Trusted information is difficult to come across on the web. A new study conducted by Tapatalk, shows that Americans are even reverting to the original form of social media interaction — forums– instead of relying on social media channels like Facebook for facts.
The survey, which included over 1,000 Americans, showed that the vast majority of people (63%) are going online daily to ask questions, and while social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter remain very popular, 74% of Americans think the integrity of mainstream social media sites are diminishing and are less likely to use them to find trusted information.
The study also revealed that users wish forum experiences were much more user-friendly, with better navigation capabilities that would make it easier for them to engage with experts and trusted content.
People continue to turn toward forums for information and answers they can trust. In fact, 72% of respondents say forums (centralized or independent) would be more reliable for trustworthy information, compared to only 18% who said Facebook would be more reliable and 9% who said Twitter would be. Additionally, 80% trust responses on specialized forums more than those on Facebook. In terms of engaging with other users, over half (53%) of respondents said they prefer to interact on independent forums rather than centralized sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Despite forum popularity, the survey also highlighted areas for improvement. For instance, 79% of respondents think people should be rewarded for providing content or expertise online and 90% would be more likely to contribute if they were compensated for their contributions. Over a third (34%) of respondents said it’s very important for them to maintain anonymity online and 85% said they would be more likely to contribute if they could remain anonymous. When asked about the biggest hassle encountered when participating in a new forum, the most popular response users expressed was building a new reputation when they’ve already created one on another forum. In fact, 62% of respondents said they should be able to take their reputation from forum to forum.
“As the original form of social media, forums continue to be the most common and trusted place for those with questions to find answers – though there remains much room for improvement,” said Winter Wong, CEO of Tapatalk. “We plan to address these critical areas of trust through a seamless mobile forum experience using blockchain technology. While forums are already the preferred resource compared to other social media platforms, advancements within these spaces will help to cultivate even stronger content and engagement.”
Key Takeaways Include:
- The majority of Americans go online at least once a day to find an answer to a
- Although large social media platforms remain very popular, Americans think the integrity of these sites has diminished and they are growing frustrated with the inability to find trusted information online.
- Americans are more likely to turn to specialized forums to find answers to their questions than mainstream social media sites.
- Creating rewards for contributing, maintaining anonymity and enabling consistent reputations across forums are areas where forums can be improved.
- Blockchain technology may hold the key to improving the forum experience in these key areas to facilitate stronger content and increased engagement.