LinkedIn takes the top spot for the third straight year in our annual Digital Trust Report — and Facebook remains in dead last

LinkedIn is the most trusted social platform for the third year running, followed by Pinterest and Instagram, according to the upcoming third annual Digital Trust Report from Business Insider Intelligence.

2019 Digital Trust RankingBusiness Insider Intelligence

The ranking is based on an online survey of 1,974 respondents from Business Insider’s proprietary panel fielded from April 23 to May 16, 2019 (more detail below).

Respondents to the survey were asked to rank seven major social networks — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest — on six pillars of digital trust: Security, Legitimacy, Community, User Experience, Shareability, and Relevance. Our respondents tend to be early adopters of new technologies, meaning this data can be viewed as a leading indicator of trust in social platforms.

Digital trust is critical for brands and social platforms because it affects customers’ willingness to engage with ads. The report measures how four of our pillars affect ad engagement, and a majority of respondents said that each has a moderate to very high impact on whether they engage with an ad on a social platform: 75% said so for Legitimacy (whether a platform shows them deceptive content such as fake news); 72% for Community (whether a platform makes them feel safe to share and post); 69% for Security (whether a platform protects their privacy and data); and 63% for Relevance (whether a platform shows them relevant ads).

The full rankings, data, and analysis are available in the upcoming Digital Trust Report 2019, but here are some of the key points in advance of the report’s release next week:

  • LinkedIn was the most-trusted platform among respondents for the third year in a row — but it was overtaken on two pillars. LinkedIn held the top spot in three out of our six pillars, and second place in the remaining three — Shareability, User Experience, and Relevance. Its consistently high ranking stems from the professional nature of its community. This year, LinkedIn was eclipsed on two pillars where it ranked first last year: Pinterest took the top spot on User Experience, as did Instagram on Relevance.
  • Pinterest — included in our survey for the first time this year — immediately outranked every platform except LinkedIn. Pinterest ranked as the second-most-trusted platform overall. It also took second place for the same three pillars where LinkedIn topped our ranking. Still, we don’t expect that Pinterest will overtake LinkedIn anytime soon overall: LinkedIn improved on trust year-over-year on two pillars, including Legitimacy and Community, and remains a somewhat distant first on Security relative to other platforms.
  • Facebook ranked last again and performed worse across every pillar year-over-year. On the Security pillar, for instance, 82% of respondents who were also Facebook users said they were only “slightly” or “not at all” confident in the platform to protect their privacy and data, compared with 79% who said so last year. And for many of these pillars, Facebook ranked a distant last. For instance, on Security, Facebook performed significantly worse than the next worst platform: 59% said they are “not at all” confident that Facebook is protecting their privacy and data, compared with 42% of respondents who said the same for Instagram.
  • Instagram improved on two pillars — Shareability and Relevance — but respondents are more annoyed by ads on the platform than they were last year. Instagram surpassed Twitter to rank third on Shareability this year, up from fourth place in both 2018 and 2017. Respondents say they are sharing on the platform more: 15% of respondents who use the platform said they were most likely to share content they come across on Instagram, up from 10% in 2018. Instagram further claimed the top spot in terms of ad relevance this year — rising two spots to beat out LinkedIn.

The full report and methodology will be available exclusively to Business Insider Intelligence enterprise clients. For access, please contact Head of Enterprise Subscription Sales Chris Roth at You can also read more about the 2017 and 2018 editions of the report.

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