YouTube‘s investment in its trust and safety team is paying off — at least among the generation that rules the current pop culture zeitgeist. According to a study conducted by Business Insider and YouGov, about 59% of Gen Z respondents trust YouTube. That was the highest percentage among all of the surveyed social platforms.
The study included a sample of 1,800 Americans across five generations. More than one-third of those respondents were born between 1997 and 2012, the parameters typically given for Gen Z. 59% of that group called YouTube “trustworthy” or “very trustworthy,” while only 28% found the Google-owned hub to be “untrustworthy.”
In the past, YouTube has struggled to deal with bad actors, who have spread misinformation related to political topics. But recent investments have helped YouTube build trust among teens and twentysomethings. A Creator Safety Center has been set up to punish “unwanted behavior,” and a vast counter-effort against medical misinformation has made YouTube a trusted source for health advice. Based on the results of the Business Insider/YouGov collab, those measures are delivering results.
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Other platforms will need to do more if they wish to win the trust of the Zoomer majority. 40% of Gen Z respondents said they trust Instagram, but 45% of them find the Meta-owned hub to be untrustworthy.
For Facebook and TikTok, the picture is even bleaker. The former hub ranked as the least trustworthy platform among Gen Z, with only 28% of respondents vouching for it. TikTok did not finish much better in the survey, with only 30% of respondents granting it a “trustworthy” rating.
Facebook’s struggles among Gen Z are to be expected. Numerous scandals have eroded Americans’ faith in the O.G. social platform, and Gen Z has (for the most part) turned away from it.
TikTok’s perceived untrustworthiness is a bit more surprising. Some Gen Z influencers have argued that members of their generation oppose Congressional efforts to regulate the ByteDance-owned app. But the Business Insider/YouTube study tells a different story. It would seem that Gen Z may care about TikTok’s security issues, even if that cohort continues to use the app in great numbers.