ultimately lead to better performance.
YouTube is still a place where advertisers can thrive, if they’re willing to take the risk
Despite its low score in this particular study, YouTube is still a good place for any advertiser. With over a billion hours a day spent on the platform ( more than Netflix and Facebook video combined), it’s a sure bet for any advertiser trying to reach a mass audience. However, the biggest concern for most brands about YouTube is the risk that their ads will run against offensive or inappropriate content, which, in recent years, has been a much more common occurrence.