Friends’ tweeting is believing says Microsoft research


Here’s some research from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University that again shows the level of trust we place on the opinions of social media contacts – people we may in many cases have never met in real life. (via



What’s the most believable source on Twitter?

A retweet from someone you trust (4.08/5) followed by a tweet from someone with ‘verified author expertise’ in the subject (4.04/5).  In addition to showing the power of peer recommendations, that also demonstrates how false information can spread quickly online.

Interestingly, the list of top ten trust factors includes the Twitter verification mark.  Getting that blue tick does seem to raise the credibility of your Twitter account.

At the same time, tweets from twitter followers inspire the least credibility concerns, with ones found via search having the highest.

Meanwhile a study published in searchengineland (via Simply Zesty) says that 72% trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from friends.

In all, 58% say positive customer reviews would make them trust a business more, 25% say they have no impact and 17% pay no attention to them.

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  1. [...] by “a tweet from someone with ‘verified author expertise’ in the subject.” Blogger Dirk Singer notes how this not only shows the “power of peer recommendations” but also “how [...]

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