Users put great trust in their social networks. One-half of Beresford respondents said they considered information shared on their networks when making a decision—and the proportion was higher among users ages 18 to 24, at 65%.
“This is a particularly important finding,” according to the report, “in that it suggests that these younger users have integrated social networks into their lives to such an extent that it has become a trusted resource for their decision making.”
via Social Site Users Depend on Their Networks – eMarketer.
What it means: as I mentioned a few days ago, social networks = friends = trusted source. Younger internet users will continue trusting their friends and using social tools for recommendations in the future.
2 thoughts on “Social Sites a Trusted Resource for Decision Making”
What a great stat as it starts to give a concrete value to social networks. Younger generation wouldn’t even conceive what it could be without social networks.
What I find interesting is that, since it has become almost an ubiquitous part of our lives, our social graphs keep growing to be far reaching but also to count hundreds of contacts. They contain a wide variety of opinions and taste (you may have your grand parents, parents, siblings, friends but also business contacts etc in your social graph)… As a recommendation tool, they becomes less effective the bigger they get.
Where I see things evolving is that recommendations need to be personalized.
Imagine asking “where should I go out tonight”, you don’t want reviews from people not aligned with your partying taste.
Solutions that dynamically filter through what I call the taste graphs for people of similar taste are great to achieve this. That way, recommendations get highly personalized and one’s trust in those will drastically increased.
Filters are definitely the next evolution of social media. Social graph filters based on socio-demographic criteria, local filters based on where people are located but also expert filters to include pros in your decision-making process.