Is Twitter’s Simplicity The Reason It’s Not Trusted? [Report]

Twitter has built its business on being simple. 140-character messages, no bells and whistles. And while this minimalist approach has its benefits, a new report suggests that Twitter’s simplicity might be the reason why Twitter is among the least-trusted social media brand out there.

Netpop Research has examined how users feel about Twitter’s privacy and security settings, as well as the general feeling of trust among its active users.

First, some basic privacy statistics about Twitter from Netpop:

  • one in three twitter users are concerned about privacy and the use of their personal information
  • only half (53%) feel comfortable managing their privacy settings
  • 48% of Twitter users neither completely trust nor distrust Twitter

And interestingly, although younger users are slightly more trusting of social media overall, the difference between young and old nearly disappears when it comes to Twitter. This means that younger people, while they trust sites like Facebook more than older generations, don’t trust Twitter.

The report discusses the possibility that Twitter’s simplicity has crippled users’ perceptions of its privacy and security. It compares Twitter to China’s microblogging service Weibo, which enjoys a much higher level of trust than Twitter itself, and suggests that Twitter might need to broaden its offerings to make itself more indispensable to users, as Weibo does.

If indeed the comparatively low levels of trust and satisfaction with Twitter are true, then perhaps it does need to begin offering more services – such as an in-tweet URL shortener or easier to find lists of interesting people to follow, for new members.

You can access the full report at Netpop Research.