Facebook topples from list of top 10 most innovative brands

Mark manages all aspects of editorial on MarketingTech as Editor, including reporting on the fast-paced world of digital marketing and curating the site’s network of expert industry contributions. Originally from Plymouth, Mark studied in Reading and London, eventually earning his Master's in Digital Journalism, and most previously covered goings-on in the idiosyncratic world of performance marketing for PerformanceIN.

Battling fake news, mass data breaches and a stomach-lurching drop in share prices, it’s hardly been a good year for Mark Zuckerberg, and as if to rub salt in the wound, the social network and tech colossus has now fallen out of sight on a rank of the world’s most innovative brands.

The revelation comes as part of Brand Keys’ sixth annual Most Innovative Tech brands survey, which featured Amazon, Apple and Google in the top three of the consumer-voted list, while Netflix, Samsung, Spotify, YouTube, Instagram, Uber, Lyft and IBM made up the rest of the pack.

Facebook wasn’t the sole top-flight casualty, however, with Buzzfeed and The Washington post losing footing, while Snap fell 10 points to be ranked nineteenth.

Based on consumer brand perception, it’s likely Facebook’s turbulent year is behind its fall from grace, fuelled by public concerns around data privacy, the impact of Russia-backed fake news and advertising on the 2016 presidential elections, and a general loss of confidence in the platform following a reported drop in users.  

While Facebook has responded actively to those concerns, enforcing a number of updates and safe measures, the survey suggests the platform won’t win back consumer trust and regain its perception of leadership among its ad tech rivals overnight.

It’s unsurprising Amazon maintains the top spot in the league for another year running, following another record-breaking quarter for e-commerce and growing diversification in revenue from advertising and cloud services, while its advances with voice assistant Alexa are embedding the brand further into consumers’ day-to-day lives.

Social unrest

Besides Facebook, attitudes towards social media, in general, have taken somewhat of a nosedive; consumer confidence has dipped 1.4%, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), ranking social media with the bottom five off all industries measured in the index, and the lowest of all three e-business categories.

Meanwhile, Edelman found that four in 10 users of social media had even deleted accounts over privacy fears within the last year, while nearly a third (62%) expressed desire for additional regulation. Concerns aren’t just around privacy, however, according to the ACSI’s managing director, David VanAmburg.

“Privacy concerns, bots, and toxic online discourse have taken their toll on social media,” said VanAmburg. “But users report they’re even less satisfied with the amount of advertising on social media sites than with privacy protections.

“Privacy is important to users but is often in the back of their mind. Advertising is in their face, and unlike with TV and radio, where they’re used to advertising, users don’t want to be inundated with ads while looking at pictures of their grandkids or watch a commercial before a YouTube video.”

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