Facebook, UGC, and the importance of trust

Facebook seems to be struggling.

Compared with the same period in 2015, user generated content creation is down 21% – only half of Facebook’s users are posting on a weekly basis (57%), while just 39% are posting original content. Instead, the majority of Facebook’s users are just sharing content created by news sources and other brands. So what does this mean for the social media super brand?

UGC and trust

Millennials spend tons of time on social media – 71% of those interviewed in an Ipsos Mori survey on social influence admit to checking one of their social accounts at least once a day – and members of this group are spending roughly 5 hours each day with content generated by their peers. This increased activity is helping generate a feeling of trust in UGC. Compared with traditional media, UGC is seen as being 50% more trustworthy: under-30s now view this media as an authentic source of reliable reviews (68% of those interviewed trust reviews from their peers, compared with 64% who trust professional reviews). The takeaway here: if you want to build trust in your brand, inspire your fans to create brilliant UGC.

What will happen to Facebook when the UGC stops flowing?

A recent Techcrunch article points out that the updated statuses, selfies, and videos make Facebook “friendly and irreplaceable” – so what will happen if these pieces of UGC disappear? This content is becoming a vital part of any brand’s relationship with its fans, but as an integral part of Facebook’s original functionality UGC seems doubly important for the social network. As this content decreases on Facebook, will it start to drag down the social media giant’s reputation as well? Will consumers finally start to lose trust in Facebook?

Facebook UGC trust

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