U.S. Markets closed

People are wildly polarized on whether they trust Facebook

Shona Ghosh
Mark Zuckerberg politics

Getty Images


  • A new Survata survey seen by Business Insider shows that people are massively polarized about whether they trust Facebook or not.
  • That's after months of scandal over Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data.
  • The survey showed that Facebook ranked lower on trust than Google, YouTube, and eBay — but higher than Instagram.
  • Survata CEO Chris Kelly said people had stronger feelings about Facebook than about Instagram, whether negative or positive.


Facebook has been making a lot of moves to show it's more transparent in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but people are wildly polarized about whether they trust the company.

A Survata study, seen exclusively by Business Insider, asked US consumers to rate big tech companies from one (most trusted) to five (least trusted). Survata surveyed more than 2,600 people in April and May. It's the first time Survata has carried out the survey.

The results show that Facebook is nowhere near as trusted as Amazon, PayPal, or Microsoft — but that people do trust it more than Instagram. Instagram, of course, is owned by Facebook.

Here's the top 15 in order of most to least trusted:

  1. Amazon
  2. PayPal
  3. Microsoft
  4. Apple
  5. IBM
  6. Yahoo
  7. Google
  8. YouTube
  9. eBay
  10. Pandora
  11. Facebook
  12. LinkedIn
  13. Spotify
  14. AOL
  15. Instagram

Survata CEO Chris Kelly said in emailed comments to Business Insider that Facebook was "a curious case altogether."

"[We] found that it was very much polarizing on this question," he said. "This study found that Facebook's most common ratings were the extreme ends — either "1" for most trusted or "5" for least trusted. In the end, it seemed that a bit more people were extremely likely to trust Facebook than extremely distrust, so it ranked higher [than Instagram]."

Kelly also said people were more familiar with Facebook than with Instagram. So while there was more polarized opinion about Facebook, the sheer number of people who are familiar with the platform means it ranks higher than Instagram on trust.

Curiously, WhatsApp was absent from the top 15. Kelly said WhatsApp is much more popular outside the US as a messaging platform. SMS remains popular because it's essentially free.

Asked why Amazon ranked so highly, Kelly said it was probably the firm's focus on good customer service.

"Even though the company uses data to personalize experiences like many others, it goes to show you that having an exceptional experience can have a spillover effect into other brand impressions of your business," he said.

"That, and you really haven't heard of any major data scandals involving the company. And, a lot of companies trust Amazon Web Services to hold their data, so it's definitely proven it has the tech in place for security."

NOW WATCH: How Apple can fix HomePod and Siri

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Trust in Facebook has spectacularly nosedived after its enormous data breach