Trust in digital? A look at New Zealand's online population

  • Research
  • March 14, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Trust in digital? A look at New Zealand's online population

Only 19 percent of New Zealanders trust the information they read online according to Kantar TNS' latest research on people's experience online and trust in the digital space. We take a look at some of the other key findings.

Trust in digital brands

It's been a challenging few years for news outlets with the term 'fake news' on the rise. Around the world, it's led to scepticism about the trustworthiness of information and New Zealand is no exception.

Kantar TNS' research found only 19 percent of New Zealanders said they trust the information they read online.

Looking at different channels, it’s technology companies that are most likely to be distrusted with Twitter, Facebook and Apple coming out on the bottom.

Twitter was the least trusted,with 16 percent of New Zealanders trusting it, while Facebook had 29 percent followed by Apple having 46 percent of New Zealanders trusting it.

Proportion trusting each type of organisation:

  • My main bank (85%)
  • My main insurance provider (72%)
  • My electricity provider (70%)
  • Google (59%)
  • The current government (58%)
  • My district council (53%)
  • Apple (46%)
  • Facebook (29%)
  • Twitter (16%)

Despite Facebook and Twitter being the least trusted companies by New Zealanders, the use of social media platforms is holding strong.

71 percent of New Zealanders use Facebook daily and its net use is on the rise, with 34 percent of New Zealanders reporting they use it more often. However, 19 percent did report they are using Facebook less often than they did a year ago.

YouTube’s net use is also on the rise, with 39 percent of New Zealanders using it more compared to nine percent using it less.

Looking at the other channels, Instagram has similar levels to Facebook while Snapchat remains stable with 13 percent of New Zealanders using it more and 13 percent of New Zealanders using it less.

Twitter, on the other hand, does appear to be losing momentum in New Zealand, with nine percent of New Zealanders reporting they use it less and four percent using it more.

Digital typographies

Looking into how New Zealanders think about their internet use, the research identified different digital typologies including high online commitment and low online commitment.

The former describes those who live their lives online, while the latter describes those who prefer offline interactions.

Looking closer at the high online commitment group, the research found they are more often to change and this extends into brands.

According to the research, they are more likely to be open to trying new brands, just to try something new.

On top of this, they are more likely to spend than save and are more willing to take risks with their money to achieve greater rewards.

Because they spend more time online, Kantar TNS says it's likely they see more banner ads than the average person, however, it also points out they are more likely to have ad-blocking software installed.

Flipping the switch, the research identified a group with low online commitment, defined by a preference for living life offline. They are also more traditional and conservative compared to their high online commitment peers, with a tendency to stick to brands they know and like.

When buying those brands, they prefer to do it in-store and this could be why they consider themselves good at managing their money.

That ability to manage money may also be why they were found to have the strongest dislike for online advertising, and why Kantar TNS says communication with this group needs to be more persuasive in order to encourage them to consider straying from their established habits.

Attitudes towards voice

While social media has well-established itself into New Zealanders' lives, voice technology, and voice-activated assistants are only now coming into use and not all are sure about them.

According to the research, less than half of New Zealanders (43 percent) are interested in trying voice-activated assistants in the future. Already, 37 percent of New Zealanders either already own one or are interested in buying one.

When New Zealanders were asked what they’d use voice assistants for, the most common answers were basic day-to-day needs.

  • Setting alarms (38%)
  • Playing music (36%)
  • Finding out the news/weather (33%)
  • Checking the date or time (33%)

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